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A STITCH IN TIME
Flying as fast as she could, Prismatic streaked
through the sky, trying to process what had been told to her by the
enigmatic Can Man. No, she corrected herself, Can Man was merely
the vehicle for the being inside him. The poor human probably had
no idea as to what was going on half the time having been rendered
insane by external forces.
What bothered her most was the sheer callousness of
her race; looking at the destruction of Earth with the cool detachment
of a scientist when looking at a dying specimen. How could one
live among the humans and not appreciate the good within them, she
wondered. Over-involved or not, she was going to help this race
and this world she had begun to call home.
By the time Nightbringer and the others arrived at
the scene, full-scale pandemonium had erupted among the survivors of
the wrecked Widow Star, at
the surface was a massive squid, larger than any that had ever been
seen. Flailing its tentacles wildly, it would grab a hapless
victim and pull them into its maw. Blood and guts polluted the
water around it, drawing seagulls and sharks; all eager to feed on the
The kraken made another grab, and Liquid Chill made
the first attack, a bolt of ice struck the tentacle, turning the end of
it a dark red as the intense cold froze the creature’s
tissue. Drawing it back, it attempted to grab same person, only
to have another blast of cold encase its limb.
LiveWire began to glow, and Nightbringer could tell
the younger man was getting ready to unleash a particularly powerful
thunderbolt; in fact, he could feel the hair on his arms beginning to
stand up from the sudden increase in static electricity.
Lightning could be heard crackling from LiveWire’s fingertips as
he prepared to unleash his power.
“LiveWire, STOP!” yelled the
Nameless’ leader, anger flashing in his eyes. “You
release that bolt, and you’ll kill everyone down there!”
With a sudden desperate look, LiveWire released his
thunderbolt skyward, its heat splitting air molecules in a gigantic
thunderclap. Nightbringer gave him a warning look.
“You and Lady Athena try and get as many
people away from that thing as possible.” He quickly
scanned the skies around them; more heroes were coming to the rescue,
none of them he recognized.
As LiveWire reluctantly lifted people out of the
water, the combined might of the heroes kept the monster at bay.
Not wanting to risk further injury from these tiny creatures, the giant
creature sank beneath the waves, deepening the color of the water as it
released a cloud of ink to cover its escape.
The survivors were brought ashore onto the nearest
dock; all of them were exhausted physically and emotionally from the
ordeal. Nightbringer looked around and saw no trace of their
team’s empath. But as they were questioned as to the
events, repeated mention was made of a well-dressed man who vanished
shortly after the squid had appeared.
Nightbringer did not have to guess who they were
talking about. Gritting his teeth, he looked at the GPS on his
comm device; Beguiler’s location was given as Chiron
Medical. Letting out a heavy sigh, he knew, once again, his team
would come under the scrutiny of the Freedom Corps.
“Did I miss anything?” came Prismatic’s voice.
Broken from his thoughts, Nightbringer gave a slight
smile. “’Fraid so. There were a few
casualties, but Beguiler wasn’t one of them.”
Prismatic nodded in relief. “I suppose
we let emergency services deal with the people, then,” she
added, hovering slightly.
“That sounds good to me. Let’s
head back to base and regroup with the others.” With a wave
of gratitude to Liquid Chill and Lady Athena, he and LiveWire took to
the air once more and flew towards the cityscape of Steel Canyon.
“Are you alright, Tristan?” asked Edward.
The pair had appeared, rather suddenly, in side by
side beds at Chiron Medical Facility. While Beguiler had used the
ETS many times, he knew it could be jarring to those not used to
it. The rattled nerves he could detect from his son told him that
Tristan was no different.
“I’m fine, Dad,” his son replied, trying his best not to sound affected by teleportation.
Beguiler smiled and hopped off the bed. A
nurse pulled the curtain back and gave them both a disapproving
look. With her stylus, she noted the appearance of non-hero
personnel using the ETS, until Beguiler flashed his GIFT badge.
Seeing it, she changed her entry to non-medical usage of the ETS.
“You realize there will be a fine and a
review, Beguiler?” she asked as she looked Tristan
over. “Especially since you have used it on a minor?”
Not even attempting to rationalize his
“crime,” Beguiler smiled more deeply. “Of
course, my dear. Just tell them to mail the review date to
the right address this time.” Motioning for his son to
follow, he left the medical facility and into the underground corridor
that led to the Department of Heroes.
