Location: Hall of Justice. Courtyard Garden. 00:01:39 EST
Two hours had passed by when Persephone found Kaldur by the garden.
"Kaldur'ahm?" She asked as she saw his head resting against a tree with his eyes closed. Kaldur opened his eyes and glanced to towards the goddess.
"How is she?" He asked, worry and concern in his normally measured voice.
"She's alright." Persephone said with a smile that rapidly faded. "She has awaken, however I'm not sure it's a good sign, given her current condition."
Kaldur frowned in confusion. Was it not good that she was awake? That meant she was recovering somehow. But the dark shadows and small frown on Persephone's face told him it wasn't looking good.
He stood up. "Can I see her?"
"She actually asked to see you."
When they made it to the Marie's room, Kaldur stopped in the door and looked toward Hades, who was sitting near the bed of his daughter.
Sensing the Atlantean's presence, Hades turned to see his eyes to the hero. Aqua lad straightened, fighting the urge to gulp or start sweating at the hard stare. Hades glanced to his spouse for approval. When Persephone smiled, the Hades nodded and allowed him in.
"She should not move around too much."
"Yes, sir," Kaldur replied.
Satisfied, Hades walked out of the room, when Persephone turned around and glanced at Kaldur. "Whatever you have to say, say it before it's too late."
Kaldur looked to her as he turned around. "Thank you."
She nodded her acknowledgment and closed the door, which was enough confirmation for the hero to move to Marie's side. With her eyes closed, Aqua Lad took the chance to study the rhythm of Marie's breathing along with the color and texture of her hair. He desperately wanted to close the distance and listen to the beat he knew would tell him she was still alive. He wanted to stepped in and ease her loneliness, if only for this time. As these thoughts filled his head, he was forced to wonder if she knew how much she had eased his own.
Without any thought, Kaldur moved his hand from Marie's hair to her forehead, his webbed fingers brushing her skin. She was warm, but not the warm he has always felt when they were close to each other.
Hot but gentle enough to not hurt him or the others.
At the cool touch of his fingers, Pyronies slowly opened her eyes and looking tiredly up at him. "Kaldur." Her hand reached up to touch his face as she stared into his eyes. He held her hand, letting out a breath he didn't know he was holding, and smiled softly at her.
"I am here." Aqua Lad tentatively pressed his hand against her cheek. "How are you feeling?"
"Awful," she managed to say. Her voice came out hoarse and rough.
She starts to get up straight, breathing deep and a grimace appeared on her face. Kaldur was soon holding her shoulders to make her lean back to the bed.
Kaldur started, "You should not move. Your father said---"
"I know what he said," Pyronies protested. "Hades is my father not the boss of me."
"Would you listen to me then?"
Pyronies stared at him for a few seconds, then smiled a little. "Nah."
His mouth moved, almost like he had fought off a smile, which he hid by fixing the pillows that would ensure Pyronies' comfort. "I figured as much." When he finished with the pillows, Marie leaned back, groaning as she did. "How much do you hurt?"
"I ache all over." Pyronies had to cough to clear her voice. "Is there water?"
Kaldur looked around the room, and found a pitcher of water and a little cup. He poured it hesitantly, then handed it to Marie with a small bendy straw in it. The water was stale, but the cool liquid soothed her parched mouth and throat. The girl had to wonder how long she'd been unconscious. Before she could check the clock to compare, her parents' faces returned to her conscious mind, with more fear and dread than she had ever seen on either of their faces. Her fingers brushed against Kaldur's. Aqua Lad jumped as if it had hurt, but she knew it hadn't.
"Have I spilled water on you?"
"No, just a little in the sheets." A light blush painted his face. It was funny, except for Queen Mera, he had never met a woman who could make him feel so clumsy.
Marie felt the rapid beating beneath her chest and wondered if he could hear it too? Would he hear all the little things she wished him never to hear years back? All the little secrets that scared her to realize she couldn't stop thinking of him. Couldn't stop seeing him. Couldn't stop wanting him. Marie noticed the worry lines and bruises on his face, and frowned.
"God, you look like hell." Marie said out loud.
"I know," Kaldur simply said.
He started to scan her body around, until Kaldur spotted dark lines beneath Marie's undershirt. He spotted a black stain on her right arm and in the back of her left hand. Marie had always been energetic, full of life. Even when she was beaten up, bruised and hurt, she always had a smile fixed permanently set on her face. That life and world-brightening smile was nowhere in sight. At the moment, she just looked tired and in pain, to put it simply, it was just as alien as a large part of the league.
"You too," Kaldur said, and soon he regretted his words.
"I bet I do," she finally sighed.
"Well, you have yet to see Blue Beetle," Kaldur said with a small smile, which soon faded. "I'm sure you'll be back on your feet soon."
"You don't have to lie, Kaldur," she said looking in his eyes. "I know what's going on."
