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    “Are you sure he wants us to do this?”  asked the woman to her kneeling companion. 

    The man stopped what he was doing for a moment and turned to face her.  “My dear Fortuneteller, my orders come from the man himself.”

    Fortuneteller merely shrugged in reply, turning her attention to two others entering the room.

    “What’s the report?”  she asked.

    “Piper and Jester are keeping the guards quite busy.  I doubt that they’ll give us any more trouble,” answered the gigantic man.  “I think Toyster’s teddy bears gave them all a good cage rattlin’.”  he drawled as he bounced the child riding upon his shoulders.  The little girl, no more than eight, giggled and clapped her hands.

    Fortuneteller smiled.  They had been on the run for several months now, finally establishing a base in Aeon City.  Safely away from extradition to Paragon City, the group sat around, trying to find some new purpose when they had received instructions from their leader, the enigmatic Gamester.

    The six villains sprang into action, heading over to Portal Corp, subduing any resistance.  Now they stood in front of one of the portals, put into operation by one of the scientists.  She had at first, refused, but a little tune from Piper made her a little more pliant.  A shimmering disc-shaped plane stood in front of them, its white light brightly illuminating the room.

    “How exactly is this going to work, Jongleur?”  asked Fortuneteller.

    “I’m not sure, but he said it creates a counter field within the portal.  What happens next is anybody’s guess.”  He fiddled with a few more buttons.  “That should do it.”  He pressed the large green button atop the innocuous-looking device.  “Here goes nothing.” 

    Without further ceremony, he tossed the device into the portal, which, having received something into its maw, flared in brightness and then closed, leaving the room to be lit by the sparse lighting.

    “That’s it?”  asked Toyster.

    “For now, dear child.  Now we go back home and wait for chaos to ensue.”  Jongleur tapped a button on his comm device.  “Piper, Jester, if you’re not done playing with the guards, please wrap up quickly, we’re done here.”

    She was flying through the cosmos, sailing past stars and nebulae at speeds which would be physically impossible.  Surrounding her, was a music of the most rapturous kind.  She recognized it the moment it began; it was the Song of The Universe, and only when she came to this place could she hear it.

    The ancient, wordless melody did more than touch her heart, it seemed to speak to her, but she couldn’t quite tell what it was saying.  Little by little, she began to piece it together whenever she heard it, but still, the comprehension of the message seemed tantalizingly close, but remaining just out of reach. 

    She drifted towards a cluster of stars, brilliant blue-white in color.  She knew the sun that Earth went around was colder and paler than this cluster.  In fact, she knew she could see these stars on Earth, so bright was their light.  Kirk told her they were called The Pleiades, named after the seven daughters of the Greek titan, Atlas.  Somehow, whenever she looked at them, she felt something familiar, like a beacon reaching out to her, trying to guide her to them.

    The normally wordless music had vanished.  From the center of the stars, a translucent figure could be seen, arms reaching out for her as she floated towards them.  The figure spoke.

    “Come home, daughter.”

    Prismatic suddenly awoke suddenly, her heart feeling like it was going to explode out of her chest.  She took a look at the clock; it read nine-thirty.

    Jumping out of bed, she ran to the shower and washed up.  She always marveled at how water looked running down her skin, making her appear to be more opalescent than what she normally was.  Quickly, she hopped out of the shower, dried herself off, and changed into her costume, a form fitting, sleeveless white mini-dress. 

    She had been somewhat surprised about wearing something so tight and revealing, but her she needed to absorb light for  her body to convert it into energy.  Another factor governing her style of crime-fighting wear were the females in her group; two fashion models, one who could have been a model, and one who was recently voted in Maxim as Sexiest Superheroine.  That was a lot of pressure for Prismatic to try and deal with.

    As she finished getting ready, she contemplated her dream.  She had this dream several times since coming to Paragon City, and it seemed to be coming to her more frequently.

    It must be more than a dream, she thought.  She knew she had come to Paragon  from Chicago for some inexplicable reason, stating that the Universe wanted  her here.  Now she had to try and figure out why.

    She made her way to the dining table, and saw that most everyone had left.  The only ones seated were Madam Medusa, Solanum and Vision.

    “Where is everyone today?”  Prismatic asked.

    “Everyone had a bunch of stuff to take care of,” answered Kirk, smiling at her.  He appeared to be busy working on the crossword puzzle in the newspaper.  “I think everyone’s taking it as a day off.”

    “Evil doesn’t rest, neither should we,” she answered sternly.

    Flora smiled, “You’re sounding like Jon.”  She got up from the table, taking her breakfast dishes with her.  “I’ve got to meet with Director Davies about setting up a new training facility for children.  Ever since the Sussex Academy incident, more people are expressing concern about super-powered children in the schools.”  She sighed slightly.  “Since the most trainers are busy helping the novice heroes, they’ve been asking around if anyone would be interested.”

