13.9 Call of the Sleeper

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Basil fired a shot, aiming squarely for the man’s head.

The Protector – or whoever was pretending to be him – made no move to dodge, nor show any reaction at all, really, when the blast hit him on the side of his forehead, glancing off with sparks and a sharp sound. It didn’t even stir his hair.

The man tilted his head, squinting at the shooter. “Now now, young man, let’s not get ahead of ourselves – how about an introduction first?” he asked, his disposition still very genial, in stark contrast to the situation at hand. He flourished his cape and bowed with perfect grace. “Jason Davon, also known as the Protector; I wish we could have met under less ominous circumstances, young ones.”

They just stared at the legend from the West Coast, not sure how to respond. Basil even lowered his rifle, though partly because he didn’t think it stood a chance of actually harming the man anyway.

In the end, it was Tartsche who gathered his wits about him first, taking a few steps forward (putting himself between the Protector and the rest of the group).

“It’s, it’s an honour to meet you, Sir,” he said, his voice cracking slightly at the beginning. “I’m… I mean, my name is Tartsche, and I’m a member of the United Junior Heroes.”

The Protector nodded, still smiling that maddeningly calming smile, even as Basil and the others re-ordered themselves behind Tartsche.

Spellgun and Tyche moved up to flank the untouchable hero. The former dropped to one knee in a shooter’s position, leaning against Tartsche’s leg, while Tyche simply reached out and touched Tartsche’s shoulder, as if to support him. Both of them promptly vanished from Basil’s sensors, much like Tartsche had moments earlier, as he dropped and immediately re-activated his power.

“It’s nice to meet a fellow hero,” the tall man spoke, watching them curiously, with no hint of anxiety or worry. “What brings you here?”

Bakeneko slid up to Osore, who was already starting to bulk up, if slowly, attaching herself to his back with her arms wrapped around his neck, her body from the neck down shifting into a mass of furry tentacles tipped by stingers, though the whole process took several seconds to complete.

“We’re hunting a super-villain,” Tartsche replied. “We were just about to take a train to a station near where we believe her to be, when we were drawn into… this.” He gestured around at the empty space around them, and at the mystic drawings above.

Gloom Glimmer floated forward, taking up position to the right of Tartsche, her cloak billowing in an unseen, unfelt breeze, while Polymnia joined Basil on the other side and further behind. Hecate stayed behind, quietly whispering something as she dug into a leather pouch on her belt.

The Protector tilted his head the other way, studying them all, one after the other, as if he had all the time in the world. “A commendable effort – quite a shame you had to end up in this situation, of all.” He sighed, looking around at the empty area, then raised his voice: “You know, it’s quite rude not to greet your guests!”

Once more the woman’s voice boomed from every direction at the same time, so loud Basil had trouble making out the individual words.

“AND IT’S PATHETIC THAT YOU’RE TRYING TO STALL, PROTECTOR! NOW FIGHT THESE INSOLENT RUNTS AND TEACH THEM THE FOLLY OF CHALLENGING THE COMPANIONS OF THE FUTURE!!!”

He had no such trouble making out the individual exclamation points, though.

The Protector frowned, growning softly as he closed his eyes. Then he took a deep breath, opening them again, looking at them all with eyes as gray and hard as steel. “Brace yourselves, young ones!”

“Wait, what’s g-” Tartsche began to protest, but he was cut off when the Protector charged straight at him, reaching for his throat.

His hand came into contact with it, only to fail to get a grip, or so much as budge the teenager by a hair.

Everyone else immediately opened up; Spellgun and Tyche all but put their weapons’ respective muzzles to his chest and pulled their triggers, Osore fired a twisting, uneasy-to-look-at fear blast from his fist, Gloom Glimmer threw out what appeared to be ropes of light, only they were buzzing like actual buzzsaws and Polymnia opened up with the speakers on her wrists, projecting beams of sounds so intense they visibly distorted the air.

None of it did a thing, other than Spellgun’s bullet, which covered his chest in rapidly spreading, purplish ice, and maybe Polymnia’s sound attack, which made the man look annoyed. Everything else either slid off of him or was deflected without any visible effect upon him, even Gloom Glimmer’s contribution. Hecate, meanwhile, slid down onto her knees, her head held low as if in surrender – or contemplation.

Basil, who’d refrained from firing on him – he’d already seen that even a headshot was less than an inconvenience on the man – instead threw himself at Polymnia, tackling her out of the way the Protector’s heat vision shot through where her chest had been just moments before.

“I very much dislike sonic attacks, young lady,” the man spoke reprovingly as he flexed his chest and arm muscles, blowing off the ice Spellgun’s bullet had coated him with. “Please refrain from annoying me so.”

Gloom Glimmer rose up behind him, her fists raised above her head and clasped together, bringing them down on his head with all her strength, creating an impact so powerful it blew everyone else but the three under the protection of Tartsche’s power and Hecate, who was kneeling in the blast shadow of the three, away.

Basil briefly lost sight of what was going on as he and Polymnia tumbled across the smooth floor, until they ended up a tangled mess of stiff, armored limbs.

His head ringing, he clumsily disentangled himself from her before she accidently broke his bones when she tried the same – they really were tangled up quite badly.

Fortunately, Polymnia was better off than he was, and clear-headed enough to free herself without issue, getting up on her feet faster than he did.

Getting up on his knees, he shot out his grappling hooks, attaching them to the floor in front of him just in time to brace himself against the gale-like winds; raising an arm, he wrapped it around Polymnia’s waist as she dropped down as well, helping her hold out against the pressure.

Together they watched as Gloom Glimmer rained blows on the Protector, who seemed to have been smashed down onto the ground, spreading spider-web-like cracks several metre in every direction except beneath Tartsche, Tyche and Spellgun – the ground beneath them was as spotless as before.

The Protector himself was on his back, looking up at the furious teen raining down earth-shattering blows upon him, seeming none the worse for wear – if anything, he looked pensive.

Finally seeming to have had enough of the torrent of blows, he rose up, forcing Gloom Glimmer to fly up as well, her machine-gun-like storm of blows stopping finally, ending the gales of air that the shockwaves had created.

Not a scratch on him, Basil thought in awe. He’d heard how tough the Protector had been – until DiL, no one had ever managed to cause him serious harm – yet it was one thing to read about it (or see in the countless tv specials and movies it was shown or mentioned) and actually see it in action.

“You know…” the man began to speak, rising up slowly towards Gloom Glimmer, “I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen you before – and I never forget a face. Yet I just can’t seem to place you…”

“You knew my older sister,” Gloom Glimmer replied while bringing her hands together in front of her, creating a red spark that quickly grew to the size of a peach hovering between her palms. “She killed you.”

She threw her arms out, launching the sphere at at him.

The Protector made no move to dodge or defend, simply allowing it to hit his chest.

There was a sharp crack and the sound of air rushing in, stirring his cloak, but nothing else happened.

“FOOLS!! DID YOU THINK A MERE TELEPORATION TRICK WOULD BE ENOUGH TO BRING DOWN THE PROTECTOR HIMSELF!?! I DO NOT CHOOSE MY MINIONS LIGHTLY!!!!”, the woman’s voice boomed, making Basil wish he had a pair of Polymnia’s ear protectors at hand. It was actually rattling him through his helmet.

Four exclamation marks on that last one. That can’t be a good sign. He looked around, switching through various scan modes, trying to pick up any useful information.

All he got was a headache from the scrambled images his sensors gave him as they tried to make sense of the discombobulated energies that seemed to flow through this pocked reality without pattern nor purpose.

The Protector, meanwhile, looked around in annoyance, before turning to Gloom Glimmer again, as another attack simply splashed off of his chest, as did several shots from Spellgun, each of whom delivered a different effect.

“So rude,” he said with a sigh, shaking his head before he turned to look at Gloom Glimmer again. “I’m sorry, but did you just say you are that baby’s sister?” he asked with a politely curious expression on his face.

Osore tackled him, having grown to nearly twice his size and several times his original weight, but bounced off to no effect. Bakeneko tried to strangle him with her tentacles, her stingers going for his eyes.

The Protector ignored them entirely, other than gently brushing the stingers aside after they failed to penetrate his eyes.

“Yeah. I’m Gloom Glimmer – Lady Light’s and the Dark’s second daughter,” the hooded heroine spoke softly, her arms hanging down her sides. She wasn’t trying another attack, for whatever reason, nor could Basil detect any kind of invisible energy emanations from her – not that that said much, as he doubted he had enough sensors to pick up everything she could do. The only thing he could pick up, other than that annoying background radiation, was the soft glow that encompassed them all, red for him and his comrades, blue for the Protector.

The latter looked at her, stunned. “That child was theirs, huh? Did they manage to save her?” he asked, his voice turning hopeful as a sniper round from Tyche’s rifle flattened itself against his cheek, before it slid off.

Gloom Glimmer’s head jerked back, nearly causing her hood to fall off and reveal her face – what little Basil could see of it seemed… shocked.

“She destroyed your city. She killed you! And what you worry about is whether she was saved?” she asked, incredulous.

He tilted his head to the side again, floating up so he was at eye level with her. “Of course. What man wouldn’t want to see a child safe?” he asked, softly. “She was but a babe when she appeared; am I right in assuming that she’d just been born when her powers… manifested?”

“Actually, it happened even before, before she was born,” she replied, lowering her head as her hands clenched into fists. “She manifested in the womb and…” She bit her lower lip, the only part of her still visible, falling quiet.

“Ah, I’m very sorry,” he replied gently. “Though I’m glad that Lady Light survived it.” He smiled reassuringly. “To answer your question, I hold no ill will towards her, no more than I would hold towards a newborn that soiled itself.” He clasped his hands behind his back as several bullets and a blast of raw fear splashed over and off the back of his head and his back. “One must only be accused of that which they choose to do, not that which they have no control over in the first place.”

Something he said seemed to strike home, because Gloom Glimmer made a soft sound, hiding deeper into her cloak, drawing it around herself like it could protect her.

Basil stopped his last attempts to shoot at him – at this point, he was just wasting ammunition. The others seemed to come to the same conclusion, as the barrage of attacks that the Protector had ignored so far ceased.

