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Welcome to this month's Creative Corner! This month, our topic is Tales from the Sentinels Crypt.

October is a time for all your fears to leak out and wander the streets. Its when the ghosts and ghouls prowl with tricks and treats, and when monsters hide behind dollar store masks.

What is your hero up to during this scary season? What nemesis has upped the ante? What evil is lurking just out of sight? Tell us about it in whatever media you prefer. Story, art,'s all good here.

The thread will be open all October, just waiting for your tales...from the Sentinels Crypt.

ALSO, feel free to comment between tales here. There's nobody that I know that doesn't like praise.
Posted Sep 30, 16 · OP
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Let me start off with praise for that Zomb-Rune art. Love it.
Posted Oct 1, 16
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Zero: Fear Itself

Halloween was Zero's favourite holiday this side of Christmas. She was ready to hit the parties, meet some of the other heroes, and just have some fun. Zero was dressed as a Team Rocket Grunt this year; black skirt and a tee with a giant red 'R' on the chest. The costume showed a bit more leg than Zero was normally comfortable with, but hey, it was Halloween.

That said, crime didn't take holidays, and proper costume or not, Zero had a job to do. Her contacts in Westside had seen L'Homme Horrible and his goons breaking into an old library that had been abandoned after the Qularr attack. Zero considered L'Homme Horrible to be her problem. Her nemesis, she supposed.

Really, L'Homme Horrible more of an nuisance then a nemesis. He was obsessed with 'freeing' Quebec, quoted the FLQ a bunch, and refused to speak English. His costume consisted of a toque and a pair of jeans. He went shirtless all the time so he could show off the giant Fleurdelisé he had tattooed on his chest. L'Homme had a freeze ray, or an ice beam, or whichever you wanted to call it, and that was about it. However you wanted to look at it, L'Homme was small time.

Zero had hoped to bop L'Homme Horrible on the head quickly and get to the party on time. Her hopes dwindled when she had to use a full powered kinetic blast to just get the old library door open, and found the insides of the building completely frozen over.

The library was like a dark winter wonderland. The floor was a sheet of slick ice, which would be dangerous if not for the fact that Zero flew everywhere she went. The shelves were all buried in black ice, creating jagged cold islands throughout the main floor of the library. The windows were lost behind frozen walls, letting only ambient light in from the streets. The library was dark, and it was cold.

Worse yet were the smaller icebergs that dotted the snowy scene. In the dim light Zero could just make out the humanoid shapes of people inside. All of them seemed to be L'Homme goons, though Zero only braved a glance at a few of the frozen figures.

Zero wished she had her full uniform instead of her Halloween costume. The interital barrier that kept her safe did nothing to stop the cold, and the library was colder than Zero had been in a long while. It reminded Zero of the demon winter in the NWT, which was not a comforting thought. Zero floated through the main floor of the library, finding more of the frozen goons, but no sign of L'Homme. It wasn't until she braved the basement storage of the old library that she found her nemesis.

The basement was even colder than upstairs. The whole of the area was lit by a dim purple glow, though Zero couldn't see the source. She found L'Homme Horrible deep in the storage room, back turned to her, idly flipping through an ancient book. Zero immediately wished she hadn't found him.

L'Homme Horrible turned in a stiff shuffle to face Zero, an action that was punctuated by sharp cricks and cracks from inside his body. L'Homme's skin was horridly cracked and discoloured. It split in several random locations to give way to sharp spikes of dark ice. L'Homme's eyes were gone, replaced by orbs of black ice. Wisps of frozen air escaped his ruined lips as he spoke to Zero in a whisper. She only barely noticed over all this that L'Homme was speaking to her in perfect English.

“Zero,” L'Homme acknowledged. “Such a fitting name. You are of no consequence, and you are too late.”

“Oh my actual gosh,” Zero gasped. “L'Homme, what have you done to yourself?”

There was a sound of cracking ice as L'Homme Horrible tilted his head inquisitively. “I have...moved on, evolved, become better,” L'Homme replied. He dropped the book, and opened his arms wide with a crackle. “What you see is me at my utmost potential. I have opened myself to power,” L'Homme explained. “I have opened my body and soul to...”

Zero was never one to listen to monologuing. She pointed palm first at her nemesis, and let loose a bolt of pure force. L'Homme waved casually, and a wall of thick ice shot up between them. Zero's kinetic bolt slammed hard into the ice, and barely left a dent.

L'Homme dismissed the wall with a similarly indifferent wave. “I have opened myself to Kigatilik ,” he finished.

L'Homme Horrible motioned at Zero, and before she could react a thick block of ice formed around her body. “The Horrible Boy you knew is gone, little Zero, and I have moved beyond you.”

Zero struggled against her ice prison. Her inertial barrier had kept her from being body tight in ice, but only barely. She couldn't get her hands free, not right away at least. Desperate, Zero tried to use her very limited telepathy against L'Homme Horrible.

That turned out to be a horrible idea. L'Homme's new mind was full of black and cold and horror that Zero couldn't grasp. She recoiled from it, an action not unnoticed by the ice villain.

“This isn't right.” Zero said. “You're L'Homme Horrible, you know? Ice villain, sure, but not this? I mean, you're, you know...?

“Nothing you think you know is true,” L'Homme Horrible said. “Not any more. But I know you. I see you in ways I've never seen before. I know your true fears.” Ice crackled behind L'Homme's smile. “We have such sights to show you.”

Tendrils of cold shadow coalesced in front of L'Homme Horrible. They shaped and solidified, until they took the form of a costume snowman with dead black eyes, a giant smile, and a jaunty red cap.

Zero gasped her surprise, but she put on a brave front. “Bonhomme?” she questioned in a shaky voice. “Really? I mean, ok, he's sort of creepy? But I wouldn't go as far as calling him my true....” Zero trailed off as the Bonhomme reached up to remove its costume head. “oh...oh no,” Zero pleaded suddenly. “Don't do that!”

Bonhomme smiled its empty smile, and twisted its head sharply. There was a horrid hissing as the Bonhomme's costume head began to come loose from its body.

Zero screamed. Her ice prison shattered, and chunks of the ice shot towards the Quebecois mascot. Books and shelves flew across the room, and crashed in an explosion of wood and papers. The large shelving unit behind L'Homme Horrible threw itself down on both L'Homme and Bonhomme. Zero tried to get control of her terror, but Bonhomme's empty head rolled to a stop at her feet, smiling up at her.

Zero kicked the empty costume head away in horror and disgust. She could see the body of the snowman getting up from the rubble, hunched over with its back to her. Zero screamed again, and flew from the basement in blind panic. Deep inside Zero recognized that it was a ridiculous fear, but she did not want to see what was under the Bonhomme's costume head.

Upstairs, the doors to the library were frozen shut again, this time with thicker ice than before. Zero began to blast her way out, but stopped as she heard the cracking ice around her. The smaller islands of ice exploded, releasing the frozen goons on Zero, or at least what was left of them.

The creatures that stumbled out of the ice were hunched stumbling monsters with misshapen bodies of ice. The clothes and skin of L'Homme's goons hung from these creatures like poorly fit disguises. They hissed and groaned as they staggered towards Zero. From beyond them, Zero could hear heavy footsteps on the basement stairs.

Zero fired pure kinetic energy at the closest ice zombie things, flinging them back into the others. They hit with a sickening crack, but seemed unfazed by Zero's assault. She flung a shelf at the group for good measure, which only in the end cleared a path for the Bonhomme to join the fray.

The Bonhomme stalked towards Zero, dashing ice monsters aside to get to her. Its body was battered from Zero's earlier attack, and black shadowy smoke leaked from tears in the costume. Its head was gone, likely still downstairs, and the same black tendrils of shadow flailed from the neck hole.

Zero stared at the hulking figure, but the fear was gone. She wasn't sure what she'd expected to see beneath the costume head, and it dawned on her that it wouldn't have mattered anyways. “Ok, so, you're just an empty costume?” she said. “I can totally, you know, deal with that?”

The headless Bonhomme stopped in its tracks. Zero braced, expecting it to rush her. She focused kinetic energy to her hands, ready to blast the Bonhomme across the room, but it turned out to be unnecessary. The Bonhomme costume stood for a moment longer, and then collapsed like a stringless marionette. Around her, the ice zombie goons did the same, shattering as they hit the ground.

“Ok, gross?” Zero commented of the goons, because it was. She drifted cautiously through the library, watching for any stray ice monsters, but there were none. She flew quickly past the unmoving Bonhomme costume, and down to the basement.

The storage room was destroyed, far beyond the damage that Zero had done. The ice was thicker on the shelves now, and there was no way to get any of the books free without destroying them. This meant that there was no way to catalogue what L'Homme Horrible had taken from the library. Of course L'Homme was gone with whatever his prize was.

“Well. Looks like L'Homme is blasting off again.” Zero said to the no one else around. She shuddered as she looked down at the Bonhomme head on the ground, and then forced herself to pick it up. It was a simple mask, made of plaster and wire and felt.

“I remember when I was a kid? I saw you? When my mum took me to Quebec?” She rolled the mask around in her hands, and messed with the attached red cap. “I saw someone in the costume, you know? And they were going to take the head off, and I ran away?” She gave a shrug. “It's weird, right? That I spend my time around people with costumes and masks, but, you know, that's what stuck with me? But I was never afraid of you. Just...”

