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A STITCH IN TIME
(EPILOGUE AND AFTERMATH)


    He walked up the drive to the house, a highly detailed, Japanese-designed home which stood in stark contrast to the Arts and Crafts-style architecture of the neighborhood.  All the same, he checked the address one last time to make sure.

    Satisfied it was indeed the right house, he rang the bell.  He could hear the chimes play “Sakura” loudly throughout the house, but no one answered the door.  Looking into the house via the sidelight, he could see activity in the backyard, and cautiously, he walked around to the back.

    The first thing he noticed was the shift in temperature.  It was still wintertime, but in the back of he house, the weather had been altered.  It felt more like a warm spring day, in fact.  He looked the group of heroes over; they had apparently gathered for a memorial.  He saw Bianca, stalwartly ignoring him.  On one side of her was Beguiler, whose narrowed gaze indicated his disapproval, but the empath quickly looked away.  On the other was a tall, brown haired man he did not recognize. He saw Bianca take his hand and lean against him.  Jealousy flickered in his mind and immediately, Beguiler turned to face him, a smile of amusement crossed his lips.   He must have passed the feeling to his twin, because she pulled herself even closer to her companion.

    White Diamond gave a furtive glance at the man who had intruded on their service and continued speaking. 

    “The hero’s oath that we all take mentions honor, sacrifice, and striving for excellence,” began the blonde heroine.  She paused, not wanting to choke on her words.  “Prismatic not only believed these words, but she embodied them.  Our world survives because of what she did, so we must live each day in a way that would honor her.”

    White Diamond looked at the group; she would be in charge until Jon could be found, and right now she needed to boost morale.  Psirene still was devastated at the loss of her lover; Beguiler had issues of his own to deal with, Bluedragon was back and it was unclear as to what would happen from there, and Medusa still seemed somewhat dazed over Jon’s abduction.

    “So, it is without reservation we dedicate this statue in her honor,”  said White Diamond, removing a sheet from a covered sculpture.  In the bright morning light, the translucent stone seemed to glow, and tiny flecks of color could be seen throughout.  The female-shaped statue looked like Prismatic in miniature, looking like it would take off at any moment.

    White Diamond knew Prismatic would probably not have approved of the statue, but she would have liked the speech.  The enigmatic heroine liked brevity, and Xandria figured she could honor their friend in a way that would have made everyone happy.

    A plaque at the bottom of the statue simply read, For All Time…

    The heroes each left a rose at the pedestal, and gave the newcomer a cautious glance before going  into the house, leaving Bianca and him alone in the yard.

    “You should have called,” she stated flatly. 

    “I’m sorry,” he began.  The question on his mind was aching on his tongue.  He knew it was no business of his, but he was dying to know…

    “He’s not the father, if that’s what you’re wondering.  My child’s father got lost in one of those damned rifts,” she blurted out.  “But I take it there’s more on your mind?”


    “Actually, I’m here to see your brother.”

    Her eyes narrowed; he knew her look of displeasure all too well.  “You’ve already put him on a two-month suspension from crime fighting.  Haven’t you done enough to him?”  She stared at him while he looked away; he couldn’t face her when she was in a mood like this.

    “Edward will be right out,” she informed Statesman as she turned to go back inside.

    “Bianca, wait,” he added, grabbing her arm.

    The telepath jerked her arm away from his grasp, anger very apparent on her face.  The greatest hero on the planet let his hand drop; he knew she saw him as just a man, and little more.

    “Is...Is Delilah my daughter?”  he asked hesitantly.

    Bianca had always prided herself on being able to keep her expressions as schooled as possible.  This once, however, she couldn’t help but reveal her absolute shock at his question.

    “No.”  she quickly lied, and tried to go back inside.

    However, Statesman knew better; he knew his former lover well enough to know when she was lying.  He grabbed her arm again and squeezed lightly, she gasped slightly in pain.

    “Why didn’t you tell me?” he asked in a voice that betrayed his hurt and anger.

    “I said she’s not yours!  Let me go!”  Bianca tore her arm away from him.  He took another step closer to her and grabbed both arms, making her face him.

    “I don’t believe you.”  He tightened his grip, making her cry out.

    “Is everything alright?”  came Edward’s voice.

    Statesman cleared his throat and released Bianca, who stormed into the house.  Briefly, he could sense Edward’s mind poking around in his.  The empath’s expression darkened further as he came down the stairs onto the lawn.

    “What do you want, Marcus?”  he asked.

    Statesman sighed heavily; at one point, he had been friends with Edward, now the clash in ideologies had raised an impenetrable barrier between them.

    “I wanted you to know why we gave you the penalty we did,” he began.  “And I would appreciate it if you did not interrupt,” he quickly interjected before Edward did.  He sighed again.  “There has been too much usage of the ETS.  I’m sure you read The Abrogator’s blog on the subject.”

    Edward smirked.  “It was rather amusing.”

    Statesman’s expression became more stern.  “It’s not a ride, Beguiler.  It is for emergencies!”

    “Yes, and what greater emergency could a parent have than making sure his child is safe?”  Edward threw his hands up in exaggerated frustration.  “Why do I bother?  I’ve given my testimony, and obviously you and the rest of Freedom Phalanx are more interested in your public image than in actual justice.”  He flashed his most charming, most insincere smile at Statesman.  “No matter. If you need to contact me, I’ll be overseas.”

    A look of genuine bewilderment crossed Statesman’s face.  Most heroes would grovel and trying to bargain their way into a lighter sentence.  But, he reasoned, Beguiler was not like most heroes.  There was always some other purpose behind every move the empath made.

    “Now, if you’ll excuse, Marcus.  I’ve a plane to catch,”  Edward went back into the house, leaving the world’s greatest hero alone in the quickly chilling garden.



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