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Part 4

    Darkey was brought before the Freedom Phalanx and granted amnesty for his assistance in helping gather information on Arachnos.  

    “The city thanks you for your assistance in helping to curb the threat of Arachnos Darkey and you are now granted a full pardon. However due to the nature of your crime I can not allow you to be granted hero status.” Statesman told the gathered team. Darkey nodded and thanked Statesman for his words and allowing him the freedom to again walk the streets of Paragon City. Darkey then walked with Nyghtbeast to the train station and sat on a nearby bench for awhile enjoying the air of freedom in Atlas Park.  

    “So what are you going to do now that you’re a civilian?” asked Nyghtbeast.

    “I’ll enjoy my freedom, walk in the park, and do what normal people do. Call a hero for help when I get mugged”, Darkey said with a wink and a chuckle.

    “I have a question for you” Darkey paused and turned to Nyghtbeast, “The teleporter, how did you find it and who finished it?”

    “Positron!” Nyghtbeast replied with an ere of excitement. “After you were gone I looked through your home to finish with any contacts you may have left and found it on your worktable. I took it to Manticore and he worked with Positron to get it working. When they learned what it was they had them produced for the whole team.”

    Darkey then turned with a shrug and they continued to walk toward the heel of the Atlas statue outside Freedom Corp Headquarters when Darkey was approached by hero dressed in a yellow and red costume.

    “Darkeshade”, shouted the man as he flew beside the two. “My name is Sunstorm…I am a Peacebringer” as he paused and landed in front of Darkey with his hand outstretched, “are you familiar with my organization?”

    Darkey held out his hand to greet Sunstorm, “Yes I am. I haven’t been called Darkeshade for quite sometime. Why would I be interested in the Peacebringers…I’ve never even seen a Kheldian, at least not that I know of.”

    “Would you care to join me for a drink…tonight? There’s a club I know of that’s run by a great guy, DJ Zero?”

    “I’m familiar with it, mind if my friend joins us?” Darkey motioned to Nyghtbeast.

    “Not at all…I look forward to talking to you…see you tonight…7 o’clock”, Sunstorm then flew off into the Freedom Corp headquarters and Darkey left Nyghtbeast to head back home to Talos Island.

    Later that evening Darkey met up with Nyghtbeast in Founder’s Fall. There was an entrance to Pocket D, the club Sunstorm referred to there. Together they entered the dimensional portal which led to Pocket D and there to greet them stood Sunstorm and DJ Zero.

    “Welcome”, said Zero, “to Elysium. Any friend of Sunstorm is a friend of mine, make yourselves at home and enjoy the music, and the dancers.”

    With that DJ Zero left and proceeded to mingle with all the guests. It was as though he knew everyone personally. Sunstorm led them to a quiet corner of the club and ordered a round of drinks for the three of them.

    “I have an offer for you Darkeshade. I have a way for you to rejoin the ranks of Paragons Heroes.”

    “In case you didn’t know, I’ve been stripped of my title and have been told that I can never regain my hero status.”

    Sunstorm reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an envelope and handed it to Darkey. It had the Freedom Phalanx letterhead. “We the undersigned hereby reinstate Darkeshade to full hero status upon acceptance in the Peacebringer Corp. He is to retain all previous awards and status upon entry.” The letter was signed by all members of the Freedom Phalanx and the Mayor of Paragon City.

    “So the only way to become a hero is for me to merge with a Kheldian?” Darkeshade handed the letter to Nyghtbeast.

    “Well that’s great! You can rejoin Powers Unlimited and keep the citizens safe and battle Arachnos the right way.” Nyghtbeast said and assured Darkeshade that the paperwork seemed genuine enough.

    Sunstorm took Darkeshade by the arm, “All you have to do is say yes and we can get started with the blending right away.”

    “Can I get back to you tomorrow? This is a lot to take in”, Darkeshade told Sunstorm.

    “Of course, here’s my card with my number. Take as long as you need, we’ll be there when you’re ready.” With that Sunstorm stood up, wished them both well and walked toward the exit. Darkeshade rose and wished Nyghtbeast well and made his way back to Talos Island, and to his home.

    The next morning when Darkeshade awoke he saw Sunstorm’s card sitting on the table. Darkeshade picked it up and gave him a call and agreed to meet him in Atlas at the offices of Peacebringers of Paragon. Upon entering Darkeshade was amazed at the number of workers both civilian and hero. And at the different creatures he saw in the lobby. There was a flying being that looked almost like a translucent squid with several tentacles on either side of its body. He also saw another translucent creature that looked crab-like and built like a tank. Darkeshade was looking all around him when he bumped into someone.

    “Excuse me, I’m sorry.”

    “No Problem Darkeshade.” It was Sunstorm; he had been waiting for Darkeshade to get there. “Come; let me show you to the room that we’ll start the procedure in. Normally we’d do a preliminary psychiatric screening to find the perfect host for our visitors, but we’ve pre-selected one for you and we’re almost positive you will be a perfect fit, so to speak.” Sunstorm led Darkeshade into a room with a padded table and asked him to lie down on and relax. Darkeshade lay down on a table and was given an injection, “This is a mild sedative, and it helps with the bonding process. You won’t fall asleep, but you will feel at ease. The less pain you are put through the easier it is for the bonding to take place.” Sunstorm waited a few moments before a box was lowered around Darkeshade. After a bright light was introduced in the box Darkeshade heard a voice in his head, it was difficult to understand what the voice was saying but its meaning was completely understood. It was thankful that he had willingly offered to be the Kheldian’s host and was happy to join with such an accomplished hero. Then Darkeshade felt a gentle pressure at the base of his neck and was asked to close his eyes, and did.

    When Darkeshade awoke he was in a white room with Sunstorm at his bedside smiling. “It was successful Darkeshade; the Kheldian is comfortably at home within you. Her name was”

    Darkeshade interrupted him, “Lightspire. Her mate was destroyed in a battle with the Nictus and she escaped with the others of her planet.”

    Sunstorm smiled “We felt you two would share a bond…all things considered.”

    Darkeshade sat up in his bed and closed his eyes. “I hear her, she’s happy…but it appears she had a struggle when she arrived. There was a demon residing in my heart that has been there for a so long I had almost forgotten about it. Apparently she had one last battle before she could complete the binding. The demon is gone, but I know that it’s better this way, after all we’ve been through its funny really.” Darkeshade stood up and walked to a nearby mirror. He saw the demons fire had indeed left his eyes and he saw yet another face that was less angry and was finally at peace again. The darkness was gone and a new set of eyes looked lovingly back at him. “This is now my face, these are now Lightspires eyes. Therefore I will no longer be Darkeshade; I will take the name…of Light Shade. Together we will fight for justice once more.”

    With that Light Shade went to the Powers Unlimited base and reunited with his old friends. Reborn again as a Peacebringer and happy with his new soul mate, Light Shade has returned. He went back to Talos Island. He reattached the jewel to his belt buckle. He said a prayer to his wife and told her he was at peace now and would continue to fight. He heard a voice reply and smiled. The war is not over yet but the battle finally is. 

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