Tristan stared wide-eyed at the dozens of heroes
they both passed and were passed by in the hallway. Beguiler
smirked to himself; his son could barely contain his thoughts as a team
of scantily clad women walked by them. They caught a glimpse of
the teen’s unabashed admiration, and smiled in amusement.
Tristan’s face turned deep crimson with embarassment.
“You get to come here every day, Dad?” he asked in a breathless voice.
“Sometimes. Usually I end up with contact assignments throughout Paragon.”
“Do they ever have Take A Child To Work Day or
something?” Tristan asked as a particularly bewitching
heroine stalked by in leather. She regarded his stare with a cool
gaze and kept walking.
Beguiler could help but laugh. “Sorry,
son, it’s a little too dangerous-“ he stopped
suddenly in his tracks as his way was blocked by another well-dressed
The empath’s expression immediately changed
gears, going from cheerfulness to unreadable as he met the man’s
hard gaze. The man’s arms were folded across his chest, one
hand held a file and his fingers on the other were drumming with
“Beguiler,” he said in a tight voice.
A quick scan told Edward that he was trying very
hard to keep his temper, wanting very much to keep his public image
intact. But, Edward supposed, that was why he was here in City
Hall out of uniform, so he could move freely among the masses without
“Marcus, it’s good to see you
again.” Beguiler replied with nonchalance.
“This is my son Tristan. Tristan, this is Marcus
Cole.” Say nothing about who he is,
he mentally warned his son. Quickly returning his attention back
to the incognito Statesman, he continued. “We were on our
way home. What brings you to City Hall?”
“Business,” Marcus gruffly
responded. “I heard you teleported yourself out of danger
and left citizens at risk.”
“I did what I had to do to keep my son
safe. We can discuss this further at the inquiry,
alright?” The Brit kept walking down the corridor, fully
intent on ignoring the man that many regarded as the finest hero on the
Statesman clenched his fists tightly in anger, his
knuckles turning white. He let out a deep, forceful sigh that
sounded more like a snort. Beguiler’s illegitimate usage of
the ETS was not the real reason he wanted to try to talk to him.
In his hand he held a medical report about Psirene, Beguiler’s
Having access to all the medical files and
backgrounds of each and every hero registered in Paragon City,
Statesman was notified if there was going to be a significant change in
status; pregnancy being one such change. When the medical report
came across his desk bearing the name Bianca Harlowe, his thoughts flew
into a jealous rage.
Bianca, pregnant by another man. He had no idea who, but the
thought of the untamable beauty being with anyone else angered him like
no other thought could. Not even his wife knew how much the
blonde temptress haunted his mind and heart. He thought he
was done with her; even Bianca had made that clear when he told her he
was engaged to Ms. Liberty. But seeing her at his bachelor party,
her medical file come across his desk, and his reaction to all of it,
told him he was no more over her than Lord Recluse was his plans of
Statesman watched Beguiler and his son exit the
building. Looking at the file once again, he shook his head and
stormed to his office upstairs.
“So far, all the temporal aberrations in
Paragon City have been with past events, correct?” Norman
asked, taking control of the meeting. His gaze lingered for a
moment on Madam Medusa, and he wondered briefly if he should contact
his Lord about her. Dismissing the thought, he continued circling
the table and discussing his theory.
“In the Rogue Isles, we too, have had temporal anomalies, but these are from a future time
line. Our security forces are having a difficult time knowing
what’s going on, receiving calls of events that haven’t
even happened yet, it’s a chaotic situation right
now.” He sighed heavily, trying to play up some sort of
sympathy, wanting them to think him not as dangerous, or better yet,
just like them.
The psychic known as White Diamond arched her
eyebrow, her expression as cold and as hard as her namesake. He
knew she couldn’t read his mind; the Arachnos helmet made that
quite impossible, but he wondered if he was reaching a little too far
in trying to enlist their aid.
The door to the conference room suddenly opened, and
three more heroes entered before White Diamond could reply.
“Where’s Beguiler?” asked Solanum.
“He teleported out to Chiron,”
Nightbringer growled. “Left all those survivors out in the
channel to get eaten by some giant squid!” Then, noticing
Norman for the first time, he looked the Protector over with an even
icier gaze. “Who the hell is he?”
Norman felt a chill run down his spine, even though
none could see his face. However, there was something to
Nightbringer’s eyes that seemed to penetrate beyond his
mask. The two men seemed deadlocked in a silent staring contest
as White Diamond explained who the Protector was, and why he was at the
“So, what do you want from us?”