The emerald coloring of Marie's eyes were intense, and they never ceased to both intrigue and frighten him. Kaldur's shoulders tensed while Marie shifted her sight to the end of the bed.
"I have never seen my father so scared," Marie said. Her eyes met his and she swallowed down the fear, the apprehension. She closed her eyes and let out a heavy sigh. "I'm in very deep shit."
Kaldur sat in the bed next to her. He could have sit on the chair, but he needed to be close. "But you're awake," he responded. "Why?"
"My soul is trying to reach my body."
Kaldur looked at her hopefully. "That is good, is it not?"
"Not if it is struggling between this plane and the other," Marie replied. "It's sickening my body."
"Then we can help you bring it here," Kaldur said. "Vanessa and your parents can work on something..."
"No, Kaldur." Marie stopped him. "Neither of them can do anything about it. Neither of them can get near that witch's domain. This is beyond everything you guys had faced. I'm smart enough to know a dead end when I see it."
She lifted a slender hand in front of her and stared at the black stains slowly covering her skin. She fought the hopelessness that threatened to consume her. "It's funny, you know?" Marie suddenly says. "I died once by choice. I left the people I cared and love to protect them. It's what brought me here, to Earth. Back then, I was never afraid of dying."
Then Kaldur notice her hand trembling, and her eyes filled with sadness and dwelling. "Now I'm terrified." She finished.
Kaldur didn't think anything could scare Marie. But then again, he didn't think anything could hurt her either. And hadn't he proved that one wrong time and again? Kaldur leaned forward and took her lifted hand in his, making Marie look at him. Kaldur's jaw clenched tightly.
"You won't die." Not you too, he left unsaid. "I won't let you." When Marie narrowed her eyes, Kaldur swallowed, trying to soften his features, and glanced at her. "We will find a way," he reassured her.
Marie stared into his pale green eyes. She swallowed her breath, her eyes softening as she gazed into his, suddenly realizing how hard it was not to take his face into her hands and whisper across his skin how much that meant to her. How much she knew that somehow, she had always known, always known he was there. But she didn't.
And before she could stop it, the words spitted out of her mouth. "I love you." Kaldur's eyes became saucers at her words while his brain abandoned all other functions to compute what she had just said. Not wanting for his heart to be playing with his ears.
Though, he had been told this by others, the power behind those words coming from Marie went straight to his heart.
The weight of the silence made recent three words sink in as they looked at each other. After either a second or an eternity, Kaldur found his voice. "Marie…"
She became suddenly aware of her hand still in his, the feel of his warmth beneath his shirt. She pulled her hand back.
But suddenly, Kaldur had her by the wrists, his grip tight on her skin and she was surprised to find his gaze hard on hers. She pulled in a sharp breath.
"I don't expect you to tell me anything. I just…" Marie began hesitantly, turning her head and staring at her hands. "With all that happened with Tula… well, love is not easily forgotten."
His thumb moved along her skin and grazed her pulse point; the motion intimate in a way that had Marie's breathing quickening. "No, it's not," he said softly as he entwined their fingers. best he could with his webbing.
"But there was a time when I stopped feeling that kind of love for her. I just stopped. I'm not entirely sure when it happened, but it did. And things changed, maybe for the better."
"What stopped you?" She asked as her eyes narrowed and stared into his.
"Falling in love with you," he gave her a reassuring smile and tightened the grip on her hands.
Marie frowns, shakes her head a little, but it's enough to make her head explode in pain. She wasn't alone in this? "Why…why didn't you tell me?"
Kaldur looked at their hands. "I was conflicted. Part of me did not want to let go Tula, but I…I was afraid to lose you, too. My heart was divided and…I was not sure how to endeavor."
Marie blinked at him. She sucked in a shaky breath in realization; they don't have time. And for the first time in her life, she felt regret. That they have waited so long to trust themselves with this. And they couldn't share this with one another until now. "I am sorry I did not tell you sooner," Kaldur looked back at her.
Marie tilted her head and smiled tenderly at him. "Me too."
There was something in Kaldur's chest that constricted harshly at her words. That smiling face. He understood that smile. It was not for her sake. It's for other people's. For him.
No! She was not saying goodbye!
He stood from his side and hugged her. He felt Marie wrap her arms around his waist as she rested her head against his chest.
Relief crossed her chest as she listened to the comforting sound of Kaldur's beating heart.
She breathed against him. "I thought I was the only one feeling this."
She felt him drop his head against her head, heard him expel a relieved breath.
"You are not the only one." He admitted. Her emotions clouded her senses and the need to hold him closer overwhelmed her. Without hesitation, she roamed her hands to Kaldur's back tightly, pressing him closer to her. At feeling Marie's hands wander, Kaldur nuzzled his nose on top of her hair. The smell of her strawberry shampoo mixed with her faint natural scent drove him crazy. There was too much space, too much air between them. He wanted to feel nothing but her. He wanted her hands beneath the material of his shirt and feel at the warm skin of her fingers.