Zero shrugged again. She considered chasing after L'Homme Horrible, but recognized the futility of it. Equally futile was sitting in a freezing library psychoanalyzing her fears to an empty Bonhomme head. Zero considered keeping the mask, but in the end she tossed it aside. She'd faced her fears, but the mask was still creepy. Besides, it didn't really go with her costume, and there was still a Halloween party to get to.
Posted Oct 1, 16 · OP
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Great story! Also educational! I've never heard of this "Bonhomme" before, and after a quick google search, I now know the face that will haunt my nightmares for years to come. It's really the ears that freak me out.
Posted Oct 1, 16
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The Haunted Hospital

Izzy's yellow boots touched down lightly outside the abandoned hospital. She knew it use to be a fairly busy place but couldn't remember when they had closed the doors or why. The front doors were closed with a large chain and padlock to keep honest people honest.

Frowning to herself she wondered if this was the right place, she took a few steps back and looked from left to right. Gazing at the darkened interior of the desolate structure. Shrugging her shoulders and shaking her head slowly she floated a few inches into the air, preparing to take off. That's when she heard it.

A faint noise at first, a slight thud. Her ears strained over the silence. Had she imagined it? No there it was again.
Louder this time but only just. She took a closer look at the building. There were no open windows on this side of the building. She twirled in the air her black cape floating behind her. She rose higher thinking that maybe there was a roof access. Another noise caught her attention. This time closer. It was the creaking of the double doors below her.

She floated back down, once more boots touching ground. The doors swayed in the wind. A long creaking noise accompanying each movement.

"I could have sworn these doors were padlocked." she thought to herself.

She reached for the door grasping the cold metal in her hand. Taking a deep breath she swung it open and took a step inside. The only light in the building was from the streetlights outside. A sickly pale light that struggled against the darkness.

She shuffled along moving towards the back of the building. Deeper into the shadows, closer to the sound. Thud, went the sound once more. There was no pattern to the noise. Nothing to give a clue as to what it was. Just the occasional thud.

The air around her grew colder and Izzy could see her breath now as she exhaled. She gasped as the hair on the back of her neck stood up and a shiver went down her spine. She thought about calling for backup. Her hand reached down for her communicator but it was not there. She wondered when she had lost it but the thought quickly left her as the thud grew louder and more frequent now.

She turned the corner and stared into the black. The faint outline of a door could be seen down the corridor. It was from beyond the door the noise came. She steeled her nerves and took a step forward, then another. The shadows that covered everything began to shift and swirl. They were darker than black and moved towards her like a mass of writhing snakes. Izzy threw up her hands, magical lightning charging the air. It was too late. They swarmed over her, engulfing her. She went to scream but they filled her mouth and lungs.


Her eyes fluttered open as she heard the sound of the television. "Thanks again for watching horror fans. I'm Madame Macabre We will continue with our movie , the Haunted Hospital, after this commercial break." said the scantily clad movie host.

Izzy rubbed her eyes sleepily and looked around.
"It was only a dream", she thought to herself.

Posted Oct 2, 16 · Last edited Oct 2, 16
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Holly's Haunted Halloween

Holly was getting ready for her annual tradition: Watching television in her house with Haru, her shiba inu while her dad takes her little brother Julian trick or treating. At 4PM, Holly went into the kitchen to grab a bowl of candy, she then noticed something strange out the window: there was a little kid standing silently in the yard, he was no taller than her little brother, he had pale blue eyes and dirty blonde hair, dressed in a baggy orange burlap sack for a costume and a green cap, almost looking like a pumpkin, his face had a blank expression. She looked back to her faithful pet. "That's's not even dark out and there's a trick-or-treater...what do you think that's about Haru?" with Haru giving his usual demeanor, turning around and laying down on the couch to sleep. Holly looked back to the yard and the boy was no longer there. She closed the window's curtains not thinking too much about the experience, "It's probably just some prank, trying to scare me into giving them more candy." She then made her way to the couch with the candy, waiting for the trick-or-treaters to arrive. The little kids always came by the Porter house, since it always has good candy, Holly knows what those little kids expect to get around this time of year (and being able to pick up their thoughts was handy too).

Three hours pass, and not a single kid came to the house. Holly began to drift off into sleep when she was woken up by the sound of knocking on the door. She slowly got up from the couch, grabbing the candy bowl and as she approached the door, she thought to herself "This is really odd, usually the kids pour in this time of year, I need to check what's going on." And as she opened the door to her house she was surprised to see the little boy with the orange sack costume and the blank eyes. She almost dropped the candy bowl in shock, slightly confused as to why the boy wasn't saying "Trick Or Treat", just an eerie silence as he looked up at her, his pale blue eyes still cold and blank. Holly was starting to getting nervous. " you want some candy little guy?" The child simply stared.

This child was starting to creep Holly out, so she decided to hand him a king sized Candy Bar, which the kid accepted and was beginning to open up the wrapper and took a bite out of it, the kid actually smiled. But the smell of chocolate was just enough to wake up the sleeping Haru, who approached the door, and the usually calm dog began to grow loudly at the child. The child dropped the candy bar and quickly ran off without a word.
"Haru, you know you're not supposed to eat chocolate..." is all she could say, she wasn't sure if he scared off some innocent kid or saved her from something dangerous. She then walked back to the kitchen to put the bowl down and landed on the couch to watch the rest of the movie she was watching. Then as the credits rolled, Haru was fast asleep. There was another knock on the door. She then trudged to the kitchen with the bowl of candy and answered the door. On the other side of the door were two police officers, with one of them saying "Good evening miss, we are here to inform the neighbors about an accident" Holly, immediately thinking of the little boy who was scared off by Haru, blurted out, "What happened? Is he okay?"
The two officers looked to each other, confused. Holly was unsure of what they would say next. "Ma'am, we came by to let the neighbors know there was a car accident down the road a few miles away at 4 o'clock today, two cars involved, the roads were blocked off. "That would make sense why no one came to the house." Holly said, "But what about the boy I saw earlier. He was dressed up in orange and green" "Like a pumpkin?" one of the puzzled officers asked. Holly responded with a nervous nod. The two officers looked at each other again. "That's impossible." said one of the officers. "That child was killed during the crash. Poor kid, his parents were going to take him trick or treating for the first time too." As the officers headed back to the police cruiser, Holly looked pale, as she went back inside her house, she then saw something on the grass, it was the candy bar that the mysterious kid took a bite of, and then when she turned to see where the officers left, was the little kid, he waved at her, smiling, saying "Happy Halloween" before fading away. "Holly waved back still in awe of what she just experienced. She smiles softly as she brought the bowl back into the house and said to herself with a satisfied sigh, "Maybe I should go out for Halloween next year."
Posted Oct 2, 16 · Last edited Oct 2, 16
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Liberty of Three Worlds and the Dark Prophecy

A few notes before we begin our story: First, as the title suggests, the story is a take on DC’s older multiple world team ups. I’m going to use this story to introduce my other Liberty Golds. Liberty Started in City of Heroes as a Captain America tribute character when COH released its shield use power set. She was and is fairly military in her mindset, more so than Steve Rogers. The COH version is the one that Jen’s aunt is based on also. Our third Liberty Gold is the one I created for DC Universe Online. She’s similar to COH Liberty, but is a metahuman Checkmate Knight.

Secondly, this is a Halloween story in the requested vein of ‘Tales of the Crypt’. Ergo, there are a couple of points where there’s going to be some pretty rough violence. I’m going to try to limit that to what’s necessary to develop the story and characters. The vast majority of the story should be pretty enjoyable, but I apologize in advance to the squeamish.

As I also announced in GLOOC, if anybody feels I didn’t accurately portray a borrowed Sentinels character’s reaction, etc… let me know and I’ll make it right.


Jen stood in a fighting stance in the training room of Homeroom Alpha, wearing her capri length workout pants and a sports bra, both dark blue with white trim. The look on her face was a mix of the intense concentration she had in combat, and frustration.

“I don’t want to talk about it, Kurt.”, Jen said, slamming two jabs and a hard straight into the heavy punching bag.

Captain Incarnate held the bag steady for her, grunting slightly as Jen’s fists impacted it. “Good thing these bags are actually tough enough to handle your hits”, Kurt said with a smile. He’d hoped the slight joke would lighten Jen’s mood.

“It’s all body mechanics and focused energy”, Jen replied flatly. “Any boxer will tell you that.” “If I had your strength, maybe I could get away with being sloppy”, Jen added with a teasing smirk.

“Well, I don’t know, you’re pretty…”, Kurt paused as he caught the dig. “Hey… I’m not sloppy!” he added indignantly.

Jen stopped and wiped the sweat off her head with the hand towel draped around her neck. “Compared to most, you’re pretty good”, she said with a smile. “You wind up on your punches too much though and have a bad tendency of rolling your shoulder as you set up.” “You telegraph like Western Union”, she added with a giggle.

Kurt stood there with his mouth partially open, searching for a retort.

“She’s got yah there”, Izzy sad with a knowing giggle, delighting at seeing her older brother flustered.

Kurt shook his head with a mildly annoyed look. “You’re changing the subject anyway, Jen…”, he said in a more firm tone. “Izzy and I are here because we’re worried about you, and we’re not the only ones.”

Izzy nodded quietly while trying to maintain a smile.

“I’m fine”, Jen replied flatly.

“Ever since your argument with Pinball after he was hurt, you spend all your free time alone training”, Kurt responded matter-of-factly. “It hasn’t escaped notice that you’ve been more moody also.” “We’re worried about you…”

“You said that already”, Jen said as she walked towards the locker rooms. She tossed her workout towel in to the towel hamper as she passed by it. Kurt and Izzy followed close behind her.