Nightbringer demanded, folding well-muscled and tattooed arms across
“As I was telling the others, we’ve been
tracking the anomalies, and it appears that there are two
fronts,” he began to explain, and replaced the disk
containing the security footage with a one that contained maps of the
surrounding area. “Past events are working their way east,
towards Portal Corp, and future events are working their way westward,
also toward the same location.” He indicated the areas with
the sweeping gestures of a newscaster. He may have been talking
about the weather.
“Any idea as to what will happen when the two
meet?” Nightbringer asked, his scowl becoming deeper.
“No. But I sincerely doubt any good will
come of it,” Norman replied, not wanting to look at the
Dr. Collins looked over the comatose patient; by all
rights, the young man should be out on the streets, fighting
crime. Everything about his vitals said he was completely
healthy, but the empathic doctor knew otherwise. Kirk’s
awareness of future timelines had been disrupted, or perhaps
overwhelmed, by all the strange disturbances going on around the city.
The doctor briefly looked into Kirk’s mind;
not surprisingly, it was a maelstrom of images from both the past and
what he presumed to be the future. He had been trying very hard
to slow the visions down, but it seemed impossible, even for one as
talented as Dr. Collins.
He sighed lightly; he was considered one of the top
empathic healers in the country, yet this young man’s case seemed
to be beyond him.
“How’s the patient, doctor?” someone from behind asked.
“It’s difficult to say,” he replied, not looking over his shoulder.
“Will he be able to travel?”
“He’s in a coma. I don’t think he’ll be travelling any time soon.”
“Well,” replied the voice. “That’s too bad. Strongman, do your thing.”
Strong hands grabbed him from behind and tossed him
as easily as one would a rag doll. Dr. Collins crashed into one
of the walls and got a glimpse of his assailants; three individuals
dressed in red, black and white. After hitting the wall, the
doctor collapsed into unconsciousness.
“Get him, quickly!” hissed
Jongleur, motioning towards the comatose hero on the bed.
“Gamester said we’ll need him at the site!”
Strongman scooped up Kirk like he weighed next to
nothing and threw him over his shoulder. Shrill alarms went off
when the sensor pads were removed, but Jongleur knew no one would come;
he and Jester had taken care of any guards or personnel that might stop
“Let’s get moving! We only have a
small window of opportunity!” reminded the supervillain to
his comrades. “Besides, we don’t want to keep
“He is going to be there?” asked Jester with a note of apprehension.
“Quit acting like it’s Lord
Recluse! Yes, he is going to be there. This whole thing was
his idea, after all!” the knife-wielder snapped
sarcastically. Regarded by the others as Gamester’s
right-hand man, Jongleur was not used to being questioned, nor did he
have the patience for those who did.
“Well, it’s just that we’ve never
seen him, is what I’m saying,” muttered Jester.
As the three stepped into the hallway with their
victim, they found themselves confronted by one well dressed man and a
boy in his teens, both soaking wet. Jongleur recognized the boy
as one of Piper’s students, and knew that he was gifted. He
could only assume such a statement could be made about the man.
“Put him down, now, Jongleur!” The man commanded.
A bright flash came from Jester’s hands as
rapid fire spheres of energy streaked through the hallway towards their
targets, but exploding harmlessly on an invisible wall.
“A force field, eh?” taunted
Jongleur. “It appears your powers have grown,
“How do you know who I am?” the boy asked, a look of confusion crossing his face.
Pay no attention to him, son. He’s only trying to confound you,
came Beguiler’s voice in Tristan’s mind. Then, the
empath reached out with his own mind and altered Jester’s
perception of things; no longer were Jongleur and Strongman his allies,
but rather, they were out to get him.
The energy wielder fired off two blasts of white-hot
energy at his two teammates. The move caught both villains off
guard, but Gamester’s lieutenant quickly recovered. He
tossed a small device to Strongman, who suddenly vanished with Kirk,
and then tossed another item to the ground.
A high-decibel, high frequency noise emanated from
the small, round device, crippling any in the immediate area.
Beguiler and Tristan clutched their heads in agony to try and block the
sound out. Mercifully, the device made noise long enough to cover
Piper’s escape, and soon subsided.
Beguiler looked around, not surprised to see
Jongleur had fled; Gamester’s minions seldom stayed
around long enough during a fight, which always made arresting them
impossible. Then he noticed Jester sprawled out on the floor.