Bakeneko helped Osore get up again, using her arms to straighten the arm he’d broken when he tried a flying punch at the old hero’s back.

“What has become of her?” the invincible man asked.

“She’s been destroying towns, cities and whole countries, ever since,” she answered truthfully. “Appearing and vanishing with no rhyme or reason. No one’s managed to stop her in twenty-six years.”

“That’s horrible,” he said simply, as he looked over his shoulder at the trio standing below. His eyes glowed red, firing off a burst of heat vision that failed to harm them, thanks to Tartsche’s power; not that he seemed to have put any effort into it – an attack more like an afterthought.

Not that it would take more than an after thought for him to kill us, if he actually tried, Basil thought to himself as he went through his options.

His rifle was useless. His gauntlet might be able to protect him from a few hits, but that was all it was good for. Its offensive setting required melee range, and he was not so foolish as to get within close range of that man.

Which left… he looked down at his strangest invention yet, attached to his thigh via a simple magnetic charge.

The silvery-black ovoid, covered in circuit-like patterns much like his gauntlet, looked as innocious as anything he’d ever made.

No, not yet. There’s no guarantee that it’d do anything against him, and I can’t afford to lose it.

He looked at Polymnia, hoping that she might have an idea, but all he saw on her face was worry and fear. No help there.

The others seemed to be similarly dumbfounded as to what to do, except for Hecate, who was hunched over now, her hands cupped on the ground in front of her, as she kept chanting in Greek, or perhaps Ancient Greek – they both sounded the same to Basil, melodious yet non-sensical other than the odd word here or there that seemed to be the origin for an English one.

Since she seemed busy – and fortunately, the Protector had been ignoring her entirely so far – he focused on the dialogue between the two strongest persons in the room.

“-r power,” the Protector said, still addressing Gloom Glimmer. “It feels strange. Familiar, yet off.”

She turned her head away. “It’s the same as hers… just weaker.”

“Are you certain?” he asked, looking surprised. “It feels nothing like hers… almost the inverse, I’d say. Or perhaps the opposite?” He stroked his chin, looking closer at her. “Are you absolutely certain it’s the same?”

“I-“

“ENOUGH OF THIS!” the woman shouted in anger. “YOU ARE DELIBERATELY WASTING TIME! I TOLD YOU TO FIGHT!!!!”

The Protector sighed again. “I’m sorry about this,” he spoke, looking at Gloom Glimmer – though Basil was pretty sure he was adressing all of them. “But I can’t refuse her commands, much as I’d love to.”

His eyes flared red, sending forth twin beams of bright red light straight through Gloom Glimmer’s chest – to no avail, as she simply dissolved into a black mist that surged forward, enveloping his head, rushing into his mouth, his nose, his ears.

Within moments, she had entered completely into his body.

“Nice idea,” he said, chuckling in amusement, seemingly unbothered by the experience. “But I’m every bit as tough on the inside as I am on the outside, little miss.” He rolled his eyes. “Yes, even my brain. Please, you’ll just end up hurting yourself like this.”

Even as he spoke, he turned around, looking at Basil and Polymnia.

“Gadgeteers, huh? Don’t you have some trick up your sleeve that could make this interesting?” he asked Polymnia and him, as he flew closer.

Even standing (well, floating) straight, he moved forward almost too fast for Basil to react, reaching for them with one hand each.

If he touches us, we’re dead, Basil thought as his mind raced to find a way to escape him.

Fortunately, Polymnia was able to move fast enough to do so for him, grabbing him by the waist and leaping away with a massive effort of strength, even for her.

She leapt at the Protector, though.

“What are y-” he began, but cut himself off when he realised they were sailing over the Protector, who flew on for a moment before he turned around, tracking their arc.

Before he could nail them with his heat vision – if that was what he intended – a bullet hit him from Spellgun, straight in the face.

It had little effect, other than to coat his face in ice again. He simply sneezed, shattering the ice and expelling Gloom Glimmer in one move with such force, her mist-form slammed into Basil and Polymnia, bowling them over as they landed and she solidified again.

Ow, Basil groaned as they ended up with both girls lying on top of him. Polymnia in particular was very heavy. There was the sound of shouting and shooting, followed by the grinding sound of bursting ice, but he couldn’t see it because someone’s butt was on his face.

He growned, pushing the two girls off of him as he got up on his feet.

The Protector was trying to get at the immobile trio, again, to no avail, as they fired at him with their various rifles. Only Spellgun’s contrived shots seemed to even register, even if only as annoyances rather than actual threats.

Fortunately, for all of his power, even the Protector seemed incapable of penetrating Tartsche’s defense, be it with his eye beams or his fists, causing an almost comical, brief scene where he seemed to flail as if drunk, his hands sliding off of their heads, throats and weapons, his heat vision failing to so much as heat up anything it touched.

“Hm, interesting,” he said, as he floated back gracefully. “Reminds me of when I fought that baby, she was similarly protected… actually, did anyone bother to give her a name?”

“Desolation-in-Light, Sir,” Tartsche replied respectfully. “We call her Desolation-in-Light, or DiL for short.”

The tall man frowned at that. “That’s a horrible name. What kind of imbecile came up with it?”

Basil couldn’t be sure, given Tartsche’s knightly helmet, but he would’ve bet on him blushing a bit.

“Uh, I actually don’t know who started it. I just… uh, I grew up with it, Sir,” the invulnerable boy responded, sounding as calm as ever.

“Well, it fits as well as any,” Spellgun drawled while he reloaded his rifle. “It’s tacky, yeah, but ‘Desolation-in-Light’ kinda fits l-“

“Bree!” Gloom Glimmer screamed, her voice nearly cracking as she rose up on her feet, her arms thrown wide open, cloak billowing around her. “Her name is BREE!!!”

She threw her arms out forward and unleashed a new power, a beam so bright it blinded Basil even through his visor, creating a sound so loud it deafened him, as if the air itself cracked.

The beam lanced forth, slamming into the Protector – not Spellgun, as even Basil thought it would, for a moment – and then it was too bright to see.

When his vision cleared again, there was a furrow in the otherwise perfect floor, whatever material it was made of disintegrated by her beam even though it hadn’t come close to touching the ground.

There was no sign of the Protector.

Gloom Glimmer didn’t seem to care, as she whirled to glare at Spellgun, her eyes glowing red. “And if I hear any of you use that idiotic appelation ever again, I’ll force-feed you your own colon!” she screamed, her voice distoring towards the end, resembling her father’s much more than her own.

“Duly noted…” Spellgun said in a barely audible whisper.

The others just stared at her, even Basil.

What the…

Then there was a rush of wind, and something crashed into ground just a few metre away, throwing up dust as the ground cracked more, making Basil and Polymnia stumble.

When the dust settled, they saw the Protector rise to stand straight once more, his face twisted in discomfort.

There was a hole in his chest, right above his lung, perhaps even penetrating deep enough to damage it, the edges not burned, but smooth, bleeding heavily.

Even as they watched, it was visibly healing.

What the…

“Fun fact,” the Protector spoke, his voice as strong as ever, so likely no lung damage… if that would even inconveniene him. “I never knew before I fought… Bree’s her name, right?… before I fought Bree, but I actually regenerate!” He looked down at his own wound, watching it heal. “Ugh, this looks disgusting, yet kind of amazing.” He reached for the wound, poking it curiously. “Ow,” he flinched, pulling his hand back. “Pain, right. It’s been a while since I felt that.” He shook his hand, causing the blood on his finger to simply fly off, unable to stick even to the cloth of his costume. “I’m not surprised you managed to hurt me, though,” he said to Gloom Glimmer with his customary genial smile. “Only ones who ever managed that before were your parents, and your sister.”

Gloom Glimmer just stared at him, her mouth hanging open, though whether it was at him having survived her attack or his flippant attitude, Basil couldn’t tell.

What he could tell was that her beam had been far wider than the wound they could see; yet the rate at which his body…

Basil squinted, looking closer.

Not just his body – even his costume was repairing itself!

Either way, at the rate it healed, it shouldn’t have had time to fix a bigger wound just yet. Meaning that, most likely, only the most concentrated part of the beam had actually done any damage at all.

Sighing, he walked over to Gloom Glimmer, as an unnatural calm descendet upon him. He’s just toying with us, he thought. He hasn’t even used his compelling voice, yet. And he should be much faster than he’s shown himself to be, yet. So either he’s been revived in a weaker state, or else…

He’s holding back, the Man in the Moon spoke up. This guy’s a hero, right? Like, he’s the hero. The guy the fanfic writers always pair up with Lady Light. He wouldn’t want to really hurt any of us. For crying out loud, he doesn’t even hate the bitch who killed him!

Basil came to a stop next to Gloom Glimmer, throwing a glance at Hecate, who seemed still busy casting her spell, shielded from the effects of the fight by the blast shadow of the immovable trio. She was bent over her staff, holding onto it with her left hand, while her right one was held above its head, fingers moving as she seemed to be incanting a spell.

He tapped Gloom Glimmer’s shoulder, then tapped his temple when she looked at him. Her eyes widened briefly, before she got his meaning, and then he felt a slight pressure on his mind. He also looked at Tyche, making a few subtle hand signals, out of sight from the Protector and, hopefully, his master, as he couldn’t reach her communicator through Tartsche’s power. She nodded, leaning over to Tartsche to whisper something.

The three of them reappared in his sensors readings.

The contriver, she commanded him to fight us, Basil thought, focusing the thought to be transmitted the way he’d learned from Amy.

Yeah, which is why we’re so screwed, Spellgun replied through their mental link. Owww… I’m already getting a headache! He flinched, scrunching his face up.

Sorry, it’s hard to separate my feelings from my power, Gloom Glimmer replied mechanically, with no real guilt in her mental voice.

Fair enough, I guess… Spellgun admitted.

We are not as screwed as it may seem, Basil spoke up.

What do you mean, B-Six? Tyche asked.

Barely a second had passed since the conversation began.