Jen stopped, closed her eyes and took a deep breath, then turned to face her friends.

“Look, I’m doing the best I can, OK?” Jen said. She tried to keep her tone friendly, mindful that she was talking to two of her closest friends. It still conveyed a degree of frustration that was rare for Jen. “As for Pin, he was careless and made a mistake.” “It’s part of life… it happens… I can live with that.” Jen said in a clearly frustrated tone.

“Buuuuuttt…” Izzy said, almost wincing in anticipation of what might be coming.

“But he was a complete jerk afterwards and didn’t even care how upset and worried I was”, Jen answered angrily. Kurt started to open his mouth, but Jen cut him off. “And yes I know I was rough on him when I said over the comm that he was punching things with his face.” “What we do is NOT a game though.” “We screw up, people can die, including us.” “I can’t change him.”
“All I can do is improve myself so I can shoulder more of the burden and keep others from getting hurt.”

Kurt nodded understandingly. “I get it Jen.” “Izzy and I have been there too; at your power level you’re feeling responsible for others.” “Sentinels do watch out for each other too, but even that can only go so far.” “You certainly can’t take on the burden of protecting the entire world from itself either.” “The stress will eat you up inside.” “We do what we can and hope that will be enough.” “If you can’t find that balance, you’ll end up imploding.” “Nobody wants that”, Kurt added with a slight smile.

Jen closed her eyes and slowly nodded, her head finishing in a looking downward position.

Izzy moved closer and wrapped her arms around Jen in a gentle, supportive hug. “We know you’re hurting too”, she said in a warm tone. “If he’s smart, he’ll come around” “Then you can work things out.” “If not, then we’ll find you somebody good enough for my BFF.”

“Thanks Iz”, Jen said in a calmer tone, briefly but warmly returning the hug. “You’re the bestest.”

“That’s what I keep telling Kurt”, Izzy replied with a giggle.

Kurt rolled his eyes and shook his head.

“I’m… kinda over it though, really.” Jen added

“Mmhmm” Izzy replied with a slight smirk.

“Look… I like him.” Jen retorted. “What happened showed me we’re probably not compatible on that level though.” “We have... different values regarding relationships.” “Accepting that does hurt but life goes on.”

“Alright…” Izzy said, dropping the subject. “Are you hanging in there with everything else?” she asked, concern showing on her face and tone of voice.

“Mostly…” Jen said in an almost exhausted sounding tone. “It’s only been a couple weeks since I found out I’m some sort of demigod.” “That’s a heavy enough reality check.” “Then my body can’t handle my powers and that nearly kills me” “Oh and then there’s the whole thing with my mom flipping out over a nonsense prophecy pitting me against Zeus.”

“What?”, Izzy asked, looking confused and a little concerned.

Jen shook her head dismissively. “You’ve got to be the only one who hasn’t heard, Iz.” “Metis’s second child, a child of Zeus who’s also male mind you, is supposed to overthrow Zeus.” “That’s why Zeus tricked mom into turning into a fly and swallowed her while she was prego with Athena.”

Izzy raised a concerned eyebrow. “And you’re this mythical second child?”

Jen shook her head. “No, I’m a girl and my dad is a human.”

Izzy, being sharp, immediately picked up what wasn’t said. “But you’re still the second born even after all this time, aren’t you?” she asked in a serious tone.

Jen nodded. “The prophecy is broken though, Iz.” “I don’t fit the criteria prophesized.”

“We had this talk before, Jen”, Kurt replied in an even more serious tone than Izzy. “Just because you don’t think so, doesn’t mean Zeus will see it that way.”

Jen let out an exasperated sigh. “You’re sounding like my mom, and I’m having enough trouble getting her to chill out.”

Kurt frowned and was getting ready for an exasperated counter of his own when Jen cut him off, gently holding a finger to his lips. “Look, I get it.” She said. “I’m being careful too, just in case.” “I refuse to live my life in fear over a silly prophecy that’s thousands of years old and doesn’t even fit me.”

Jen smiled affectionately at both of them. “I adore both of you for being such good friends too”, she said, hugging a surprised Kurt warmly and resting her head for just a moment on his shoulder before releasing the hug. “You two have made a really insane, upside down part of my life become bearable.” Jen moved to Izzy and gave her a warm hug, which Izzy immediately returned. “Right now I need more of that stability though, not even more people telling me my life is going to fall apart or end”

“Alright” Izzy said warmly. “We’re only here because we care though.”

“I know”, Jen said with a smile. “That’s why I love yah both.” “I really need to get a shower and get home to finish up my homework though.” “I’ll catch you both later.”

“…Alright” Kurt replied reluctantly as Jen walked off.

Izzy turned to Kurt with a grin. “She’s a big girl, Kurt.” “She needs us to have faith in her.”

Kurt looked at her uncertainly, searching for the right words.

“Besides…” Izzy said in a slightly more nervous tone, “If Zeus himself does come after her, I’m not sure there’s anything any of us can do.”

“It won’t stop me from trying.” Kurt said in a resolved tone.

Izzy chortled briefly. “That’s my big brother’ always looking out for everyone.” “Admit it though, you like her.”

Kurt half smiled. “She drives me nuts half the time.” “It’s like having two of you around”, he laughed.

“But…”, Izzy said with a knowing smile.

“She’s growing on me”, Kurt replied with a slight chuckle. “Tell her that and I’ll deny it though”, he added with a grin.

Jen, now in the girls’ locker room, stripped off her sweaty workout outfit and stuffed it in her gym bag. She gave her bracers a discouraged look and tugged at the left one, trying to take it off. It only glowed with an eerie green energy and refused to budge.

Damnit, Jen thought to herself. Guess I am stuck with them until my body finishes morphing into an actual titan… half titan? She let out an exasperated sigh. Why I can’t I just be a normal girl? she fumed mentally. I hate this!

Jen’s frustration got the better of her and she hit the locker, leaving a two inch deep, fist shaped dent in it. She shook her head with a discouraged look. “Great… great self-control, girl.” “If your broken, can’t handle its powers right, body doesn’t ruin everything, your temper will.” “It already did with Paul.” “Now I’m talking to myself too…” Jen shook her head and then grabbed her shower supplies out of the locker. I’ll feel better after a shower and a nap, she thought to herself.

Jen spent her shower silently pondering how to organize the mess she called her life. After showering, drying off, getting dressed and fixing her hair, she headed home. She made the walk in silence, still pondering everything. The only solution she was able to come up with was to keep pushing forward.

Arriving at her apartment building, Jen went through the front door and up the stairs to the third floor. She paused uneasily as a clap of thunder was heard outside. Again… and not a cloud in the sky, Jen mused to herself uneasily. Jen unlocked the door to her apartment, went inside and locked the door and deadbolt behind her. She uneasily looked out the north window of her place. Not a cloud in the sky still, Just people coming and going from Darren’s and O’Reilly’s Pub across the street.

“Mom’s nonsense is getting to me”, Jen said in an annoyed tone. “Maybe some food…”

Jen’s thought was cut off mid-sentence by a booming clap of thunder and a flash of light. Jen whipped around to face the living room area of her loft. There, standing in the middle of the living room was a seven foot tall, heavily muscled man in ancient Greek armor. The man was olive skinned and Jen could see a bit of wavy black hair protruding from underneath the bottom of his helmet. Even with the narrow T shaped opening in the front of the armor, Jen could see he had piercing hazel brown eyes that held a stare of intense hatred. His armor was heavy and metallic; a dark, almost Midnight blue and incredibly ornate, right up to the helmet, which was topped with a classic Greek blood red crest.

Jen could make out what looked to be a large shield strapped to his back, over a long flowing cape of blood red. As best she could tell, (since he was facing her), it was similar in shape to the ones used in the movie 300. At his side, hanging from a heavy leather belt, was a large, rather heavy xiphos inlaid with what looked to be bone and gold.

“It’s rude not to knock before entering somebody’s home”, Jen quipped in an annoyed tone.

The armored warrior only grunted and glared, his hand moving to the grip of his sword.

Jen dropped back into a fighting stance. “Who the hell are you and what do you want?”

“I am Ares, god of war… and I am your doom”, the warrior said in a deep voice that almost dripped with contempt. “Father has deemed you a threat to his rule and sent me to end your worthless existence.”


As folks can guess, this IS going to be a long story. Good ones usually are. I took longer than planned on this first part, BUT I thought it would help to introduce Jen to those who haven’t RP’ed with her yet and don’t know her personality or personal struggles. The story should move a bit faster from here. It will certainly get MUCH more Halloween-ish also.

LIBERTY OF 3 WORLDS – PART 1: Immortal Combat

Jen held her fighting stance, staring determinedly at Ares across the kitchen counter. “I realize if you live up to your reputation, you’ll only take this as a sign of weakness...”, she said in a firm tone, trying her best to sound confident despite the way her heart was racing. “But we don’t have to do this.” “I have no desire or intention to disturb Zeus’s rule in any way.”

“Don’t snivel, whelp”, Ares snarled in reply. “Zeus has ordered your death.” “Neither your words nor my indignity at being given such a demeaning task shall change that.”

“My word…” Origami Man said over the comm. “Milady, it is my fervent hope that you are listening to some sort of theater?”

Jen shook her head slightly. Quickly weighing her options mentally, she decided she couldn’t risk any of the other Sentinels against a god. “Sorry guys, private party”, she said grimly before shutting off her comm.

“A shame”, Ares remarked in a menacing tone. “I would have enjoyed spilling the blood of your friends as well.”