The hero held up a warning hand to his son; he
didn’t want Tristan close if Jester was conscious. He
cautiously nudged the villain with his foot, first lightly, then with a
little more force. He saw two security guards coming down the
hallway, he called out for their assistance. He had used his last
two teleportation tags on himself and his son, and had no way to
After the cuffs had been slapped on him, they rolled
Jester over. Even after all these things, the villain was still
not moving. Once he had been flipped over, they saw why.
With one swift, surgically precise stab through the
heart, Jester had been killed, presumably to keep him silent.
Such callous disregard and logic baffled even Beguiler, who often had a
warped view of things.
Beguiler tapped his comm link to Nightbringer.
“What now?” came the ever-grouchy voice of their leader.
“Things have taken a rather strange
twist. I came to Cygnus to check on Kirk, as you requested.
However, we are not the only ones interested in him.”
“Cut the crap, Beguiler, and get to the point.”
Beguiler smiled to himself. Jon was royally
annoyed with him, and he didn’t even have to be in the room to
sense it. “Jongleur, Jester, and Strongman took him.
But there’s another twist to the tale; Jongleur killed
Jester.” He let the sentence hang in the air for dramatic
“Were you able to stop them from taking Kirk?” came Solanum’s voice.
“I’m afraid not, my dear.
Unfortunately, we have no idea as to where he might have been taken
“Don’t be to sure about that,
Beguiler. Meet us at Portal Corp.” Jon cut in again.
“Right.” Beguiler looked himself
over; his clothes were still dripping. “Could Solanum be a
darling and bring me a costume and another change of clothes?”
The Nameless met outside of a bar in New Thebes on
Talos Island. By the time Beguiler and Tristan had caught up with
the others, the sun was setting.
“Why are we waiting?” Beguiler
asked, rubbing his temples. Distress from his twin always
set off fierce migraines in his head.
Nightbringer eyed him coldly. “We have a
security problem, that’s why! We can’t get in because
none of us have high enough clearance.” He sighed loudly in
disgust. “And could you please explain why you teleported
your sorry ass out of the water and left all those people behind?”
Beguiler could sense the shock and surprise coming
out of the group, most notably from Solanum. He returned
Nightbringer’s glare with an equally cold one to remind their
leader that no one ever spoke to him in such a manner.
“It was either try and save people from a
creature I could not fight, putting my son’s life at risk, or
save my son and myself. It really wasn’t much of a choice
to be honest. Besides, do you have any idea what Nocturne would
do to this city if anything happened to Tristan? Imagine if all
the horrors of Dark Astoria spread out across the city, all living
beings turned into zombies, all held in thrall by the Queen of the
Dead. That, my friends, would be the beginning.” He
knew he was probably being over-dramatic, but Beguiler knew what would
happen to anyone who hurt her son.
Nightbringer thought for a moment, eyeing the lanky
teen that was tagging along. He may very well have acted in the
same manner had he been in Beguiler’s shoes. “We
still have a security problem,” he growled.
“What is it, the guards aren’t letting
us through?” Beguiler asked, with a sudden wince. What the devil is Bianca doing,
he silently wondered. The pain and anguish, deeper than anything
he had ever felt before from his twin seemed to scream directly into
his mind. Quickly blocking it out, he refocused his attention on
his team. Nightbringer, giving him an odd look, replied to
“And since when has something like that
stopped us, Jon?” Beguiler asked with a wry smile,
satisfied that his sister’s pain wasn’t broadcasting in his
head. “As Bianca would say, ‘When in doubt, show a
little leg.’ Perhaps the ladies wouldn’t mind putting
up some sort of distraction?”
The women of the team stared at him with curious expressions, and stole quick glances at each other.
“What did you have in mind, Beguiler?” asked Solanum.
“YOU BITCH!” screamed the heroine
at her teammate, and angrily tore the woman’s costume.
“What the! I just bought this!
That this!” screamed the other one, and savagely ripped the
shoulder piece off of her attacker’s gaudy outfit.
The guards were transfixed; a catfight between two
scantily-clad heroine was beginning to erupt in front of them.
The two had been in line, quietly discussing something, when the
red-headed one said something to the green skinned one that she
didn’t like, triggering the outburst and subsequent costume
In a matter of seconds, the pair had stopped ripping
into each other’s costumes and had begun wrestling, inevitably
winding up in the gigantic water fountain. Instead of the battle
ceasing, it escalated further; with more name-calling, clothes-ripping
and now, water splashing everywhere.