I mean that he has been holding back this whole time, he explained. He has not even tried to attack Hecate, our most vulnerable member, and he has mostly focused on attacking either the ones under Tartsche’s power – first with an attack that would not have hurt any of you even if it had connected – or Gloom Glimmer, who can take anything he can dish out.

How would he know that? Tartsche asked, his mental voice even calmer than his real one. He clearly didn’t know what her power’s like beforehand.

People often forget his expanded senses, Gloom Glimmer answered before Basil could. He could probably tell I had defensive powers up.

But why would he be holding back like that? That bitch gave him an order, and he doesn’t seem able to refuse it! Tyche asked, sounding the least calm of the ones who’d spoken yet, her mental voice far shakier and brittle than she’d seemed even earlier during their reunion.

She only ordered him to ‘fight’ us. Not win against us. Not defeat us. Not kill us. Just to fight, Basil explained his earlier epiphany. He wants to lose, which is why he has not bothered to dodge a single attack so far, nor made a serious effort to harm any of us. As long as we keep fighting and his mistress doesn’t notice that he’s play-acting, we’ll be able to use that, right, Hecate?

Keep him off my back for another minute and I might have something that’ll work, she replied. Now hush, I’ve got to concentrate!

You heard the lady. Let’s keep up the show before  his mistress realises he’s just messing around! Tartsche spoke firmly. Gloomy, can you put up a proper terrain? Both Polymnia and especially Brennus need more than just flat ground to fight at their best. Spellgun, save up your best shots, just use the ones that can distract him. Tyche and I can’t contribute much here, I’m afraid, but we’ll try to give him credible reasons to be ‘distracted’ whenever possible. Let’s get Hecate her minute!

Everyone agreed in the affirmative, as Basil chambered a new round in his rifle. No more than five seconds in total had passed, since he had drawn Gloom Glimmer’s notice.

The Protector either hadn’t noticed that they’d been unusually quiet for that time, or, more likely, had deliberately ignored it.

Hell, if he can see electricity and into your brains, he can probably tell that you guys were connected via some mental power, the Man in the Moon spoke up. It’s pretty grating how many powers this guy has.

Basil didn’t bother to reply, not that he had the time, as Gloom Glimmer stomped her foot on the ground, sending forth multiple ripples that spread everywhere around them, except where Hecate was working on her spell.

“Oh, what’s this?” the Protector asked curiously, squinting as he looked closer at the effect. “I’ve got the oddest feeling that I’ve seen this before…”

Gloom Glimmer brought her foot down in another stomp, and the ripples disappeared instantly.

Everywhere they’d touched, the ground bucked, and burst into motion.

Pillars rose, sometimes in clumps, sometimes alone, all around them, as the flat floor was turned into a maze of vertical pillars, followed by several horizontal ones that shot out once the main ones had formed, interconnecting them.

Finally! Basil thought, exulting as he triggered his grappling hook system, launching himself up in the air. Now I can fight!

Behind him, Polymnia leaped up, grabbing hold of a horizontal pillar with both hands to vault herself up even further.

“You kids do know that hiding from me isn’t going to work for long, right?” the Protector asked merrily as he flew up and around a pillar, appearing right in front of Basil.

He fired off his second hook to the side, diverting his flight at the same moment to avoid smashing into him.

My rifle’s useless, but if he’s actually not trying to fight, I can probably risk going in close to use the discharge function.

The Protector pursued him easily, cornering without any heed for inertia, his arms crossed in front of his chest as if to say he didn’t even need them to fight. Which he didn’t, not really.

Basil landed with his feet against the side of a particularly tall pillar and detached his hook.

Before he could fall, he kicked himself off, going straight for his pursuing opponent.

The tall man’s eyes widened as Basil flipped around in the air, slamming into his midsection with both feet – not that it so much as budged him.

“You can’t possibly have ex-” he began to say, opening his arms, but Basil didn’t give him a chance to finish.

He put his flat palm against his chest, right over his heart – the wound Gloom Glimmer had dealt him was already gone, fixed together with his costume, so he didn’t waste time aiming for it.

Holding onto his left wrist with his right hand, as he felt gravity reassert itself and start to pull on him, Basil triggered his gauntlet’s entire store of energy.

Instead of the blast he’d expected, that’d throw him back and maybe rattle his invulnerable foe, there was no effect whatsoever on Basil himself – instead, the Protector disappeared from his sight, faster than the eye could follow, as several pillars behind him were broken, collapsing into rubble.

What? he thought, stunned, beginning to fall.

“WHAT!?! WHAT WAS THAT!?!?!?!?!” the crazed voice shouted at the top of its lungs (Basil assumed), managing to sound both offended and shocked at the same time.

Basil wasted no breath even trying to answer her, in no small part because he didn’t know himself.

Firing his grappling hooks, he absentmindedly swung himself onto the nearest pillar, looking out trying to find the Protector and maybe figure out what’d just happened.

In the distance, he saw a silver-and-white figure rise from the rubble – zooming in showed the Protector, unharmed, though with a stunned expression on his face.

ed vYeah, you and me both, Basil couldn’t help but think.

The Protector looked at him, his eyes flaring a bright red he’d have seen even without his visor’s zooming function.

My cue to dodge!

He jumped off the pillar, barely a moment before its tip was disintegrated by twin heat beams, turning the pillar into a molten-tipped candle as he swung into the forest of rocky pillars again, rapidly casting his hooks out and reeling them back in, all but flying between them.

The Protector came after him easily, apparently unhindered by the camouflage the pillars should have provided Basil.

I don’t even know all of the senses this guy could be bringing to the mat, Basil thought, chargrinned, trying to stay ahead of his pursuer, to draw the chase out and buy Hecate the time she needed to complete whatever she was working on.

“That felt weird,” he said as he caught up, forcing Basil to cast one hook out backwards the way he’d come, to swing around the back of the man, trying to stay out of his front arc. “I don’t think I’ve ever encountered an effect quite like that before… what’d you do?”

“I discharged several tons’ worth of kinetic force into your chest in one shot,” Basil said, leading the man on a merry chase, waiting for his gauntlet to recharge, tracking its capacitors’ progress in drawing electricity from his batteries and charging the kinetic projector. I need to find a way to recharge soon. “I did not expect it to do… that.”

“Hmm,” the legendary hero stroked his chin, absent-mindedly cutting through Basil’s currently in-use hook-line with a flash of heat vision, causing him to tumble down before he used the other to catch himself and swing around a pillar. “So instead of dispersing or absorbing it, my own force-field translated that into movement… curious.”

“Absorbed,” Basil mumbled, while he caught sight of Polymnia, lurking behind a nearby pillar, the fingers of her left hand driven into the stone to dangle from. She looked back at him and made a quick series of hand signals with her right hand.

Gloom Glimmer dropped the telepathy, he realised, I should’ve noticed.

He nodded back at her, having understood the signs, and she smiled back.

Swinging around the pillar, he came face to face with the Protector again, just as the man was reaching out to grab him by the throat.

Disconnecting his remaining hook, he dropped, bending backwards to dodge his reaching hand, and cast it out again, pulling himself towards Polymnia’s pillar, hoping that whatever she was planning could buy them some more time.

Not that he’s exactly making it hard.

He passed her pillar, the Protector hot on his heels, and Polymnia struck as soon as the undead hero flew by her ambush.

Throwing herself around the pillar by the strength of one arm alone, she landed on the caped hero’s back, pressing both of her gauntlets to his ears.

<I’m really really sorry about this Sir I swear I’m actually a big fan!> she said, before she let loose with her sonics.

Even though Basil was already a dozen metre or so away from them, even though his helmet was shielded, he nearly tumbled down to the ground as the noise shook him to the bone.

Landing on the side of a pillar, held up by his grappling hook, he watched Polymnia ride the Protector down as the man lost control of his flight, tumbling downwards. The utter, mind-rending noise she was projecting was so powerful as to visibly distort the air around them as they fell, and it seemed to affect her, as well, in spite of all the protection built into her equipment, though she doggedly held onto her quarry, continuing to blast her cacophony into his ears at contact range.

That is, she did until he reached over his head and grabbed her by the forearms, his fingers crushing her gauntlets as they squeezed, making her cry out as he pulled her off of him and threw her with bone-crushing force into the ground below.

Polymnia impacted the ground with a cry of pain, cracking the stone as she was half-buried in it.

Both Basil and the Protector looked down at her for a moment, shocked at the sudden turn of events – yet neither had the chance to so much as make a sound before a sound like a sonic boom, only far more shrill, sounded, and the Protector was knocked out of the air.

“YOU-” Gloom Glimmer screamed, tackling him as he tumbled down, knocking him back the way she’d come, her body sheathed in a shroud of black sparks.

“-DON’T-” She punched him with a fist sheathed in green light, the energy of which exploded in another shrill boom, shattering all the pillars within ten metre of them as he was thrown out of sight, Gloom Glimmer in pursuit.

“-GET-” Her scream reached them, nevertheless, along with another boom in the distance that destroyed another cluster of pillars.

“-TO-” The Protector flew by Basil with such force he only managed to stay on his own pillar due to his grappling hook.

“-HURT-” Gloom Glimmer rushed by, a black-and-white streak of raw fury. Basil took the chance to leap down to Polymnia, using his grappling hook to break his fall at the last moment and land right next to her.

“-MY-” There was another shrill boom, further away.

“-FRIEND!!!” came a last cry, and an explosion like no other.

Green light washed over Basil and Polymnia, a wave of it flying by above to cut through what pillars still stood, though fortunately there weren’t any left near enough that they were in danger of being crushed.

Basil knelt down, checking Polymnia over. Her gauntlets were ruined, crushed, though surprisingly not far enough to break the her bones underneath (she’d likely have some impressive bruises nonetheless), but she herself seemed largely unharmed.

He helped her, carefully, to sit up out of the shallow grave the impact had made for her, making her groan as he steadied her with one arm behind her back.

“Where does it hurt, and how badly?” he asked calmly.

She looked up at him, blinking in a daze. Her lips moved, but no sound came out.

Her brain’s scrambled, he thought, as he tapped her hand with his free one. Somewhere in the distance, the fight continued.