“Nobody’s dying today, especially by your hand”, Jen said determinedly. She banged her bracers together and her T-Shirt and faded Jeans were replaced by her crimson armored costume.

“Brave words girl but your death is ordained”, Ares growled as he drew his sword.

Jen moved from behind the counter, maintaining her fighting stance as she moved. “Alright, let’s dance”, she retorted in a firm voice.

Ares laughed cruelly. “You mock me, arrogant child?” he asked, incredulous. “Surrender now and I’ll grant you a clean death.” “Even I have little taste for slaughtering children.”
Ares started to laugh again, but was promptly met by a jumping kick to his chest. Ares staggered backwards three steps and fell into the couch behind him.

Jen back flipped out of her kick and landed on her feet near where Ares had originally been standing. She immediately fell back into her fighting stance. “Sitting down on the job?” “Tisk, tisk, what would daddy say?” she mocked.

Ares slammed his fists down on the couch, breaking it in both spots, and hopped to his feet with an angry shout. He then immediately drew his blade.

Holy crap… I scored on him, but it barely fazed him with that armor, Jen thought as panic began to set in. I’ve got to keep this monster away from innocent civilians. That means we fight here I guess…

Ares charged at Jen and brought his sword down, trying to cleave her in two. Jen instinctively threw up her arms, crossing them in an X block that caught the sword’s blade against her bracers. She circled her arms downward to the right while stepping around Ares to the left, then promptly fired a side kick to the back of Ares’ knee. Ares fell forward to one knee, and immediately countered by swinging his other leg around, trying to sweep Jen off her feet. Expecting the move, Jen hopped over it and landed on her feet. Ares followed the attempted sweep by spinning himself around so he was once again facing Jen, and stood fully up as he did.

“Practicing our Capoeira?” Jen quipped. “I would have had a berimbaus player here if I’d known”

“All combat arts stem from me” Ares boasted. “You have no prayer against me.”

“I seem to be doing OK so far” Jen replied with a smirk.

Ares let out an enraged shout and swung his sword in a downward diagonal slice, which Jen barely managed to duck. Ares circled his move around and brought it back down diagonally in the opposite direction. Jen barely managed to dodge the move, but lost a lock of her hair in the process.

Ares next tried to take advantage of Jen’s balance being slightly off by stabbing at her with the blade. Jen ducked under the blade, spinning around as she did so her back was to Ares, and immediately tossed him across the room and onto the dining room table, which promptly shattered from the impact.

Ares was slightly slower getting up this time. He let out an enraged shout and charged Jen. Jen sidestepped the charge and got Ares in a leg scissor take down. Ares sprawled out on the floor with an enraged snarl. Jen started to snicker, and have a glimmer of hope, when Ares kicked sideways, sending Jen flying into the brick wall of the apartment, cracking the wall with the impact. Jen fell to the floor on all fours. The pain in her stomach where she was kicked was almost as bad as when her growth power nearly tore her apart, and she was fighting to regain her breath.

Ares fully returned to his feet, and pulled off his helmet. “Where is you arrogance now!!!” he screamed in a borderline psychotic tone.

Ares flung the helmet at the wall next to Jen, where it hit with a loud bang. Jen involuntarily flinched at the impact and struggled to get to her feet. Ares stomped over and grabbed Jen by the hair with one hand.

“You will beg for death before I’m done with you” Ares snarled as he raised his fist.

“Not… today”, Jen coughed. Focusing every last bit of her willpower and strength, Jen fired a right upward ridge hand to Ares groin, then a left chop, and at the same time drew back her right fist and straight punched Ares in the groin. As the punch impacted, she opened her hand, grabbed Ares junk, and yanked back in an eagle’s claw tear.

Ares started to double over as his eyes partially rolled back in his head. Jen sprung to her feet, striking Ares in the throat as she did, causing him to gasp and choke. She immediately grabbed him by the ears and pulled him as hard as she could into a knee strike to the face.

Ares fell to the ground in a heap, blood pouring from his nose. Jen half doubled over, her hands on her knees as she tried to catch her breath and calm herself.

“Those shots to the groin… Parker Kenpo…” Jen smirked at the dazed Ares. “That’s also why I don’t wear a skirt” she chuckled. She weakly walked over and picked up Ares’ sword from where he’d dropped it.

“No… way you should have lost… this fight” she said, struggling against the pain in her mid-section. “You were beyond arrogant and sloppy” “I… don’t want to kill you... or have a war with Zeus” “All I want is to lead a normal life and make it to my junior prom”, she gasped. “Tell him that… please” she added, almost pleading.

Jen dropped the sword to the ground and doubled over again, her hands on her knees. Moments later, just as the room had begun to stop spinning, lightning struck from out of the blue, striking Jen and causing her to scream in utter agony. She collapsed to the floor, writhing in pain and moaning.

“My son has even been a disappointment”, Zeus said as he stepped out of the shadows behind Jen.

“Father, I…” Ares responded weakly as he reached for Zeus.

“SILENCE FOOL!” Zeus boomed. “I will deal with your failure later.” With a wave of Zeus’s hand, Ares disappeared. "I suppose if I want anything done right I have to soil my own hands with the task” Zeus grabbed Jen by the neck and lifted her up with one hand, slamming her into the wall as he choked her.

“I’m… not… your enemy” Jen gasped weakly, barely above a whisper. “Please…”

“Prophecy states otherwise” Zeus replied in a completely remorseless tone. “I will have no threats to my rule”

Jen’s eye went wide with fear and she tried to focus all of her lightning, getting a weak spark storm between her and Zeus.

“Lightning, against the lord of the skies?” Zeus scowled. “I don’t know whether to be amused or insulted.” Zeus backhanded Jen, drawing blood from her mouth and nose, and shattering her already failing concentration.

“Go on, then…” Jen gasped weakly. “Get it over with and prove you’re every bit the monstrous abomination that mom always said… child killer”

Zeus paused for a moment, almost as if moved by Jen’s words. A stern look returned to his eyes after that and his spear appeared in his hand. “Nothing can be allowed to threaten the balance or my rule” he said firmly. With that, he plunged the spear through Jen’s heart.

Jen’s eyes went wide and then a blank, lifeless look washed over them. She barely managed a gasp before her life ended.


Zeus pulled the spear from Jen's lifeless body and let her corpse fall to the ground. No sooner had he done so than Tokafanes appeared in a flash of sulfur and brimstone.

"Oh goodie... A new plaything, just at the start of my season" Tokafanes said with clear glee. "By right, I claim this soul as my property."

"Be gone, nether spawn!" Zeus commanded. "This one is mine by right of her bloodline." "I have plans to make sure she doesn't trouble my rule even in death."

"MINE!" Tokafanes screamed. "The mortal died during my season, it is mine."

"I will not have you turn this whelp into a weapon against the gods." Zeus boomed in an enraged tone. He raised his spear and lightning blasted Tokafanes.

"This... is NOT over, Olympian!" Tokafanes fumed. With that, he teleported away in another flash of fire and brimstone.

Zeus snarled as Tokafanes vanished, then reached down and grabbed Jen's soul out of her body. "You will never trouble me again" he said flatly, then they both vanished.

A few moments later, the door to Jen's apartment shattered into pieces and Captain Incarnate, Psy-Spider, Miss Incarnate, and Missy Nova poured through the door. At the same time, Origami Man teleported into the center of the room, his sword drawn. They immediately spread out, prepared for combat. Izzy saw Jen's body first and immediately shrieked in shock, her hand covering her mouth.

Spider reacted faster than anyone; dashing over to Jen's body and sliding into a kneel next to the body. She immediately put her hand on Jen's neck searching for a pulse. She knew from the gaping wound in the chest and blood all over the floor it was most likely hopeless, but had to be sure.

"C'mon... c'mon", Spider said in a quiet but urgent tone. After a few seconds of searching, her hand fell to her side and her head dropped. "She's... gone" Spider said flatly.

Missy shook her head in disbelief. "Nononono... This is NOT happening." Missy fell to her knees and began crying.

"Oh, spangles... what did yah do?" Spider lamented.

"We need answers here" Captain Incarnate said.

"It... appears that... quite the epic struggle took place here" Origami said, struggling to maintain his persona.

Before anyone else could say anything there was a flash of light. A six foot tall woman with tanned skin, curly light brown hair and deep blue eyes, wearing a light lavender full length toga appeared. She seemed to size up the situation and notice Jen's body instantly.

"Noooooo! My baby!" The woman ran over, fell to her knees and clutched Jen's body to her and sobbed uncontrollably. She rocked back and forth clutching Jen's body to her chest as she cried.

Kurt was caught momentarily off guard by the arrival and was at a loss for words.

Izzy quickly put two and two together. "M... Mrs Saunders?" she asked gently. "Metis?"

"Ma'am..." Kurt said, speaking up. "We... we were Jen's friends." "I'm sorry..."

Metis studied her dead daughter's body. "HE did this!" she blurted out on a mixture of pain and rage. "Zeus killed my baby!"

"Z.. Zeus?" stammered Origami. He nearly fumbled his sword, but quickly recovered. He circled in place uneasily. "It... would appear he has left the premises." Thank God, he thought to himself.

"Are... you sure it was him?" Izzy asked gently.

Metis waved her hand and a globe of magical energy appeared. It sent out tendrils of energy around the room and then began replaying the events of the last half hour. Everybody watched in stunned silence.

"...She tried to protect us." Kurt said, shocked.