The guards were too caught up in watching the
semi-erotic fight to even notice the team of eight super-powered
individuals sneak past the sentries barricading entrance into the
high-security zone of Perrigrine Island.
The battle became serious; the green skinned heroine
had the redhead’s arm behind her back and was now repeatedly
dunking her head under the water. Before anyone drowned, a female
security guard came running up and tried to separate the two.
Cries of disappointment came from the gathered crowd as the fight came
to its end.
Then, just as quickly as it had begun, the two women
leapt into the air, towards the entrance. With no one to make
them swipe their security badges, the pair ran right through.
Grabbing his walkie-talkie from his belt, one guard
began to report the security breach, giving as good a description as he
could of the perpetrators. However, as he was relaying his
information, an amazing transformation was taking place on the women in
The brightly colored costumes began to ripple and
then dissolve, transforming from spandex to black leather.
Solanum and Medusa looked at Beguiler’s son, who seemed to be at
the limit of using his abilities. His hands had clenched into
fists, and now they were trembling fiercely. As Tristan ended his
illusory grasp on the guards’ minds, he was still shaking
Beguiler reached out with his mind and steadied his son, a large smile on his face.
“I’m proud of you, son,” he praised.
“Thanks,” came the breathless
reply. “I won’t get in trouble for doing that, will
Beguiler’s smile became more of a cunning smirk. “Only if they catch you.”
With the team intact, save Psirene and Vision, they
made a beeline for Portal Corp, not stopping to engage any of the
deadly gangs that roamed around Peregrine. The plaza around
the corporation was silent in the quickly falling light, making it seem
that much more obvious.
“Ok, Protector, I assume you know where
Gamester and the others are,” prompted Nightbringer.
He was beginning to feel an odd sensation on the fringes of his
consciousness. He assumed it must be the nearness of two runaway
The Protector merely nodded and motioned for them to
follow him. Not looking to either side, he strode towards the
main entrance of the cutting edge scientific facility. Soon, he
would have what he wanted, and, with a quick glance at Madam Medusa,
perhaps Lord Recluse would have what he wanted.
The labyrinth of corridors on the inside of the
company would have lost most men, but Norman’s helmet came
equipped with a GPS that helped him unfailingly find his way around any
facility. A flashing red light which only he could see told
him the location of his quarry; a little child that had gone from
innocent to lethal, the Toyster. He knew what would happen to the
others; they were all pawns in this, the Gamester’s final
game. He wondered briefly if he would be able to get Medusa out
in time; he hoped so. Lord Recluse had spent a good deal of time
and money tracking down the daughter of one of his lieutenants, to have
her slip away so carelessly…
Norman shrugged the dark thought away, wanting to
focus on his objective. The convergence of the two timelines was
very close, and he could only wonder what would happen when they met.
“Don’t give him too much,
Fortuneteller,” cautioned Jongleur. “We need him
conscious, but not able to move.”
The dark haired woman gave the second-in-command a
dirty look. She was growing weary of hit-and-run tactics, fleeing
before any real gains could be made. She also resented being told
how to do her job, but knew to keep her mouth shut. After all,
she didn’t want to end up dead like Jester, who had a tendency to
question orders too many times.
She gave the young man the injection, the precise
dose having been calculated. She knew the young man was a hero,
and wondered about his life. Would anybody notice if he was
missing in a city that literally swarmed with heroes? He groaned
as the drug began to take affect, and Fortuneteller smiled
slightly. None of that would matter much in a little while
anyway, she mused.
“Well? Is he awake?” came an impatient voice from the shadows.
The remaining members of the gang looked nervously at each other.
“He’s almost there, Gamester,”
spoke up Piper. “Just a couple of minutes.”
“Good. I’ll be waiting.”
A sudden alert went off, and the large portal flared
to life. It was almost a scene out of a movie; lights, a deep
rumbling that shook the room, and a sudden explosion of white light
erupting from the portal itself. The villains shielded their eyes
from the dazzling brilliance of it all.
Fortuneteller looked into the controlled rip in the
fabric of space-time. She had no idea what it was they had done a
few days before, but was told it was necessary. She could make
out shadows moving around in the light, silhouetted by the
massive amounts of illumination. Fortuneteller gathered her skirt
around herself and strained her vision to see more clearly, when the
image before her shimmered.