Polymnia blinked once more, then flushed in embarrassment, and the fingers of her left hand began to move, slowly at first then faster.

<My forearms feel like they’re one big bruise and my back is no better off, but otherwise, I’m alright,> her vocaliser spoke, projected through a small speaker on the collar of her armour. She smiled reassuringly. <It pays to be a brick.>

“I would still like to check your arms and back at the earliest opportunity,” he said as he helped her up onto her feet, straining a bit to lift the bulk of her – she wasn’t wearing power armour right now, but it was still far more bulky and heavy than his body armour was, and she was no lightweight herself, though he knew not to comment on that.

<I really hope Hecate knows what she’s doing,> Polymnia said once she was more or less steady, though still trembling and hunched a bit due to the pain. <Gloomy won’t be able to keep this up much longer, not against someone that powerful.>

He frowned, and pulled an extension cord out of his belt, attaching it to her own belt’s port.

<Do you mean to say that she is going to run out of whatever powers her abilities?> he asked, concerned. He’d seen Gloom Glimmer run out once before, after all, during the Hastur fight.

<Precisely,> Polymnia replied. <No one’s ever been able to accurately measure her actual limit or how fast she drains it, but using this many big powers in such quick succession? We need to finish this, and soon.>

He looked toward the direction of the fight, tapping a reply with his fingers. <Yes, I believe we have distracted him long enough at this point. Let us go check up on the others.>

She gave him a nod and he wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her close before he cast out his grappling hook, vaulting them both – with some strain on the motor – back towards their friends.

***

“HAH! SOON THE ACCURSED DEMON CHILD SHALL BE BESTED AND YOU ALL SHALL BECOME PRISONERS OF THE COMPANIONS ONCE MORE!!!!!!” the raving contriver’s voice boomed from nowhere and everywhere as they reached the immobile trio, Hecate and the pair of Osore and Bakeneko again.

Osore had shrunk down again, which meant that Bakeneko’s tendrils were mostly lying on the floor as he stood there, as calm and still as a statue.

“Brennus, Polymnia, you’re alright!” Bakeneko cried as she scrambled off of her boyfriend’s shoulders, taking a few unstable steps on her tentacles as they began to fuse together, then reached them in her catgirl form. Then she stopped, looking Polymnia up and down with a closer eye. “Are you alright!?” She stared at Polymnia’s crushed gauntlets, looking worried. The others, save for Osore and Hecate, did the same.

<I’m fine, thanks for asking,> Polymnia replied. <Just a few bruises and a few grand in damages.>

Tartsche turned his power off, joining them along with Spellgun, but Basil ignored them, going over to Hecate along with Tyche.

The Greek sorceress was still on her knees, though she was no longer working on her staff, which lay on the ground next to her. Instead, she was holding a wooden goblet covered in hand-carved Greek lettering. A warm red flame, threaded through with flickers of silver, was burning within, the goblet remaining clasped in both hands.

“I’m ready,” Hecate announced in a soft voice, looking up at them, her face illuminated from below by the flickering flame, casting it into dancing shadows. “Stand aside, please.”

Basil and Tyche nodded, stepping aside as Hecate rose to her feet, her boots’ heels clicking on the floor as she put her weight on them.

“WHAT IS THIS? THE LITTLE APPRENTICE THINKS SHE CAN CHALLENGE MY MAGIC IN MY OWN REALM?”

Hecate raised the goblet up, as if presenting it to an unseen goddess above. “I don’t think – I know.”

“WELL, DO YOUR WORST!!!!!!!” the voice boomed in mocking tones.

The sorceress lowered the cup as she took a deep breath, then turned it over, spilling the flames into a circle around her.

They didn’t fade, nor burn the ground, just remained there in place, forming a perfect ring.

Finally, Hecate lifted the cup to her lips and whispered a single word.

εύρηκα.”

The flames gushed forth in a sudden wave of red and silver, an ever-expanding ring that washed over Basil and the others without so much as singing their clothes, a gentle warmth that briefly caressed them before continuing, though it did make his sensors briefly go crazy.

Nothing happened in most places they passed, except when they touched something towards the direction that the Protector had first come from.

A veil shimmered, then was burned away like a moth in the flame.

Beyond it, a woman appeared, standing behind a half-circular wooden table with five engraved stone bowls standing atop it in regular spacing, blood-red flames burning in each of them. Something was floating within the flames of the central bowl in front of her, unburned by the flames. Further behind her, a door-shaped sheet of light floated in mid-air.

The woman behind did not look much older than Amy, to Basil, and she was dressed in an outfit somewhere between a dress and a robe, exposing a decent amount of skin without being obscene, all in red with golden details, wearing no mask but a golden circlet atop her raven hair. She radiated a soft purple aura, in contrast to the red of Basil and his friends, and the blue around the Protector.

Her brown eyes widened in shock as she stared at them.

Basil fired three shots, as soon as he could make her out, aiming for each shoulder and the object within the central bowl.

The shots all deflected off an invisible force-field, sending forth ripples across it that revealed it to be a hemisphere enclosing the woman and her ritual table.

Of course she still has shields up, he thought, annoyed.

His attack seemed to knock the woman out of her shock. She sputtered something, her voice breaking before she could form words – now at a normal volume – before she threw her head back and screamed: “To ME, my Protector!”

There was a boom in the distance and then the Protector landed between them in a flawless three-point landing, shattering the ground.

He looked… slightly worse for wear; whatever Gloom Glimmer had done had actually caused him some harm, small tears in his costume and a few scratches on his otherwise flawless face; but even that was already disappearing, repaired by his power.

Looking over his shoulder, he frowned at the sight of his mistress; then his body went rigid as he saw whatever was in the flames of the central bowl.

“How did you get that?” he asked, and his voice was cold for the first time, filled with barely restrained anger.

The woman did not seem cowed at all. “It is of no importance to you, my Protector! Now kindly defeat these children so we may put them back into their cells. And kill the witch who dared defy me, the mighty Legend!

The man stiffened, again, as did the others at the far more specific wording of this command; the only one who advanced was Hecate, apparently uncaring of the danger, walking slowly towards them while holding her staff in her left hand.

I really hope this works, Basil thought in worry, as he watched his best friend approach one of the most powerful metahumans they had ever met.

The Protector, in turn, began to walk towards her at a normal pace, moving stiffly, but with determination on his face.

Gloom Glimmer came flying in, trailing black sparks as she aimed straight for the Protector.

His lips moved, mouthing the words ‘Good Luck’ at them.

Hecate lifted her staff and stomped the ground once with the butt, causing a shadowy scythe-blade to emerge from its crystal tip, casting green reflections all around it.

Grabbing a hold of her scythe with both hands, she brought it down on the Protector in a diagonal slash, from his left shoulder to his right hip, the blade passing through him without any visible effect.

The invincible hero staggered, falling to one knee. Gloom Glimmer aborted her charge at the sight, staring at the scene in surprise – much like everyone else.

“Ah,” the Protector gasped, as the central bowl behind him burst into a flash of green flames, the object that’d been floating in it being thrown out before the flames faded. “Thank you kindly,” he said softly, his form beginning to fall apart at the edges, dissolving inwards. “Might I ask for your name, young one?”

“I’m Hecate,” the young witch replied. “May you rest peacefully in Elysium, Jason Davon.”

He smiled at her. “Nah… I think I’d rather try for reincarnation a few times… and then… maybe… the Isles… of the… Blest…” His lower body and arms fell apart, his skeleton beginning to shine through his transluscent flesh, now also starting to fade.

“I’m sure you’ll prove worthy,” she told him, her voice soft as they all watched him collapse and fade away into nothing.

For a few moments, silence reigned.

“What… what the fuck did you do!? How could you do that!?!” Legend screamed, breaking the reverie.

Hecate raised her head, her posture becoming much more straight. “You’re not the only necromancer here,” she spoke with undisguised contempt in her voice. “I may never stoop so low as to drag the dead up from their just rest, but putting them back to rest… now that I can do very well.” Basil couldn’t see it, but he thought she was smirking. “And breaking a spell is always easier than casting it, is it not?”

Legend snarled, undisguised hatred in her eyes. “You will PAY for this insolence, for violating my very realm!”

She reached for a pouch of hers, drawing forth two small objects – a hand-stitched, ragged doll, made out of rags in the shape of a little girl and a rosary made of silver and pearl beads and a wooden cross, and threw them into the flames of the bowls to the left and right of the central one.

“Rise, my Champions!” she shouted throwing her arms up towards the sky as the flames shot up into twin pillars of flame.

Several spheres of glowing power impacted the force-field around her, originating from Gloom Glimmer’s cloak, but to no avail – whatever contrivance was protecting her held true.

Two figures began to fade into existence, and everyone present instantly recognised them.

One was a person in full-body platemail on which a sword and a blue fleur-de-lys were engraved, wielding a heavy shield that sported the same symbol and a longsword with the fleur-de-lys engraved onto the pommel.

The other was a man taller even than the Protector had been, wearing faded military camo pants and heavy, worn-out boots and a white tabbard with the fleur-de-lys on his breast, his head that of a Hawk, as were the large wings emerging from his back.

The first and third Chevalier, Basil thought in surprise and no small amount of horror. She can raise the dead just like that!?

Everyone braced themselves, ready for combat, but it was Gloom Glimmer who acted first, reaching out for the third Chevalier with one hand to make a grasping motion and pull her hand back, as if to drag him.

Just as the man fully manifested, opening his sharp, hawk-like eyes, he disappeared and re-appeared right within striking range of Hecate, who wasted no time swinging her scythe.

Another bowl lost its fire, the summoned spirit fading into nothing.

Legend screamed in rage, as Gloom Glimmer and Hecate repeated the same process with the first Chevalier, banishing the woman before she could even become aware of what was happening – if those were even really the dead returned, and not just fascimiles created by Legend’s power.

The enraged contriver snarled at them, as she pulled another object from her pouch and threw it into one of the two remaining bowls’ flames, another pillar of fire shooting up briefly – but whatever shade she tried to summon, Hecate and Gloom Glimmer managed to strike it down before it had even fully formed.