"Why?", Izzy asked, dumbfounded. "We... could have helped." Her eyes began to water. "We... should have been there" she muttered.

"No, we couldn't." Spider replied flatly. "She… did amazing against Ares." “Mainly because he was so overconfident.” "He still nearly destroyed her with one solid counterattack, and he's nowhere near as bad as Zeus." "My guess is she kept the fight in here to avoid endangering civilians on the street too."

“What did Zeus mean she’d never trouble him again though?” Kurt asked, concerned.

“Tartarus.” came a one word answer from the doorway. Everyone turned at once to see a majestic looking woman with chestnut hair wearing golden and white lacquered ancient Greek armor. Her eyes were piercing hazel brown. Her facial features and expression all combined to convey an aura of dignity and wisdom despite her appearing to not even be 30. She carried a large ornate shield on one arm and held a spear in the other.

“What?”, Metis demanded, incredulous. She quickly but gently laid Jen’s body on the floor and sprung to her feet. “He wouldn’t dare!”

The other woman only nodded solemnly. “Word has spread like wildfire across Olympus.” She replied grimly. “Zeus has locked Jennifer away in Tartarus to make sure she never threatens his rule.”

“Monster!!” Metis screamed defiantly.

“Mother, please… calm yourself.” The other woman said gently. “We need to find a way to right this injustice. “ “Anger will not help.”

“Mother…?” Izzy asked, a bit confused.

“Athena” Spider replied matter-of-factly. “Per myt… legend, Athena was the first child of Metis, and Zeus.” “But really, the armor should have been a giveaway.”

“My lady.” Origami quickly blurted out, dropping to one knee.

The entire group gave Origami an odd look before continuing.

“This bites!” a teary eyed Missy, now standing again, blurted out as she kicked a piece of splintered table across the room. She crossed her arms and her head drooped forward as she tried to keep from crying again.

“The situation is far more grave then you know…” Metis replied in the voice of a woman clearly still in shock.

“How so?” Kurt asked; his tone a mixture of curiosity and concern.

“In his paranoia, my former husband has forgotten the ancient pacts that govern Olympus and the realms.” Metis replied slowly. “They are so ancient I doubt many in Olympus itself still remember the details.”

“I’m afraid we still don’t understand, ma’am.” Izzy replied, doing her best to sound delicate and sympathetic.

“Hades was extremely unhappy with being bound to the underworld as his realm.” Metis answered. “He originally insisted on the earth as his realm.” “It almost came to blows between Hades and Zeus and Poseidon.” “Realizing he couldn’t overcome both Zeus and Poseidon though, Hades agreed to their demand on one condition.”

“What, pray tell, might that be, madam?” Origami asked.

“If a soul destined for Elysium was ever wrongfully imprisoned in Tartarus, then the gates of the underworld would be thrown wide open for Hades.” Athena replied grimly.

“Hades can march armies of undead into the world to claim what he was initially denied.” Metis added flatly.

“Woah…” Missy said, wide eyed. “Zombie apocalypse?”

“Worse.” Spider said flatly. “Tokafanes is on the rampage right now.”

“Which means a lot of innocent civilians caught in the crossfire between two undead armies.” Kurt replied, rubbing his chin.

“You’re missing a worse possibility.” Spider said. “Tokafanes and Hades both have a bone to pick with Zeus at this point.”

Izzy gasped. “If they teamed up…”

“End times…” Spider said flatly. “That whole mess with Therakiel in Vibora Bay years back will seem like a picnic.”

“Can we even be sure Therakiel won’t get involved?” Izzy asked. “There was another Quiphothic invasion recently after all.

“We’ll have to prepare for that likelihood also.” Kurt said matter-of-factly. “…Alert Rune and the Sentinels, the Champions, everyone we can.”

“Isn’t there a way to prevent any of this?” Izzy aksed, her frustration showing.

“There is a small possibility… if Jennifer were delivered from Tartarus before it started…” Athena said calmly. “That might reverse fate.”

“Hades will never let her go.” Metis replied, despondent. “She’s the key to his ambitions.”

“Then we’ll go rescue her.” Kurt declared.

“You seek to war against the same gods that give you your powers.” Metis replied flatly. “Either Zeus or Hades would take your power and burn you to ash.”

“We don’t burn so easy.” Spider said with a bit of determination.

The others quietly nodded in agreement.

“Your courage does you credit.” Metis said with a gentle smile. “I have an idea to help us determine the best path.”

“What?” Missy asked anxiously.

“We will consult the oracle.” Metis replied hopefully.

“whozwhat?” Missy asked, looking confused.

“Cassandra… Her prophecies are unerring.” Metis replied.

“But she was cursed so nobody would believe her also.” Spider interjected.

“After she died, Apollo felt remorse and lifted that part of her curse.” Metis replied. “She rests among the honored dead in Elysium now.”

Athena tapped the butt of her spear on the ground twice and a large oval mirror bordered in gold appeared before them. The mirror, initially foggy, cleared to reveal an image of an elderly woman in a toga with dark auburn hair with an almost haunted look about her.

“Greetings Cassandra.” Metis said warmly.

“I know why you’ve come.” Cassandra said dryly. “You want your daughter back.”

Metis only nodded.

“The heroes around you shall not suffice…” Cassandra said flatly. “They are strong and brave, but the fates are fickle beings. Cunning and luck may prevail where strength would not.”

“Please, tell me what I need to do.” Metis pleaded.

Cassandra paused a few moments. “I have advised the gods for millennia now, asking nothing in return beyond my place here in Elysium.” She said. “Much is at stake this time, beyond your child’s soul.” “I want something in exchange for my council this time.”

“What?” Metis asked. “If it even remotely in my power, I shall grant it.”

“I want the life Apollo took from me.” Cassandra replied matter-of-factly. “My entire life I was scorned and mocked because of his curse… Unloved and untrusted by men.” “I deserve a chance to live my life again and experience all that I was denied.”

“Done.” Metis said firmly.

“Mother, you cannot make such promises.” Athena interjected. “They are beyond your power to grant.”

“If it means the return of my baby and saving this world, I’ll move Olympus itself if need be.” Metis replied in a doggedly determined tone.

“Never underestimate the power of a mother’s love for their child, war goddess.” Cassandra added. “Your mother would do every bit as much for you as well.”

For the first time in record, the goddess of wisdom seemed taken aback; almost stunned by the reply. Metis only gave her older daughter a gentle, loving smile.

“The bargain is sealed.” Cassandra pronounced. “The best hope for your child is for her mirrors to free her and restore her spirit.” “Freedom requires Liberty.” She said in an amused, cryptic tone. “Remember your word, Titan.” She added before the mirror turned dark.

“What was she talking about?” Missy asked in a frustrated tone. “How’s a mirror going to bring Jen back?”

“Her final words were the key.” Athena replied. “Jennifer’s freedom will require other Liberty Golds.”

“My sister-in-law is 3 months pregnant and newly married.” Metis said. “As much as she loves her niece, she won’t risk her unborn child on an assault on Tartarus.”

Nearly everyone in the group nodded understandingly.

“What about alternate realities?” Kurt asked. “Amur told me she knew another Captain Incarnate from the world she came from.”

“You are brighter than my sister gave you credit for.” Athena said with a slight smirk.

Kurt stood there dumbfounded. Spider on the other hand, laughed briefly.

“Even dead, Spangles is still messing with you.” Spider said with as much of a smile as she could muster.

Metis smiled at the exchange. “I can weave the magic needed to bring us the ones we need.” “It will take time to prepare however.”

“How long?” Kurt asked.

“Tonight.” Metis replied. “I can gather the reagents and do the preparation I need by this evening.”

“Ummmm, ma’am” Izzy interrupted in a squeamish tone. “What about… Jen’s body?”

Metis sighed and looked downward. “It’s not traditional among our people, but she always said if she died in battle she wanted a funeral pyre.”

“Oddly poetic…” Origami replied, finally finding his voice after the mind boggling things he’d been exposed to. “Appropriate as well.” “She was a noble and valiant warrior.”

Athena nodded silently and then removed her cape, covering Jen’s body with it.

“We’ll… make arrangements.” Kurt said quietly.

Spider shuffled uneasily as Jen’s body was covered. “i… gotta go… things… stuff… people.” She blurted out in a sad tone and then scurried out the door.

That night, as the sun set, Sentinels and Young Sentinels all gathered in the hills overlooking Millennium City. Jen’s body sat on a huge pile of sticks and logs. Everyone watch quietly as Metis lowered the torch to light the funeral pyre. Metis, and a few others cried as the fire grew brighter.

“My first time meeting her and it’s at her funeral.” Rune mused quietly.

“Let’s just hope we can get her back.” Kurt replied.

A teary eyed Metis approached them. “The summoning ritual is ready, and the stars and moon will be in ideal alignment within the next few hours.”

Kurt and Rune both nodded quietly.

On a hill overlooking the gathering, Psy-Spider stood alone, quietly watching the funeral. “We’re coming for you Spangles.” She said quietly to herself.

End Chapter 2
Posted Oct 3, 16
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I'm loving all the work going into this guys! The stories here are amazing! Lets keep 'em coming!
Posted Oct 4, 16 · OP
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I've enjoyed them all. Not sure I have another one in me though. Have to wait and see what the Muse brings I guess.
Posted Oct 4, 16
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Liberty of Three Worlds - Part 3; Down the Rabbit Hole

Jen woke up with a start, sitting bolt upright with a sharp gasp and her eyes wide. She immediately patted her chest with both hands looking for the wound she remembered just receiving. Noth... nothing? she asked herself, bewildered. She immediately looked around, searching for Zeus. Instead of Zeus, she found herself in a stone room. The room was dimly lit by a handful of candles, but somehow Jen had the feeling the room would feel dark no matter how many candles were there.