    “Hey, Prismatic, what’s a twelve letter phrase that ‘saves nine?’”  asked Kirk abruptly.

    “A stitch in time, Kirk.”  Sara answered.  She stole a glance at the clock.  “Yikes.  I’ve got to get going.  I promised some newbie I’d team with him today.”

    “Is that part of that new program Statesman instituted?”  Kirk asked, looking up from his puzzle.

    “Something like that,”  Sara replied with her usual note of sarcasm.  “I guess he’s getting concerned about the number of new heroes winding up in the morgue.  Personally, I think he’s playing favorites; suck up to him, and you get high-profile assignments.  If you don’t, then you get to be little more than a glorified babysitter.”  She got up from the table and ran  upstairs.

    “Someone’s a little grouchy today,”  said Kirk in a musing tone.

    “Can you blame her?  She’s tried several times to get on a Longbow assignment or even be part of a task force to Siren’s Call, and she keeps getting turned down.”  Prismatic eyed him cautiously.  “I guess we should have sent Statesman a birthday card.”

    Kirk arched an eyebrow.  “Prismatic, are you trying to be funny?”

    “Not really, but the fact that the powers that be tend to be somewhat…capricious in their choices for task forces cannot be denied.” 

Kirk put the paper down.  Prismatic wasn’t one for conversation.  A gut feeling told him there was something weighing heavily on her mind.  Lately, he too, had been feeling unsettled.

    “Have you noticed a strange feeling, like something’s not quite right?”  Kirk asked suddenly.

    She turned fully to face him, her normally colorful features seemed washed out and pale.  “There has been something, but I cannot say what.  I’ve just had very intense dreams lately, but nothing more.”  The colors in her flesh began to intensify again.  “Maybe your awareness of the flow of time is detecting some major event coming our way.”

    Kirk shrugged.  Oh well, he thought, I gave it a shot.  “Yeah, you’re probably right.”

    “What does that expression mean anyway?”  Prismatic asked suddenly.

    “Uhm, I think it means that a little thing done at the right time saves a lot of work down the road.  Why?”  he seemed puzzled by her question.

    “I thought it meant something a little more profound.”  Prismatic got up from the table.  Like the others, she too, realized she had somewhere to be.

    Bianca was about to open the car door when she felt the gun pressed at the back of her head.

    “Ok, lady, turn around real slowly and hand over the keys and your purse,” came the menacing voice.

    Containing her amusement that someone was actually dumb enough to try and mug her, she did as she was told.  She looked at her mugger.  It was no surprise to her that a few of The Skulls were attempting to rob her; she was, after all, in Kings Row.

    “You look familiar,” said one of the gang members suddenly.

    “Dude!  She’s the chick from that poster we got hangin’ up!”  whispered his friend excitedly.  “The one who’s laying on the Ferrari!”

    Psirene smiled at the acknowledgement as the other three Skulls gasped in understanding.  She knew men always found her beautiful, desirable.  She was, in many ways, an unattainable fantasy for most men, a situation she exploited and, up until recently, made a profit from.

    The Skulls couldn’t believe their luck; the ultimate fantasy girl, in the flesh.  She knew she had them transfixed already, but Bianca couldn’t resist toying with them a little further.

    “You know, I could show you boys something a little more…exciting than that poster,” she purred seductively.   She arched her back slightly, accentuating her already voluptuous figure.  The four gangers stood with mouths agape, completely focussed on her and their deluded thoughts.

    It was then that Psirene struck;  unleashing a flurry of psychic energy into their minds, she found herself laughing as the four Skulls all clutched their heads and cried out.  Within seconds, they were either passed out or staggering around, disoriented.

    Psirene got into her car, shaking her head as she drove away.

    “Men!”  she laughed.

    As she rounded the corner, she found herself slamming on the brakes; standing in the middle of the road was a huge monster with vaguely human features.

    The creature appeared to be looking  around, taking in his surroundings.   A quick scan of his mind revealed no surprises; thoughts of conquest, revenge, and destruction were all this creature played in his mind.

    Unwilling to confront a powerful creature alone, she quickly turned down another street, opened her phone and automatically called the first number in its memory.

    “Nightbringer!  We’ve got a problem!”  she said.

    “What is it?”

    As she told him, she could almost see him shaking his head.  “Psirene, everyone else is tied up right now; there’s a report of a herd of mammoths stampeding through Galaxy City.  We’ve been asked to go there and contain the situation.  Get here as soon as you can.”

    Psirene hung up and called another number.

    “Tell me the good news,” came Fixit’s voice.

    Bianca was surprised, and almost annoyed,  that he was trying to talk about their child when she was trying to relay information about this new threat.  After she told him, she headed back to Steel Canyon; if she was needed to fight crime today, then she needed to change clothes.  She doubted wooly mammoths would be as hypnotized by her figure.


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