“Nononononononooo!” Legend screamed, pounding her fists on the table. “How dare you? Howdareyouhowdareyouhowdareyou!?!?! I’ll kill you, kill you killyoukillyou!!!!!!!”

Seven exclamation marks on that one, Basil thought, walking forward to stand by Hecate’s side.

“Looks like you’re done for,” he drawled, surprised to find that his voice was full of contempt as well – contempt he actually felt himself.

Something about this woman just plain pissed him off, and it wasn’t the grandstanding or the fact that she was a villain affiliated with the very people who’d crippled Prisca.

Well, not just that.

No one should so dishonour the memory of fallen heroes, to call up these mockeries and make them her slaves.

“Surrender now, let us go and we’ll just knock you out and tie you up,” Basil commander her coldly, as the others closed ranks around to the left and right of him and Hecate, with Gloom Glimmer floating above, her cloak billowing out. “You’ve lost.”

“Nono, NO!” she screamed, slamming both fists onto the heavy wooden table. “You… you can’t beat me!” She calmed herself, slightly, using both hands to brush a few errand strands of hair out of her face.

Taking deep breaths, she stood up straight, looking down at them from the dais her ritual table stood upon. “I am Legend, Mistress of the Fallen Ones, the most powerful Contriver on this Holy Ground.” She gestured at the doorway behind her. “This is the only way out of my Realm, and only I, its Mistress, can open it and allow foreign ones like you, to leave.” Her hand made a wide sweep towards them. “None but I can pass my Fortress spell.” She gestured at her sole remaining bowl. “I still have one more Basin of Resurrection left to use, to summon a servitor who’ll obey my every command.”

She reached into her pouch and pulled out… an old paperback book.

What could that be? Basil thought, zooming in to read the title, and promptly choked as he recognized it.

“Hecate, Gloom Glimmer, you have to stop her!!!” he screamed as he raised his rifle to unload all his ammunition at the book, hoping that, maybe, one would get through.

“Now despair, as I summon my most powerful servitor!” Legend shouted, pulling the last basin directly in front of herself and dropping the limited first-edition copy of Five Sun’s Dawn into its flames. “Come forth, oh mightiest one! I, Legend, command thee to appear before me and serve me!” she shouted, throwing her head back and raising her fists up into the sky, as if to call down divine wrath.

Several shots from Basil’s, Tyche’s, Tartsche’s and Spellgun’s weapons bounced off the shielding spell to no effect whatsoever, other than to cause a few ripples that disappeared almost as soon as they appeared.

A pillar shot up.

A shade began to form, tall and gaunt.

Hecate raised her scythe for a powerful two-handed blow.

Gloom Glimmer cried out, making a grasping motion.

The shade disappeared just as it solidified, reappearing before Hecate.

The scythe fell to cut through the shade.

“Stop,” the shade whispered, turning its head towards the young heroine.

She stopped mid-swing, her scythe inches away from cutting into him.

The shade solidified into a person, standing tall as he looked down on them.

A gaunt man, easily a whole head taller than Basil himself, with a thin, not unattractive face; high cheekbones sharp enough to slice bread were accentuated by a slightly beaked nose and a sharp chin. His eyes were as black as the night, even more so than his raven hair that reached in an unkempt, almost barbaric mass down to his waist; the iridae so dark it was all but impossible to make out where they ended and where the pupils began. He was garbed in a tight, dark red robe with golden trimming and vine-like patterns of the same golden material at the rims of the wide sleeves, the foot of the robe and his high, closed collar. It fit snugly around his slender, yet not too thin torso, showing little muscle and pretty much no fat. From the ends of the sleeves, long, almost spidery fingers poked out, slender and dexterous looking, the kinds of fingers one expected to see on the hands of a pianist.

A pale blue glow emanated from his body.

He bore no crown, nor did he need one – his aura of power, of command, was so mighty as to be nearly physical, tying them all in place; whether it was an actual power, or the sheer weight of his reputation, Basil could not say, as the man whom had once made a credible claim to the title of ‘Godking’ looked at them with a slightly curious, surprised look.

“I will not be slain today,” he said calmly, with an absolute conviction that broke no argument. “I will not be captured today. I will not be controlled today. I will not be subverted today. I will not be harmed.”

Dude, you are so fucking fucked to all fucking hell, the Man in the Moon threw in unhelpfully.

“This is no scenario I envisioned for my resurrection,” Emyr Blackhill spoke, keeping his voice soft, and yet it was deep, reverberating with an odd harmony that made them all shiver down to their bones.

Raising a hand, he looked at the slender limb, the wide sleeve falling back to reveal a bare forearm. He turned it around, looking at it from several angles. “Why do I glow blue?” he asked no one in particular, fortunately, frowning softly.

Then he looked up at the teenagers in front of him, looking left to right. “You glow… red? You’re not the ones who brought me here, are you? Am I right?” He directed that question at Hecate, who still stood in front of him, having taken a step back in fear.

“You are,” she replied instantly, her voice almost but not quite cracking, quivering with fear.

“Relax, child,” he told her softly, and the tension immediately drained out of her stance. “Now tell me what’s g-“

“Emyr Blackhill!” Legend shouted at him, her voice loud and clear. “I am the one who summoned you, oh mighty one! Thus, I am your-“

“I really do not enjoy being interrupted,” he cut her off as he turned around with a reproachful look. “Do not speak again without my leave,” he ordered her, and her mouth clamped shut as her eyes grew wide in horror.

He looked at her, his back to the teens behind, uncaring of any threat they might pose. “Hm, you glow purple, not red nor blue. Probably has to do with you being the former mistress of this realm. Answer my question.”

“Yes, that is why I am surrounded by a purple corona. It designates me as the true Mistress of this realm, not a former one,” she replied, before her mouth closed shut again, her voice full of equal parts of contempt and terror.

Emyr snorted softly. “How conceited of you.”

He walked towards her, until he came up to the shield that surrounded her dais, reaching out with one hand to touch it. Ripples spread from where his palm pressed against it.

Legend’s lips twitched into a hopeful smirk, as he was held back.

“Hm. This little spell is nothing before me,” he said calmly as he pressed his hand forth. The shield popped like a soap bubble, and Legend turned as pale as a corpse.

Emyr stepped onto the dais, his legs long enough to clear its height in one, albeit very wide, step. Upon it, he towered over the average-sized Legend, even more so due to his wild mane of hair.

“This table shall move out of my way,” he spoke, and the ritual table with the basins atop slid out of the way and to the edge of the dais, almost but not quite falling off.

Then he walked onto the doorway, and reached out with one hand, trying to push it through.

His hand could not pass through.

“This is the exit out of this realm, am I correct, Legend?” he asked, sounding unperturbed by being denied exit.

“Yes,” she replied.

“You will address me as your Majesty,” he rebuffed her.

Her fists clenched in impotent rage as she stepped aside, turning so her side was towards Basil and the others, looking at the man who would so command her. “As you wish, your Majesty,” she said, though she clearly didn’t want to.

“Let this doorway be open to me then,” he commanded, and tried to step through again.

Basil’s heart nearly stopped, and he was sure he wasn’t the only one who held his breath – only to let it out explosively along with everyone else but Emyr himself, as he failed to exit once more.

He tilted his head to the side. “Something which can stymie my power? Now this is impressive.” He turned around to look at Legend again, stepping closer to her. “No wonder you were able to summon me. Now how can I leave this realm?”

“You can’t, your Majesty,” she replied, her trembling voice putting the lie to her attempts to look self-assured as she stared up at the looming figure of Emyr. “Only I can use the doorway, and those who bear a red corona, provided they have my leave, for I am still the Mistress of this Realm. And even if I wanted to, there is no way a servitor could exit this realm, your Majesty.” Some of her earlier sneer returned to her voice as she spoke.

Emyr stroked his chin, still paying no attention whatsoever to the teens beyond her. Not that any one of them had the nerve to try and attack him right now.

“Hm, I see,” he said, a slight contempt and a great boredom evident in his voice. “A wise precaution, though it is thoroughly insufficient of course.”

Everyone just stared at him, the teens not daring to speak, and Legend unable to.

Emyr raised a hand, scratching the back of his head briefly as he rolled his shoulders, loosening them up as if he had no care in the world.

Then he looked down at Legend in slight contempt, making an imperious, sweeping gesture with his right hand, as if to encompass the entire mystic realm.

“Insufficient,” his voice boomed, speaking with a commanding tone that shook the very ground, “for I shall be the Master of this realm now!”

His corona turned a light, barely perceptible purple, as Legend’s own turned… blue.

She stared down at her hands, taking a step back, and fell over onto her butt, her face slack with shock.

Emyr shrugged and looked at the teenagers. “Excuse me, but I do have a planet to reclaim, and another to conquer… again. I shall take my leave now, and take care of you all later, once I have re-established my regency,” he spoke to them before he turned around and walked towards the door. “It shouldn’t take too long, all things considered.”

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83 thoughts on “13.9 Call of the Sleeper

  1. Holy ****, over 10.000 words. That’s basically two or three average chapters in once.

    I’m sorry it took so long, and this is the final update for this month, but I kept revising it over and over, not wanting to screw this one up.

    Frankly, I’m still not happy with how the fight went (as usual), but then again, I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with that.

    Seeing how this is longer than the last two chapters combined, I am going to be a little mean here and count this as two updates in one. I know that’s fudging things a bit, but I’d rather that than have delivered this one shorter or less to my satisfaction; maybe my standards are too high.

    Considering the things that develop in this chapter, though, I hope you can all understand.

    Anyway, next chapter will be up tomorrow – the Patreon Interlude: Toybox!

    I hope you’ll like it, and that you like this one as much as I looked forward to it for so long!

    Sincerely,

    Tieshaunn Tanner

    PS: If you think this ain’t fair, and it’s not enough to count as two chapters, please tell me so, and I’ll see about imposing a penalty on myself for it. Seriously.

    PPS: I just put this one into word for fun. Thing is 24 pages long, in 1.5 line spacing. I’ve written term papers that weren’t half this long.