Jen studied the room. It not only was dimly lit, the stone itself was dark. Obsidian perhaps? The architecture and trim was decidedly ancient Greek. She realized at that point that she was sitting in a bed, still half covered with sheets that had fallen off of her when she sat up. Looking down, she realized she was now dressed in a dark purple toga-like gown.

"What the?..." Jen thought. She peeked down the front of her dress. Her bra was still in place, and her underwear as well. Whoever put this on me apparently didn't take any liberties with me, Jen thought. "Take liberties..." Jen snerked. Jen shook her head and climbed out of the bed. Everything seemed to work fine. In fact Jen felt surprisingly well.

"Yes... Death is surprisingly liberating isn't it?", a deep, slightly sinister said from the doorway of the bedroom. The figure chuckled with a laugh that left Jen unsettled.

"I'm dead?!?" Jen asked, incredulous.

"Yes, well, being impaled clean through by a spear through the chest will tend to do that, won't it?", the figure asked with a wry chuckle as he stepped out of the doorway. The man was tall, fair skinned; almost pale with jet black hair and a matching goatee and mustache with a muscular but wiry build. His eyes were dark brown; almost to the point of appearing black. His robes were jet black and trimmed with purple and gold. There was something decidedly unsettling about the man, yet at the same time Jen found him darkly handsome.

Jen was left speechless as she replayed the last minutes of her life.

"Challenging him to do it no less...", the man said with a grin. "I must say, my dear, I admire your bravado."

"Wh... Who are you?" Jen asked, clearly rattled.

The man crossed the room, took Jen's hand in his and kissed the back of Jen's hand with a slight bow. "How rude of me" he said. "Where are my manners?" "I am Hades, lord of the underworld, and your host."

A shocked look washed over Jen's face as she searched for words.

"Yes, yes, I understand." Hades said with a dismissive gesture and smile. "This is quite a shock for most people." he said. "I must tell you, Zeus has demanded a rather... gruesome fate for you."

Jen blanched and her eyes widened in fear.

Hades smiled disarmingly. "Relax, my dear." Hades said with a slight chuckle. "As it happens, I have a proposition I 'd like to discuss as an alternative" he said. "I've had my servants prepare a delightful dinner feast where we can have a pleasant talk." Hades took Jen's hand and led her from the room.

Meanwhile, back in Millennium City, Metis and a handful of Sentinels had gathered atop the building in Westside where the Cult of the Red Banner once had their temple. A large summoning circle was drawn on the roof with incense and candles spaced evenly around the circle.

Kurt looked around uneasily. “Are you sure this will work?” he asked.

Metis nodded quietly as she went through her final preparations. “This spot was used many times for ritual summoning.” She replied in a calm but determined tone. “The walls between realities are thin here, making it an ideal spot for our work. She looked upward at the clear sky and examined the stars one last time. “We’re ready, save for one arrival…” Metis turned to Missy. “Are they coming?” she asked, a sense of urgency in her voice.

((Metis; who ended up looking a bit like a grown up Izzy :) ))

Missy nodded eagerly, a smile on her face for the first time since Jen’s death. “They’re on their way.”

“Who’s on their way?” Kurt asked.

Missy beamed. “My sis, her fiancée and fiancée’s sister.”

Kurt rubbed his chin pondering the situation.

Metis smiled with just a hint of smugness. “The twins are master mages and particularly skilled in the arts of teleportation.” “Their skills will guarantee this ritual will work.”

Kurt nodded. “Good idea, we need every edge we can get.”

Metis continued to smile. “You don’t live as long as I have without learning to stack the deck whenever possible.”

Kurt grinned approvingly.

“Sooo,” Pinball asked, “How old are you anyway?”

“It’s ill-mannered to ask any woman that, even an immortal one.” came Athena’s stern voice from directly behind Pinball.

Pinball spun around, caught by surprise and stumbled a step back from being face to face with Athena. The normally flippant hero was at a loss for words as Athena glowered at him. She had a naturally commanding aura about her, and her stern gaze was disconcerting. Pinball rubbed the back of his head and started to slink away when the situation was interrupted by a flash of light.

Out of the flash of light appeared a tall, long legged and busty Asian woman clad in black leather armor and with two swords strapped to her back. She was bathed in wisps of shadowy energy. Beside her was a pair of redhead twin women in mage’s robes. One wore light blue trimmed with silver and dark blue, and the other wore white and gold. Both were slender with somewhat delicate features. It was their somewhat pointed ears that gave away their half-elven heritage.

Missy ran over and hugged the Asian woman. "Jeh Je!" (Cantonese for older sister)

((Exotic Shadowdancer))

The woman returned the hug. "Sai Mui" (Cantonese for younger sister)

"This must be the older sister I've heard so much about." said Kurt with a chuckle.

"Exotic Shadowdancer" the woman said, offering Kurt her hand.

"That's... quite the name" Kurt said with an awkward chuckle as they shook hands.

"Long story involving a rough earlier life." she replied.

The twin in the white robes stepped up between Kurt and Metis. "Cassie Carsen; Arcane." she said. "That's my sister Becky, AKA Eldritch" "We got your message from Missy and we're here to help."


Kurt smiled warmly. "Cassie, you're the fiancee I've heard about.

"Yep, she's Sam's fiancee" Missy interjected.

Arcane nodded politely. "Not to be rude, but we're all on a deadline here." she said. "The summoning has to be done in the next 5 minutes and the Librarians have to finish organizing a defense of Vibora Bay.

"Librarians?" Izzy asked.

"Our team." Arcane said. "We deal with mystical threats and tagging and bagging magical artifacts." "Maybe after some bonding time I'll share more." "For now, just know we'll hold the line in Vibora and you can concentrate on Millennium."

"Hmmm... If it wasn't for knowing Missy and how desperate the situation is, I'd have a lot more questions." Kurt said.

"Information kills, Adams." Spider interjected. "Deal with it."

Kurt glared at Spider briefly.

"She's right." Eldritch said in a calm, polite tone. "That's why we operate quietly."


Kurt nodded quietly. "We're under a high stakes deadline, so I'm choosing to trust you."

Metis wore a look of mild frustration on her face as she watched the exchange play out. "Hurry, there isn't much time." she said impatiently.

Everybody gathered around the summoning circle and joined hands. As the circle was complete, energy began to flow from Metis, Eldritch and Arcane; first around the circle of people and then
into the actual summoning circle. All the while the three women chanted in a strange language that only a few of those gathered might recognize as the language of pure magic.

After a minute or so the glowing energy coalesced into a sphere of energy that progressively grew brighter and brighter. Suddenly the sphere popped like a firework and there, standing in the circle, were two costumed women.

One was tall with long, flowing red hair and dressed in white with gold trim, carrying a white shield with blue stars in the center and a gold outer edge. She was muscular and carried herself with a disciplined bearing. She carefully scanned the area with her green eyes.

((COH / Paragon Chat Liberty Gold))

The other was a few inches shorter, dressed from head to foot in black with gold boots, gauntlets, utility belts and a gold helmet with a narrow visor. Both her chest emblem and her own shield bore the image of a chess knight on them.

“Where am I?” They both demanded almost in stereo.

“You are among friends, I assure you.” Metis spoke in a gentle tone. “I summoned you here because we have urgent need of your help.” “Please, hear me out.”

“Fair enough” the redhead in white said, seeming to relax her guard slightly. “If this was some sort of a trap, even with your numbers you would have been foolish to have given up the element of surprise.”

“Valid point” the one in black said, her voice masked somewhat by electronic components of her helmet. “Judging from the stances of a few of them they wouldn’t have made that mistake anyway.” She stood down a bit more slowly, her body language indicating a woman who was used to being constantly at war.

The redhead extended her hand. “Lib…” she started.

“Liberty Gold, yes I know.” Said Metis with a polite smile. “You both are.”

The two Liberties looked at each other, sizing each other up briefly then returned their attention back to Metis.

“How about we get to what this is about exactly.” Liberty Gold in black said in a firm but polite voice.

“Very well.” Metis said. “I’ll be as brief as possible, as time is of the essence.” Metis explained who she was, the gist of the prophecy, how Zeus had killed Jen, and how his imprisoning her in Tartarus endangered the entire world…

“That’s the situation.” Metis said. “Cassandra has told us that the one best chance to retrieve my daughter and keep Hades in the underworld is for you two, who bear the same name, to rescue her.”

“So let me get this straight…” Liberty Gold in white said. “You want us to march into hell, wade through God knows what manner of monstrosities, steal an imprisoned soul and waltz right back out?”

“Well when you put it that way…” Metis started.

Liberty Gold in White shook her head. “Sounds crazy. but I’ve been doing crazy since my United Sentinels of America days.” “Besides, I’m not about to turn my back on a world in need.”

Liberty Gold in black shook her head, slung her shield on her back and started checking the rest of her equipment on her belt. “Not me… I’m needed elsewhere” she said flatly.

Metis looked completely crestfallen. “But… my baby…” she pleaded.

“Is not my responsibility.” Liberty Gold in black stated flatly. “Back home I’ve dealing with a major alien invasion in the form of Brainiac and his constructs, Trigon and his demons are walking the Earth, Red and Yellow lanterns are running amok AND I have a native population of supervillains trying to exploit it all.”