It began as a slight rippling, like the surface of a
still pond when a stone is thrown into it. Then the image began
to break apart visually, and planes of light, standing vertically,
began to appear randomly around the room.
“Don’t come into contact with
them!” warned Gamester. “They could change
The gang in carnival clothes looked at each other
nervously. How could they avoid something that came at random?
The hero they had kidnapped groaned again; he was
now waking up from the medically induced coma, and now seemed able to
take in his surroundings.
“Ah, you’re up. Up and at
‘em!” exclaimed Gamester from his shadowy hideout.
Kirk looked around. His mind was swarming with
the visions that he had named himself for. However, the damage
done to the fabric of space-time caused a virtual overload, as if he
was now aware of what was happening in every conceivable
timeline. The pressure he felt in his head was immense, and
he wanted it to end.
“What…do you need…me for?” he gasped.
“Two things. First, I need you to warn
us whenever a stray portal opens,” Gamester answered. As
if on cue, a beam of light flashed between the pair and
flickered out. “Secondly,” the supervillain stated,
and then, as if for further dramatic effect, he stepped out of the
shadows, “I need you to tell me when my ride is here.”
Kirk stared in stunned silence at
Gamester; to date, no one had ever seen him, but no one doubted his
existence. There was something odd about this villain, something
he couldn’t quite put his finger on.
“What makes you think I’ll help
you?” Kirk snarled. He now realized that his hands
were bound behind him. His senses were still drug-addled, so he
mentally scratched teleporting off his list of options.
“For all you know, I could send you into the wrong portal.”
“Yeah, I know. But, I brought along some
friends to ensure that you wouldn’t try somethin’ like
that.” Gamester slurred. He motioned to Piper and
Strongman, who brought in three children, all of whom Kirk knew; the
children of The Nameless.
“If anything bad happens to me, they die!”
Another rumble shook the building, and now, in the
corridor where the team walked, small, brilliant patches of light began
to flicker and spark like oversized fireflies. Beguiler kept the
team focused and aware; he had a bad feeling about coming into
contact with them, and while he didn’t have Vision’s
precognitive abilities, his sense of intuition was usually never
wrong. As he kept his group’s collective mind alert, he
sensed emotional turmoil coming from Sara.
What gives? He asked mentally, stealing a glance at Xandria to make sure she wasn’t listening in.
I’m surprised to see BlueDragon, is all.
You still love him, Beguiler thought, but said so without any accusation, anger, or notes of jealousy.
Sara gave the mental equivalent of clearing her throat. I still have feelings for him, yes.
Any thoughts as to what might happen if he doesn’t go back to his timeline?
I’m afraid you might have some competition, love! Came Sara’s teasing reply.
Another tremor broke their conversation. The
tiny patches of light became larger, and one of them engulfed
Nightbringer, who was at the front of the group. His shout of
agony echoed loudly throughout the cavernous hallway.
As quickly as it had come, the light faded, and
their leader collapsed in a heap, crying out loudly. His body
writhed as he was tormented by an unseen force. Medusa was
immediately at her husband’s side, trying to get his mind off of
Beguiler suddenly backed away.
“Something’s wrong,” he muttered.
“Something is terribly wrong here.”
Nightbringer’s skin suddenly took on an ashen
appearance, dark, shadowy veins could be seen snaking their way up his
arms, around his tattoos and up into his neck and face. His last
cry subsided with a raspy whisper. His spasms cease and he lay on
the metal grating that lined the corridor, breathing slowly.
“Are you alright, Nightbringer?”
asked Faberge, eyes wide with worry. She looked back at Beguiler,
who was still inching away from the group. He had already grabbed
his son and put the boy behind him. “Can’t you help
him, Beguiler?” the young heroine asked.
Nightbringer’s opened wide and the team moved
back in horror. His eyes had changed from pale, icy blue to inky
pools, the color invading even the whites of his eyes. The skin
around his face took on an even more shadowy color.
“Nightbringer?” he asked. “I’m Deathbringer!”
With a wave of his hands, he gathered the shadows
around himself, imprisoning his onetime friends with waves of
darkness. As the shadows thickened, they formed self-willed
tentacles, grabbing onto anything that moved and holding it down at the
command of their master.
Deathbringer began to hover over the trapped heroes,
looking down at them cruelly. He raised his hands above his head,
causing their powers, their life energies, to be transferred to
himself. The cold, evil laughter that filled the hall was that of
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