  2. What a great chapter! You definitely have nothing to worry about. The releases for this month has been phenomenal.

  3. Well that escalated quickly. I feel a need for the facepalm of the century. I mean why would you think that resurrectingsomeone with the power to apparently reshape reality would be a good idea. I wonder how her boss is going to take that. No matter how powerful the companions are they can not be happy to have the Godking around again. And I would assume he has learned from his death.

    So is he the star that seemed apparently dead that everybody seems to see when manifesting. I mean it would fit that star is as big as Bree’s star. Or was he dead dead and this is even more fucked up then it seems? His star suddenly reappearing?

      • Well then, Damn. Sounds like a lot of people are going to have a rude awakening. That war that’s just starting up seems like an even worse idea now. At least Dark will not be bored anytime soon =P

      • And I thought the dead star was GG since she was constantly suppressing her real power and cause it sounded like it was the same size DiLs is. Thought Emyr would have a black hole or something like a galaxy…
        But the implications this could have are even more interesting. We know that Weißwalds star is still around too and from the description more active than Emyr’s used to be.

      • Well, Weisswald may have been killed, but the Spiteborn are still very active, so obviously his power is still quite busy.

      • Eh if his power is still active it could try to bring him back, in fact methinks this is the endgame of the Spiteborn cycle…

        Weißwald wird wieder leben und alle werden vor Angst zittern!!!(well they would have but now that Emyr is back well maybe not so much)

      • Well if I remember right there were two quite big stars easily recognizable as The Dark and Lady Light and connected to both of them very closely a star that looked kind of twisted and changing. I think that was Gloom Glimmer.

  4. I knew he would be back! And the MitM is back too!
    That was a very very interesting chapter. But Emyr mentioned that “This is no scenario I envisioned for my resurrection”. Does this mean that sooner or later his power would have brought him back on his own?
    And we still have no clue what’s in the egg. 😦

  5. First things first:

    “Hm, you glow purple, not read nor blue”
    I think you meant “Red” instead of “read”

    Now then one thing to say(well in two words):Holy Shit!!! this chapter was great I loved the whole fight against the Protector and how the man held back against the group and how he fought, but most of all I loved his attitude his personnality and how he does not even blame Bree for what happened to him. This man is a great man and a great hero, not because of his power but because of who he is, great job on showing that Tieshaunn. The world really lost one of his best the day he died and became darker for it.It was also interesting to see how familiar with the Protector the man on the moon was.

    Second we finally know DiL given name, not what I might have expected but eh it is good to know that bit as it makes her human and reminds that she is not a thing or Lab made Kaiju but a person. Gloomy insiting on everyone using that name now makes sense but I am not sure if her parents would agree with that.

    Also winner of the Darwin Award: Legend, I mean yes Contrivers are even more deranged than average and all but any self styled Necromancer should know that summoning something to powerful has it’s dangers. Also Hecate showed how badass she is once again, also given what she said it seems she could pull what Legend did by bringing those people back if she was less moral than she is.

    Damn we just saw Emyr on screen and the first thing he does is hijack the plot, guy’s got style I like him and damnhe planned his own resurrection, i would wager the original idea involved his corpse being freed from Gungnir’s spear somehow and him waking up and being back, he did not seem that peeved that his scenario was derailed though but damn I cannot wait to see where this goes. hah i have to wonder if the Mars mission wouldn’t have been the ones who would have inadertantly ressurected Emyr if Legend hadn’t tried for a Darwin Award here.

    Very good job Tieshaunn cannot wait for the next chapter(and other updates too but come on I want to see what happens after this)

      • No problem

        Heh wonder how Immanuel and his cohorts will react to one of their own having unleashed Emyr back to the universe.

        For that matter I think he will take a bit more time than he expect to as I think he has to rebuild everyhting he had on Mars that disappeared, which did take time the first time around, true there’s stuff that’s still there but eh…

        Speaking of Mars is there a teleporter alive not named Journeyman or Emyr who can teleport there with their power ? And what level of teleportation does Bluebell have ?

      • So not really no about Emyr needing time to put things back up or about being a teleporter who can go to mars who is not named Emyr or Journeyman ?

        Also about Blubell I did not ask about an hypothetic rating as I figured she was not known by the UH and the Syndicate and other such people, but what I was asking is if her teleportation is a high end one as it seems to be or not because of unknown heavy restrictions ? I mean you said that Glik’s power was high end as far as precog go I was wondering if Bluebell’s power is as far as teleportation forms go.

        (though I see how could think I was asking about her rating with the way I wrote the question, also this one was an old one I had that I somehow forgot to ask when I was bugging you on teleportation in older updates.)

      • Yes.

        Bluebell’s teleportation is powerful, but on its own not exceptional due to some stringent limitations; it’s only thanks to its interaction with her sister’s power that she’s as powerful as she appears to be. I’d rate her, um, roughly a s6-7, on her own. 9-10 while working together with her sister.

      • Ah, so it only appears to be that good but is not really without her sister’s power I wonder if she has something else to go with her teleportation or not.

    • Why would Emyr be peeved that his resurrection plan got derailed like this? Someone was so eager for his return that he was resurrected before even his own plan could do the job.

      • It has to do with his personality, and the reason why/how he was defeated in the first place. More on that next time.

      • Well from what I gathered about this guy who IS a former author he likes to write the narrative of everyhting he does, to direct things but in a spectacular and interesting way so yeah his own grand plan to come back being reduced merely to”resurrected by some random contriver” is something I could see bothering him.

  6. This is why having a mad science/wizard/necromancer/cleric able to resurrected the dead is always a very bad thing when you don’t manage to assassinate them. Because just as soon as they start losing, they always end up summoning a REALLY big bad, who then goes and breaks all the bindings the resurrection put ton them.

    So sure, the Big Bad’s defeated, but the OH GOD WHY REALLY Big Bad that everyone narrowly defeated in the past is now back…

    Oh, and the two way war that was shaping up between the ‘West’ and the Sovjet? Is now three way… Well, four way considering that the Spiteborn are still around and they’d probably take full advantage of the weakened defences caused by the three way war…

  7. I think you missed a “destroyed” in this sentence:
    “She your city. She killed you! And what you worry about is whether she was saved?”

  8. Well, this was worth the wait. I don’t normally like to comment just to say, “good job” (even though I know that authors feed upon this). You managed to avoid my expectations in several ways.

    First, I thought that Hecate was going to just free Protector, leaving him to deal with Legend.

    Second, I thought that the last-ditch summon was going to be someone else. I’m not sure if you mentioned the title of that book before, but I missed the clue. I thought it would be someone other than Emyr. I figured either Black Sun or Weiswald, to be honest.

    Third, I expected you to end on a cliffhanger. More precisely, I would have expected the Man in the Moon’s last line to be the end of the chapter. That line was pretty funny, by the way.

    Fourth, when I predicted that the SHTF, I wasn’t exactly expecting something on this scale. Relating to my third point, I’m glad you went for the WHAM ending instead of the cliffy.

  9. One: I’m totally happy with counting this as multiple chapters.

    Two: Emyr vs. Bree, round one, now taking bets on how much of the world will be standing when they’re done…

  10. HOOOOOLLLLLYYYY SHIIIIT.

    So epic.

    Someone wondered if the spiteborn endgame was to resurrect weisswald. I wonder if the next stage above a blossom might be getting closer to that.

    Also with Blackhill on the scene I wonder if Ember will do anything about it.

    • He does have both hard and soft limits, but other than himself, the only ones who ever figured those out were the team that brought him down and Journeyman (as usual).

      He can empower people, but he can’t actually make metahumans; the powers he bestowed faded when he was defeated.

  11. Damn, just damn. Did not see this one coming. Ember wasn’t the only meta who could resurrect the dead after all, and Legend doesn’t even seem to have a time limit.

    The only question is whether or not her powers still work know that she’s no longer the master of her realm. If they do then they just need to get her something of Gungir’s.

    Oh yeah, and escape the inescapable demiplane while obtaining the cooperation of an egomaniac supervillian. But why worry about the little details?

    • Legend can’t quite bring the dead back – they only exist within her realm and only while the basins burn. If the basins are destroyed or run out of oil, or her “spell” is otherwise disrupted (such as what Hecate did) they fade away. Also, if she were to day, they’d all disappear as well, along with her realm.

      She really never knew it was possible for one of her shades to ‘take over’, so to speak, and resist her control; reviving Emyr wasn’t AS stupid as it may seem, from her point of view.

      • Yes, but they seem to actually be the dead people, not just projections, otherwise Emyr couldn’t bypass the limits of her power and Emyr seems to imply that his initial inability to leave is due to intentional limits imposed by her rather than the inherent limits of her power. Of course that may just have been his assumption.

      • damn, you were fast. I don’t reload the page for 15 minutes and you have already replied.

    • I don’t think that she really brought them fully back to life. Sounded more like she could create a copy of them or something like an empty husk that was limited to her “realm”. If Legend was truly brought back to the living I don’t think that a random contriver could just come up with a spell to kill him in a few minutes considering how near perfect his armor appears to be.
      I think that instead Emyr brought himself back to life once he gained a foothold in the mortal realm with her help. For me he was only truly alive once he switched his aura with hers.
      Some other really powerful metas could possibly hijack her magic in the same way but I am pretty sure that the cast majority wouldn’t be able to pull it off. And its questionable if she can even bring someone back now that her corona is blue. Looks like the only thing keeping her alive right now is her own power. I am wondering how long she can keep that up.

  12. Hey tieshaunn, would you care to elaborate a bit on Emyr’s background and motivation?
    From what we have heard so far he appears to be close to all powerful without any real limitations to his power. So why would he even bother to try to take over the earth if he knew from the beginning that he would succeed in doing so? (If he remembers to command everybody not to kill him this time)
    I mean, I can understand that he probably wants to tell a story, but what will he do when he is done with that? Will he just sit on a throne and control earth for all eternity? To be honest his power sounds like such an incredible cheat that it should grow boring very, very soon.
    If I were in his place I would probably give myself quite a few handicaps and then start to build a fake identity on earth just for the challenge of it. (After I made sure that I have a working backup plan should things go wrong. Again.)