((DCUO Liberty Gold))

Liberty Gold in white turned towards her counterpart in black. “I understand how you feel.” “Years back, my Earth suffered a disaster.” “There were a lot of dead people, and a lot of heroes and villains that were either dead or retreated to alternate realities.” She paused for a moment. “Maybe even this one for all I know.” “It took us a long time to rebuild, and all the survivors wished we’d had more help, just like you are now.”

Liberty Gold in black nodded quietly.

“Also just like they are.” Liberty Gold in white said. “If you save your world at the expense of this one, will you really feel good about that victory?” “Is that the legacy you want?”

“Fine… I’m in.” said Liberty Gold in black, sounding a bit disgruntled.

“Good.” Liberty Gold in white said. She turned to Metis. “What’s the plan?”

“This is somewhat unexplored territory, as you might imagine” Metis said in a serious tone. “I can get you in, and provide you with a magical map of Tartarus. The map will show you the general terrain, key features, and the location of my daughter.”

“Woah," Missy exclaimed. “it's like Harry Potter. Noice!

“I suppose“ Metis replied with an amused smile. “The map will not function properly until you are in the underworld however.” “So, beyond that you will have to rely on your own instincts and training to find the best way to and from where ever in Tartarus she’s been imprisoned.”

“Well, I’ve gone into missions with worse intel.” Liberty Gold in white said.

“The map will be a huge help.” Liberty Gold in black said with a nod. “Do you have any way for us to blend in or move around more easily?”

Metis thought for a moment, rubbing her chin. Suddenly her eyes lit up. “This is risky, but I have an idea” she said. “I can conjure you robes that will make you appear to be Hades’ inquisitors” she continued. “The robes will likely intimidate many of the population of Tartarus, but the more powerful beings there will be able to sense that you do not belong.”

“Sounds a bit risky, but it’s still another advantage” said Liberty Gold in black.

Metis nodded solemnly, and with a wave of her hand a black and purple robe appeared on both women.

“I guess we’re as ready then…” Liberty Gold in white said, just a hint of uneasiness in her voice.

“Not quite.” Psy-Spider said in a determined voice as she stepped forward. “I’m going too.”

Metis seemed startled by the announcement. “But…”

“Cassandra said stealth and skill were needed.” Spider said flatly. “That’s me.” “I’m not going to stand around while my fr… Jen is imprisoned.” “More so when she’s the key to preventing everything.”

Metis pondered things for a moment, her face clearly showing concern as she weighed the options. “Very well” she said with just a hint of reluctance. With a wave of her hand, Spider was wearing an inquisitor’s robe over her costume.

“I’m going too!” Pinball demanded, stepping forward.

“Not you’re not” Athena said flatly. “This mission requires stealth and guile” she added. “You have all the subtlety of a wrecking ball.” Her voice made it clear there was no room for debate. “You stay.”

“Like hell” Pinball retorted. He tried to sound firm, but Athena’s intensity made his voice waiver just slightly.

Athena glared intensely for just a moment, and then her expression softened. “I’ve watched you with my sister” she said gently. “I know you care deeply for her” she added, gently resting a hand on Pinball’s shoulder. “You do not have the right skills for this mission however.” “You’re a fine warrior, and when your training and discipline match your heart, you’ll rival any Spartan” “For now, you must have faith if you want her returned to us.”

Pinball clenched his fists tightly, clearly struggling with the situation. After several moments he finally spoke. “Alright…” he said as he turned and walked back to the group.

“We all want to go, Pin” Kurt said. “We have to trust that Cassandra is advising us properly however.”

Several others nodded in agreement and murmured among themselves about wanting to go.

“Your loyalty and courage does you all credit.” Athena announced to the crowd, trying to rally everyone together. “I can’t imagine a finer group of warriors… of friends for my sister to surround herself with.” “We all have our parts to play however.” “The next day or two will test all our mettle.” “Over the millennia however, one thing I’ve learned is that the heart of mortal heroes can rival that of any god.” “This is as fine a group of heroes as I’ve seen and I am proud to stand beside you all.” She motioned to the two Liberties and Spider. “They will return my sister to us, have no doubt of that.” “And while they do, WE will hold the ground against Hades’ unholy hordes.” “We will push them back.” “Even more, we will make them regret the day they ever sought to set foot on mortal soil!”

A raucous cheer went up from the crowd.

Metis smiled proudly at her older daughter, almost beaming. After a moment she turned to the trio in robes. “Let us begin.”

Metis waved her hand a stone doorway bathed in infernal flame appeared. Through the doorway, a shadowy nightmare realm could be seen.

Eldritch stepped up through the crowd. “One last thing” she said. With a wave of her hand, two tennis ball sized crystal balls appeared in her hands. “These will let you communicate with the rest of the team here on the prime material plane.” She offered one to Liberty Gold in white, and the other to Kurt. “Think of them as magical extradimensional walkie talkies.

Kurt and Liberty Gold in white both nodded.

“This was we can keep track of your progress and send in the cavalry if needed.” Eldritch said.

Liberty Gold in white nodded again. “Thanks” she said in a professional, almost cold voice. She turned to Liberty in black and Spider. “Let’s head out.”

Spider glanced at the group of assembled heroes. “Send yah a postcard” she said with her usual dry humor. With that, the three of them stepped thorough the portal.

“Good speech” Rune said to Athena in a pragmatic tone. “Let’s hope it’s enough.” “Alright, Sentinels, listen up!” he shouted to the group. “You all know your assignments and patrol areas.” “Head out, stay alert, report anything unusual to the Artemis, and… stay safe out there.”

The group began to disperse in every direction.

“We’ll be in touch.” Exotic Shadowdancer said. With that, the three outsiders vanished in a puff of smoke.

“Interesting group” Kurt said.

“Don’t mistake wise caution in action for treachery” Athena counselled.

On the other side of the portal, the trio arrived in the underworld. To their right was a wide, slowly flowing river. The water, like all of the landscape was dark and foreboding. At the far shore, a small ferry boat with a figure in black robes could be seen, and beyond that, a path that lead upward to a distant glimmer of sunlight.

That… must be the River Styx.” said Liberty Gold in white, involuntarily shuddering slightly

“Safe assumption.” replied Spider calmly. “That’d make the guy with the boat Chiron.”

“We’re definitely not in Kansas anymore.” Liberty Gold in black said in a dryly humorous tone.

The group looked around at the bleak gloomy landscape. To their left was an opening to a lower cave and at the entrance was a gigantic 3 headed dog with short black fur that appeared to be chained to the wall near the entrance, but with enough chain to clearly give it the run of the immediate area. The dog was big enough that any of the assembled women would have been like a Barbie doll in a Labrador’s mouth. Even more disconcerting, the dog was as muscular looking as a pit bull bred and trained for fighting.

Liberty Gold in white unrolled the map and studied it briefly. “That’s what I was afraid of.” She said flatly. “That’s where we need to go.”

Meanwhile, in Hades’ castle, Jen and Hades sat at opposite ends of a long, dark wooden dining table. Jen ate uneasily as they made small talk, convinced there was some sort of game being played here. Finally, unable to take her feeling of uneasiness any longer, Jen spoke up.

“I appreciate your kindness and the wonderful meal.” Jen said, trying to sound diplomatic.

“But you’re no doubt curious about my proposition” Hades replied warmly.

Jen nodded quietly. “Yes, I am.”

“You’ve created quite a stir among the gods, my dear” Hades replied in a warm but amused tone. “For the longest time, Metis was assumed to be no more.” “Because of that, the prophecy regarding her second child was almost forgotten.” “Imagine everyone’s surprise when you burst on the scene as a mortal hero.”

“How… did anybody know who I was?” Jen asked, bewildered.

Hades smiled smugly. “There’s no mistaking the spiritual energy of one with divine blood flowing though their veins” he said. “However, we’re drifting off topic.”
After a pause that Jen was convinced was for dramatic effect, Hades continued. “I’ve watched you since you became known to us” he said. “I’ve become quite captivated by you as well during that time.”

A stunned expression washed over Jen’s face. She searched for some sort of a reply but only stammered incoherently.

“Are you so surprised?” Hades asked with a smile. “You’re beautiful, strong, caring and loyal to those close to you.” “The ideal qualities in a wife.”

“Wife?!?” Jen blurted out, completely shocked.

“As my queen, I can shield you from my brother’s wrath.” “Even more so, I truly do find you captivating, and will shower you with treasures and affections like you’ve only imagined.”

Jen’s head was spinning. This was certainly the last thing she’d expected. “I… But… Peresphone…”

“Is only my consort.” Hades replied. “I must admit, she still holds my heart to some degree.” “She seems to have grown tired of me over the millennia however.” “It’s also not very rewarding spending almost 2/3 of the year alone year after year.” Hades tone with the last sentence seemed to convey a genuine sense of lonliness.

“I’m… sorry.” Jen managed. “I’d never considered what that must be like for you.”

“I want a wife by my side all the time.” Hades said in a firm but affectionate tone. “In all the time since I met Persephone, you’re the first woman to truly capture my attention.”

Jen blushed, and looked down with a slight smile despite herself. “I… don’t know what to say.” She managed after several moments.

Hades strolled to where Jen sat and put his hand under her chin, raising her gaze to meet his. “Say yes” he said gently. “You will be queen of all you see, and be truly cherished.”

Jen opened her mouth, uncertain what to say. Her mind raced, weighing options. She was dead, and stuck here. Hades had so far been incredibly gracious, and was darkly handsome as well. Half of her just couldn’t help but feel there was something wrong here though.