    • Let’s see what I can say without spoilers…

      Emyr’s the son of a British family that fled to the USA during World War 2. He was always an outsider, due to his posh accent and love for books over baseball trading cards and sports, and for most of his childhood, he only had a single friend, a girl who was every bit the bookworm that he was. After her father died in the war (her mother had died much earlier due to cancer), she moved in with his family and they became siblings, of sorts.

      In his teen years, he started writing a lot (dozens of pages of stories, notes and drafts every week), to the point where, at times, his parents had trouble paying for all the ink and paper he was using up (they were very supportive of his work).

      When he turned eighteen, just after finishing high school, he published his first work, White Sun’s Legend, the first in a cycle of six books that were eventually topped by his magnum opus, Five Sun’s Dawn, which he completed and published at the age of twenty-one.

      At nineteen, his parents died when a fight between capes and cowls brought down a highway overpass on their car and he became the sole provider for himself and his sister, who’d fallen ill (the same cancer that killed her mother). She died shortly after he published Five Sun’s Dawn, which led to his origin (he basically found out that his book had topped the bestseller lists after just one week at the same time he found out she died) and the rest, as they say, is history.

      Motivation-wise, I’m not going to go too deep into things, but you are right in that he is kind of obsessed with telling a good story, which is one reason why he did things the way he did; it’s not his main motivation, though.

      His power is not unlimited, as I have noted before and which his earlier defeat should make clear; but he is a very intelligent man with a very active imagination and has learned to work either with or around its various limitations, idiosyncrasies and quirks.

      • Didn’t you say that he used to be a minor writer of Sci-Fi books? Writing a bestseller doesn’t really sound minor to me.

        Interesting that telling a good story is only a welcomed byproduct of whatever major goal he is working towards. From what you have told us so far he appears to be a tad narcissistic and arrogant but otherwise mostly sound and sane. And he also doesn’t appear to be the kind of guy who would honestly believe that he could change humanity for the better on his own by conquering earth. Given his origin I doubt he simply did it for power or fame.

        He could make a very, very interesting Antihero if he wasn’t so overpowered. I really hope that you make him more human than just another (godlike) villain that needs to be defeated. Would love to see him as a more active character that interacts with other metas. Considering how he appears to have a flair for the dramatic I could totally see him as someone who “works in the dark to serve the light”.

        PS: And please, for the love of god, show us how the UH board and the other superpowers react to the news of his return. Would be really interesting to see an emergency meeting of the most powerful metas on the planet.
        Now that we know that it’s possible to let contrivers and getgeteers together if you draw a very clear line between them I wonder how fast a crack team of gadgeteers and contrivers could get someone to mars if they had nearly unlimited resources…

        PPS: To the guy who asked why we would need a trans dimensional orbital death laser: This is why.

      • He wrote one bestseller that stayed on the lists briefly (his other books were middling successes, barely enough to provide for him and his sister), then stopped. Compared to what most sci-fi writers of the time put out, that’s really not all that much.

        There is a vast gulf between stable and sane.

        A transdimensional orbital death laser wouldn’t suffice against him.

      • Another question: Can Emyr bring people back to live? And if yes, did he ever bring his sister back?

      • That’s very interesting, especially the part about his origin he seems to have had a twin one: basically the best thing that could ever happen to him(making a best seller should qualify for someone so invested in his writing)and the death of the only person he had left that twin origin could explain his extreme level of power.

        As for why he didn’t bring his sister back my theory is that he views her death as part of his story and does not want to cheapen the event by bringing her back.

  13. Tieshaunn! Seriously. Man. What the hell are you doing to me?

    Every time I’m like “woah, Brennus and the team are at like a totally new level. I don’t even know if they’re prepare for something this heavy, can’t wait to see how they get out of this one,” you just make it MORE intense.

    I’m not even mad that you didn’t show us what the egg-thing does. Not much anyway.

    Oh my GOD I can’t wait to see how Mindstar reacts to this assuming she felt Brennus pop out of existence and that she reads his mind to find out what happened while he was gone upon his arrival.

    Question from one of your other answers here:

    Undead heroes only have as long as the bowl burns or if she dies. If one of the things that would normally kill her summoned heroes happens now (they kill Legend, or destroy the bowls), is Emyr gonna go poof and be gone, or does the fact that he left (or his power) keep him safe from that?

    Also also, I can’t help but notice he said he wouldn’t be killed, captured, enslaved, or subverted TODAY. Was that a limitation of his power (if it would work, why not say “I can not be killed” and leave the “today” modifier right off) or just the phrase he happened to use?

    Also also also, is his power basically the reality warping version of that girls who can get any answer she could have feasibly found herself? But more like “if it could exist or happen in this reality, and you say it does, then it will.” So he can say “I will take a step and then be standing somewhere on the surface of Mars” and it would happen because whatever fuels powers allows teleportation, mars has hard ground, and both objects physically exist.

    But he can’t say, “I will take a step and be standing on Xorqscrabble, the planet made entirely of discarded right socks” because that planet doesn’t actually exist. But to get around it he could say “Every discarded right sock in the world will be teleported into deep space and form a planet called Xorqscrabble.”

    Am I close?

    • Do you really expect me to go this much into detail about how his power works at this point?

      I’ll say this, Emyr could not simply wish himself onto Mars with just a sentence, it’d take more than that to get there. What he’s done so far is just a minor part of his power, it’s true extent hasn’t been demonstrated yet. Much less the actual mechanism by which it functions.

      • I still think Emyr’s power is a jacked up version of Ember’s with some variations here and there but that at their core both powers are extremely similar(as well as Immanuel’s IMHO but that’s not the place for that)

        Also if Emyr CAN be subverted as seems to be the case from his dialogue I’ll say send him Dearheart to her thing.(of course this might not be the best of ideas if Camille herself is as messed up as I think she is but if she isn’t well it might be a solution)

  14. Amazing chapter ties!!! First off IMHO i dont thiok Emyr is going to get out of the Legend Realm. either the egg or breaking the summoning bowl will stop him. though if im wrong…YAY!!! Secound, i cant believe that no one has mentioned the clue we got for Bree’s power yet. I mean what is the reverse of power shifting, power modifying or power copying? having just reread End Of An Age i did notice that she seemed to use suped up versions of powers within her range. even her ageing herself could be a modified version of regeneration. this could also explain why she goes after Metas in the first place. Third, Emyr cotrols the reality of his outer world while Ember controls the reality of his inoer world. coukd they share a weakness? Fourth and final, a random weird thought that popped up. could Emyr bnd Basil be related? hnw common are black eyes? they also share thin phyriques and messy black hair. P.S. Die Emyr’s power work on Tartsche?

    • Black eyes are not too uncommon, in my experience, at least here in germany and britain (both Emyr and Basil are of british descent or, more precisely, english descent. english/scottish in Basil’s case), so it doesn’t necessarily say anything about common descent, no more than both Spellgun and Gloomy having blue eyes

  15. What exactly is Emyr’s power/s?
    You don’t need to give a complete rundown of exactly what he can do, I just want to know what makes so uniquely dangerous. Because it doesn’t seem like he stand much of a chance if Lady Light and The Dark just tag-teamed him.

    • You do remember he managed to terraform all of Mars, right? And create a whole new race of people, and all.

      His power allows him, as shown, to warp reality within certain limits; to use his power to the fullest takes time, however, lots of prep-time. These quick-and-dirty alterations are the least application of it; given time, effort and thought, he can scale up onto a, well, planetary scale. But since he was JUST revived, he hasn’t had time to do that, meaning he’s literally at the weakest possible state he could be in.

      Emyr at the height of his power, vs Lady Light & the Dark? I give him 8/10 odds, and that’s assuming he’s alone, without his royal guard (which was on par with or even superior to either the shining guardians or the dark five)

      • Oh, he’s that guy? I thought it was a different person, and that they were still alive.

  16. Okay then, so everyone is fucked basically as the next Big Bad has entered the stage.
    Considering that Emyr is easily in the top 3 metahumans when it comes to power, I think it’s going to take a grand tea up between The Dark, Lady Light and…..what was the Super Queen of Australia called again? Well, her, those 3 together should even the odds, with the Shining Guardians and the Dark 5 plus Basil, Irene and co dealing with Emyr’s forces

      • It’s OVER 9000!! God dang it why tieshaunn it’s been forever since I said that. AND NOW I LOST THE GAME $#&@. If Emyr is number 1 than why have they not defeated Bree?

      • If you’re asking why he didn’t take her down, he was already dead by the time she showed up.

        If you’re asking why the heroes and villains haven’t taken her down even though they were able to take down him, do remember:

        1. What works against one metahuman may not work against another, even if they are technically weaker.
        2. Emyr was an obvious target who stayed mostly in a fixed location; DiL only shows up for an hour, at most two, at a time, then disappears to No-One-Knows-Where
        3. The people who actually managed to bring him down gave their life to do so (one of the goals of the Mars Mission is to retrieve their bodies for a proper burial)

  17. He wrote a book called the Five Stars Dawn? Seems like a reference to the prophecy, with the whole 5 suns and whatnot? What was the book about, if you can answer that without spoilers.

    • It’s not a spoiler, as the title is a reference to Magic: The Gathering, not a plothook.

      Here’s something about the book:

      First, there was Nothing.
      Then, there were the Stars.
      Then, the Planets.
      Then, the Maker.
      Then, the Maker tore apart the Planets to make His Tools.
      Then, He used the Tools to take apart the Stars.
      With that, He made the World.

      But the Maker was not yet finished.
      When the World was made, He made the Humans, his People.
      And from the People, He took a Wife, to bear Him Child.
      And He loved them, and the People.
      So He made the People a God.
      From the Stars and the Planets and the People, He made the Demiurge.
      And from His own dreams, He made the Empyreal Realm for the Demiurge to reside within.
      And from His own thoughts, He made the Angels to serve the Demiurge.
      And He told the Demiurge to protect and care for the People.
      And He told the People to worship and honor the Demiurge.
      And all was good, so the Maker left the World, leaving only His Blood behind.