“As an added incentive, I’ll bring you my brother’s head as a wedding gift.” Hades said.

Jen gasped. “What?” she asked, incredulous.

“Zeus broke the ancient pact that established the order of things when he imprisoned you here.” Hades said matter-of-factly. “No mortal hero nor righteous descendent of the gods can be sent to the underworld; only to Elysium.” “In breaking the pact, he enabled me to leave this realm.” “I intend to do so and seek the throne of Olympus itself.” “Having you by my side would only strengthen my claim, and doubtless put your mother and sister in my camp when the dust settles.”

Jen immediately turned angry and scowled. “So all this sweet talk was never really about me, only my use as a political tool.” She spat, disgusted.

“Not at all, my dear.” Hades said. “I do find you captivating.” “The fact that you are also a political asset to me is beside the point.”

“Yeah, right” Jen said in a disgusted tone.

“Very well…” Hades said in a determined tone that held a hint of annoyance. “I’ll sweeten the bargain for you since time is of the essence for my plans.” “Swear yourself to me and I’ll spare your world from the fate I have planned for Olympus.”

“What!?!” Jen said in a mixture of shock and anger.

“It’s quite simple.” Hades said coldly. “I can march my armies of the dead on Olympus directly, OR I can march them through the mortal world on the way, dealing with any pesky “heroes” that might try to intervene in my plans first.” “Of course, countless thousands of innocents, perhaps millions, will die in the process.” “That IS how war goes though…” Hades paused to let the point sink in. “The choice is yours, my dear; wanton death and destruction, or save your world and rule from on high in luxury.”

Jen weighed her options. She had no love for Zeus at this point but now doubted Hades was any better. She thought about armies of undead walking the Earth, slaughtering innocents though, perhaps her friends as well. Could she live with herself knowing she could have prevented that?

Jen’s head fell and she let out a defeated sigh. “Alright, I…” she started.

Before she could finish her sentence though, a large ashen skinned man burst through the door behind her. The man wore blackened ancient Greek armor decorated in the manner of a high ranking officer. He was flanked by two large, heavily muscled cyclops

“My lord Hades, has the woman consented so that the invasion of the mortal world can begin legally?” he asked.

Jen gasped, the truth dawning on her. “This was all a sham!” she blurted out, enraged. “You needed me to side with you so the pact would be truly broken.” “You never intended to spare the Earth at all, you bastard!”

“Idiot!” Hades screamed at the armored man. “A few moments longer and I would have had her.” He outstretched his hand and a blast of energy struck the man squarely in the chest, sending him flying. “I left implicit orders not to be disturbed under any circumstances, and your ineptitude has ruined my plans!”

Jen started to push away from her chair. “I’m going to kick…” Before she was able to go any further, her head began to spin and she fell back into the chair.

“You’re going to nothing.” Hades replied smugly. “I took the precaution of drugging your food, just in case.” He grabbed Jen roughly under the chin and forced her look him in the eye again.

“Now, last chance…” he demanded. “You can rule by side and bear my children, or I’ll visit horrors on you far beyond what Zeus had intended.”

“Go to hell.” Jen replied bitterly, her head spinning even worse now.

“Where do you think we are?” Hades laughed cruelly. “You’ll bend to my will eventually.” “Whether it’s before or after I raze your world is irrelevant.”

Hades leaned down and forced a kiss on Jen, as he did, dark energy flowed from him to her. Jen felt cold and sickly as the energy washed over her. Within moments it was over though, and Hades broke the kiss.

“Wha… what… did you do… to me?” Jen demanded weakly. Between whatever was in her food and what had just been done to her, she was barely able to keep conscious.

“You’ll see… eventually.” Hades said glibly. He turned to the two cyclops. “Take her away, and chain her as my fool brother originally ordered” he snapped.

The two cyclops rushed over and grabbed the barely conscious Jen by her arms and carried her off. They took her out of the castle and up a narrow path into the mountains. Several minutes later they came to a plateau that had an obsidian altar with dark iron chains at each corner. Around the plateau were several dead trees. Vultures and crows leered down from several spots in the trees.

Without a word, the cyclops unceremoniously tossed Jen onto the cold slab of stone and began chaining her to it. The shock of the impact and cold snapped Jen partially out of her stupor. She looked around in a panic, struggling against her captors and chains.

“Noooo!” “Let me go!” She cried out.

The cyclops both only laughed cruelly as they finished chaining her. Then without a word, one of them grabbed the plunging neckline of her gown and tore it off of her, leaving Jen chained there helpless in only her underwear. As the pair of cyclops began lumbering back down the hill, the vultures and crows began to stir and circle Jen. Jen shook her head in horror, realizing what was to come.

From his castle, Hades watched the scene in a viewing mirror. “My brother has his many faults, but he does know how to punish arrogant, rebellious titans.” He mused. He waved his hand, and the mirrior went black.

“What of the invasion, my lord?” on officer asked from behind Hades.

“We move forward.” Hades said in an annoyed tone. “Zeus finally broke the pact as I knew he would.” “I’ll be damned if I’ll let some minor secondary detail keep me from claiming all that should have been mine!”

“As you command, my lord” the officer said with just a hint of reluctance.

As the officer turned to go, screams began to echo out over the valley. Hades smiled smugly.

“I warned her” he said in an arrogant tone.

Meanwhile, back at the entrance to Tartarus, the trio of rescuers were getting situated.

“Alright… First thing is first.” Spider said. “Calling you both Liberty is only going to lead to confusion” she said matter-of-factly. “And while I’m hardly one to care, calling you black and white is hardly politically correct” she added in a dry but amused tone. “So either I give you both a nickname like I did with Spangles, or I need something to call each of you.”

Liberty Gold in white nodded quietly, keeping an eye on her environment. “Fair enough” she said. “You can call me Sharon” she added in a professional tone.

Spider raised an eyebrow. “Sharon… Goldberg?” she asked, a bit of surprise showing in her voice.

“Ye.. yes…” Sharon said, looking shocked. “How did you know?”

“Jen took over the role of Liberty Gold from her aunt… Sharon Goldberg” Spider said, still a bit surprised. “I should have made the connection, but your costume is a bit different from the pictures I’ve seen.”

“…Took over” Sharon said, a bit uneasy. “Do I want to…”

“Married, pregnant and retired.” Spider said with a hint of amusement.

Sharon nodded. “Beats the alternative…” she said absently. “My fiancé Mark was killed in action.” “I never got a chance to get married.”

“Sorry” Spider said flatly, a hint of awkwardness in her voice.

The other Liberty pulled back her hood and took off her helmet, revealing a fair skinned young woman with stern features and neck length dark auburn hair. “You can call me Hope” she said politely.

Spider looked around. “Hope is exactly what we’re going to need” she said with a smirk.

“Funny” Hope replied. “Still if we’re all going to die, I suppose we should know who we’re dying next to.”

“There’s a cheery thought.” Sharon quipped.

“My Earth has been a full blown, multi-faction warzone for about 6 years now with no sign of things changing” Hope replied flatly. “Checkmate, my agency is overwhelmed and the heroes are right on the edge there themselves, largely playing defense” she added. “Optimism is in short supply here, but it won’t keep me from giving this everything I have.”

“Fair enough” Spider said flatly.

Sharon nodded and studied the map again as Hope put back on her helmet.

“It looks like they’re moving her from this fortress here to somewhere up in the mountains” Sharon said, pointing at a glowing icon on the map that symbolized Jen.

“Then we’d better get moving” Hope said. She glanced over at Cerberus. “How do we get past that monster though?”

“We walk right past him.” Sharon said matter-of-factly.

“What?!?” said Hope, surprised.

“Cerberus’s job is to keep people in, not out” Sharon said, rolling up the map.

“So the problem comes when we try to get out.” Spider replied.

Sharon nodded grimly.

The three of them made sure their hoods were properly adjusted, and headed towards the entrance to Tartarus. As they did, they saw a couple dozen Cyclopes came out and pulled on the far end of Cerberus’s chain. The chain was rigged with a mechanism designed to limit Cerberus’s movement, trapping him close against the wall at its shortest length.

“Interesting” Spider remarked, carefully watching the Cyclopes struggle against Cerberus’s might.

“Only one reason I can think of they’d be doing that” Sharon remarked flatly.

“They’re getting ready to march” Hope interjected.

Both Spider and Sharon nodded. They were half way to the entrance when they heard a scream echo out through the entrance to the lower caverns.

“Spangles!” Spider blurted out, taking half a step forward before she caught herself. Realizing what she did, she immediately kicked herself mentally.

Sharon put her hand firmly on Spider’s shoulder. “We’ll get her, stay focused.”

Spider nodded calmly but gave a worried look toward the entrance as the screams continued.

“We’re supposed to be some sort of heavies down here, so everybody make sure your body language matches you owning the place” Hope said as they approached the entrance.

Sharon and Spider nodded quietly. Cerberus barked and snarled briefly at the trio, before being distracted by his chain being shortened. The cyclops and troops in the area gave the trio a wide berth though, looks of fear and anxiety on many faces. The trio moved quietly down the torch lined tunnel until they got to the bottom.

The tunnel opened up to a large valley within an even more massive cavern. Undead troops and monsters were everywhere with the entire floor of the valley being converted to a forward staging base for Hades’ forces.

“Oh shit…” Sharon said quietly.
End Part 3 - To Be Continued

Posted Oct 4, 16 · Last edited Oct 4, 16
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