      From then on, the Demiurge cared for the People, and all was good.
      He provided for the People, so that none had to starve.
      He protected the People, so that none had to suffer.
      He made the People immortal, so that none had to age.
      When the People died, he would raise them again, so that none had to be dead.
      When the People wished for new experiences, he gave them new forms, for each to their liking.
      When the People grew restless, he gave them challenges to surmount.
      Both in the Material World and the Empyreal Realm where he resided, the People wanted for nothing.
      From his seat at the centre of the Empyreal Realm, he loved the People, and the People loved him, and All was Good.

      But some of the People grew proud. They wished to hold the Demiurge’s power for themselves.
      After all, had not the Maker made the People first?
      Why should the People worship the Demiurge, when He had made the Demiurge to care for them?
      With their speech full of Greed and Hatred, they infected the People, and lead them to rise up against the Demiurge, to break him, to take his power and chain him to their Will.
      And so the People went to War against the Demiurge and at first, they were winning, for the Demiurge was no warrior and his Angels were very few.

      But the Maker had not left the Demiurge defenseless.
      Perhaps He had foreseen the Peoples’ betrayal, or perhaps He had expected threats from the outside to come, in the future.
      So He, in his infinite wisdom, had left the Demiurge the Knowledge to make Warriors of his own.
      Thus, the Reapers were born, and the Great Slaughter began.
      And the People were broken, their bodies shattered, their Souls reaped and taken to the Empyreal Realm by the Reapers.

      Few survived, those who surrendered and begged for forgiveness.
      But it was too late. The Demiurge’s heart had been broken, and he returned to the centre of the Empyreal Realm, and closed the Gates behind him.
      His Reapers remained on the World, to continue punishing the Descendants of the People for their Sins.

      Thousands of years have passed since, and we, the Descendants, now live on his abandoned World.
      We have lost the Wonders that the Maker gave us.
      We can no longer enter the Empyreal Realm, unless we die. Nor can we return from it, as we used to.
      We are no longer ageless.
      We no longer have our every need provided for.
      And the Reapers are still out there, though fewer now. Hunting us, killing any they come across to take our souls to the Empyreal Realm, where we can be punished.

      Only one Hope remains for us, if we wish to rise again.
      We must find the Key to the Empyreal Realm.
      That which can open the Gates.
      And end the Reapers.
      And heal the Demiurge’s broken heart.

      We must find the Blood of the Maker!

  18. So Legend is/was one of those contrievers that had been convinced that shes a contriever and ended up becoming more powerful for it. Is she dead now, having switched places with her “undead” servitor?

    she said, before she let loose with her sonics.”
    Quite a long line to give in that moment.

    Whats up with Basil breaking the 4th wall and counting exclamation marks?

    • Do remember that Polymnia doesn’t speak – she’s mute. She just typed that line while waiting in ambush and triggered it in time.

      It’s not really fourth-wall breaking as such, I just wanted a humurous way to express how over-the-top Legend’s speech is while she was still sure in her victory.

      Legend thinks she’s a powerful sorceress drawing on the power of the Historia.

  19. The two more things:
    Why can’t a power nullifyer just turn Emyr’s power off?(This question kinda extends to the six as well since long-range power nullification should work on them too.)

    And I find it kinda weird Protector isn’t at least a little peeved about the destruction of him, his city, and almost everyone he knows and loves.
    All things considered, I don’t see why he would be particularly adverse to calling her a mean name.(Also: Irene better get used to heroes, or people in general, hating her sister and dad. People that have lost family and friends to them aren’t going to be so quick to back down.)

    • 1. For one thing, power-nullification is extremely rare, long-range one even more so, and there are always limitations.
      2. Not every form of power nullification works on every metahuman/power.
      3. Some metahumans (Emyr, Ember, DiL) are straight-up immune to it.
      4. One of the many reasons why the Six draw entire cities into a pocket dimension is so that that kind of power can’t reach them and fuck up their games. The ones they do encounter, they’re generally prepared to deal with (thanks to Hemming and Atrocity)
      5. The Protector would likely be more peeved if the situation had been different, if he’d had time to actually process what was going on. Though, even so, he IS an incredibly forgiving man.
      6. As has been stated many times before, Irene is not a rational person, particularly where her family is concerned.
      Few people are.

      • 1)This brings up a few mysteries; It sounds less like power null and more like power dampening. If someone were a true nullifier, instead of just an absorber or dampener, it wouldn’t matter how strong how the meta was.
        (It’d be like saying a star was too bright to be crushed by a black-hole.)

        Also, if “nullification” is a real power. Why doesn’t Irene always get: Nullification + Super strength + Super speed.
        ^ That combo would destroy 90% of the meta’s she’s fought so far, it isn’t immediately lethal, and the two other powers should cost next to nothing on her power source.

        2)I realize she isn’t exactly logical. But she should realize what I just pointed out.
        Or her friend could talk to her about it. Or her teammates would realize the potential problem when on a sensitive mission.
        Or her parents, who are geniuses and raised her, would see a “incident” just waiting to happen and talk to her about her emotions.
        Hell, the leaders of Hero association she works knows she has self control issues, they could try an assign her a therapist.

        Most of the people she has met should be aware of the problem she has by now.

      • It’s been mentioned before that all junior heroes go to regular therapy, I think. I just didn’t show it “on screen”

        There’s a reason Gloomy never gets power-nullification. It’ll become clear when the mechanics of her power are revealed.

      • Hmm. If I recall correctly, when Gloomy flew into/over the protectorate her power basically took over and teleported her halfway across the world, so it sounds like there is a bit of a self-preservation component to it.

        I guess whatever is granting her the powers does not want her to be able to nullify herself, maybe? Since there have been times where she does not seem to enjoy the way her powers work, her wanting to be normal for a while wouldn’t be very strange.

  20. Holy crap. Just… holy CRAP. That did, indeed, escalate very quickly. I don’t apply this word lightly, but this chapter was Epic, in all senses of the word. And for what it’s worth, I thought the fight was well-done.

    Hekate really had a chance to shine here, didn’t she? Also very interesting that Basil’s inner monologue referred to her as his “best friend.” Intentional that she’s edged out Tim?

    Yeah, Emyr definitely deserves the title “God-King.” Didn’t realize he was stronger than DiL/Bree by more than an order of magnitude. O_O He’s probably only considered S class because the scale doesn’t go any higher than that. Whatever the next part involving him is, it’ll either continue to be Epic, or hilariously anticlimactic. I’m sure we’ll enjoy either one!

      • Ah. Well, even so, based on your comments about his power, he’s probably only THAT because it doesn’t go higher. Can’t wait to see where this goes… of course the next part of Toybox should be good too. I always love the little bits of world-building in things like that and the Brennus Files.

  21. So am I the only one interested on how Brennus will escape. Emyr is WAAAAAAAAY above his pay grade and too powerful for even GG to defeat on her own. Also, thanks for the backstory in the comments was super confused on who he was.
    They won’t even try to bother him once they get out, B being as pragmatic as he is and him being S+.
    Brennus has been shown to hate being trapped/ held hostage as seen by his intense emotions when rescuing his GF and the black clouds scene so it will be interesting to see how he escapes. Can’t wait for the next one!

    • I guess this might be a good time to let that that Brennus “inner-rage-thing” off its leash. Especially since they still have to deal with Dusu(?).

      I do not think Emyr is going to be much of a problem for them right now, considering he does not seem to consider them worthy of his attention, or to put it a better way:
      the “how you’d feel if a bacteria sat at your table and started to get snarky” speech by Death in Supernatural season 5 🙂

      He could probably trash them without lifting a finger, but why bother …

  22. “‘This table shall move out of my way,’ he spoke, and the ritual table with the basins atop slid out of the way and to the edge of the dais, almost but not quite falling off.”

    Kudos to Emyr for using reality-warping powers in the proper fashion. There will be no unnecessary manual labour here!

  23. what was kraquok’s origin to give him powers like that? what’s weisswalds power set? and if enemy’s skeleton is on the mars could he be rssurectrd twice if they pull out gunginir spear?

    • Kraquok’s origin that’s going to come up in the future, so I’m not going to spoil it here.

      It’s been described before that Weisswald could create white trees (and other plants) on a huge scale, making them grow out of the ground or even out of solid rock, as well as out of his own body, as well as generate a variety of other effects through them (fruits that explode, sap that’s like a poison or drug, pollen that apply effects to people, etc). He was also very strong, tough and regenerated.

      Not gonna answer that last question, it’s going to come up very soon in the story.

      • Well, that’s it. Emyr x2 … RIP world.

        Weisswald sounds like Senju Hashirama (1:st hokage) from Naruto taken up to 11.

      • Isn’t white zetsu based on Hashirama as well? That’s basically a walking, talking white plant.

      • Crafted using his cells or whatever weirdness Kishimoto thought of to explain that.

      • In an underground cave even 🙂
        There was that hole going further down into the earth close to the Weisswald flower that Basil blew up, wonder what’s going on with that …

        Also, Weisswald (feels weird to write ss instead of ß …) probably wins out on the strange/crazy meter. As weird as Hashi was, I don’t think he would have gone into battle naked.

      • to be fair, Weisswald didn’t do it at first, either. But as his sanity fell apart, so did his clothes, really.

      • Huh, yeah that makes sense.
        Also, when looking for details about the human:meta ratio in the world, I reread the intro to metastudies chapter: Sneaking into classification meetings to mess with people, now that I have no trouble seeing Hashi do 😛

      • That was the Dark#s work, actually, not Weisswald’s (he was long dead by then).

        Not that I can’t see Hashirama doing just that

      • I guess since Weisswald also could grow stuff directly from his body he may have been covered by flowers, vines or something similar when he really needed to. I guess it depends on if he considered his power to be part of his perfection.

        Wonder what kind of quirkiness we can expect from Emyr.

        Also, Weisswald and Blackhill. Having a name consisting of a colour and a type of terrain seems to work out if you’re a cowl.

      • to be fair, Weisswald was an assumed name (his real name was Adolf Hartmann), while Emyr Blackhill is his actual birthname.

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