They fixed their heads to look at each other.
He licked his lips as his eyes shot down to look at her trembling mouth. His breath hitched, his dark stare becoming hooded as he looked back to her wide eyes. Her face was flushed, the warmth of his breath easing her limbs into surrender and she found herself leaning into his body. Kaldur moved his lips against hers. A burning heat warmed his body. It was slow, warm, enticing pressure on all the right parts—fireworks.
But the moment was ruined when Marie began to cough and wheeze badly, a large black mark forming over half of her face. Kaldur was startled, as Persephone and Hades entered the room to help calm their daughter down and relieve her of some of the pain. But Kaldur couldn't stand to see her jerking and spasming in pain, and soon rushed out of the room. He ran past Jaime, Artemis, Bart and the others, who barely hesitated to chase after their mutual friend. When they caught up, they found Kaldur using his Aqua mace and hammer against the crack Utakasane used escaped.
"Come out!! COME OUT, YOU COWARD AND FACE ME!!" Kaldur screamed. "I! SAID! FACE! ME!"
"Amigo, stop!" Jaime rushed over with Artemis.
"Kaldur, calm down!" Artemis shouted as they grabbed Kaldur's arms and restrained him.
"There's no point in doing that!" Conner told his friend as he, Bart, Megan and Vanessa ran up.
"THEN WHAT SHOULD I DO!?" Kaldur broke free and turned to them, the tears pouring out of his eyes.
"What should I do?" Kaldur whispered in anguish.
He dropped his water-bearers, the sword splashing against the ground as water, before Kaldur fell to his knees as well.
"What do we do?" Kaldur wept.
Artemis rushed to Kaldur's side, and wrapped her arms around him, letting him rest his head against her shoulder.
"Just let it out, Kal." Artemis said in a soothing tone, thou her voice was wet with sadness as well.
"I can't stand it....." Bart bit his lip, trying to hold back his own sob
Everyone was miserable, and it seemed hopeless. But as they wallowed in their sadness, Shayera flew up to them. Having heard they left the Justice Hall, she went out to find them.
"Kids!" Shayera called out as she flew toward them, but stopped and landed on her feet when a figure cut into her path.
It was a scraggy boy with long, thin limbs, a thin neck and an angular face. He had black hair in a mop-top style with V-shaped bangs and devil-horns rising over the ears to point slightly above the top of his head. Along with his pointed crown, these devil horns gives him a distinctive three-pointed silhouette. He his eyebrows were arched and sideburns tapered to a point. He also had long, sharp, black fingernails.
His clothes were formal, and predominantly black but included a white shirt with a tall, stiff collar. On top of this, he wore a black skinny tie, black skinny trousers and pointed shoes, as well as a distinctive jacket. The jacket resembled a standard suit jacket around the chest and shoulders, although it's long sleeves were flared, with pointed cuffs, and the jacket's skirt made it the middle of his thigh length shaped so that it comes to a point at the front. The jacket fastened with two short button straps around the waist. It was Klarion, a Dark Lord of Chaos, and the son of Vanessa The Dark Spectre Queen and Nabu the Lord Of Order.
"Well, well, looks like we missed the party," Klarion cackled as he stroked the head of the orange furred, red eyed cat he held in his arms.
"Meeow" The cat meowed.
"Klarion!" Vanessa gasped in surprise.
"What are you doing here, Chaos Lord?" Shayera held up her mace in warning.
The cat, Klarion's familiar Teekl, arched her back and hissed at the Thanagarian. Klarion just smirked in amused manner.
"Someones feathers are ruffled." Klarion mocked.
"That's enough, Klarion." Vanessa snaps, standing up and walking over to her son with a frown. "You caught us at a real bad time. I hope you understand if they're all too tense to pretend to accept your presence, just because you're my son."
"Ow. That hurts." Klarion puts a hand over his heart. "That hits me right in the heart, Mama."
"Heart, Klarion?" Vanessa throws her head back to let out a grim laugh. "You have no heart." She points to her sons chest with a frown, earning a startled reaction from Klarion, who leans back in slight offense.
"Mrrrow." Teekl meows.
"Yeah, she certainly has gotten bossier. Must mean she has a thing for someone, but they don't even notice her," Klarion replied to his familiar.
"AAH!!" Klarion let out a high pitched sound as Vanessa grabbed his ear, and let a purple glow envelop her fingers, obviously causing Klarion great distress.
"Why is it, Baby-Boy. That whenever your around, it's never for a good reason?" Vanessa hissed. "Also, I didn't appreciate that little crack you just made."
Klarion dropped Teekl to the ground, who hissed as her master tried to free himself of his mothers powerful grasp.
"Leave him be, Vanessa." Kaldur called out. He stumbled to his feet, helped by Jaime and Artemis.
"He must have a reason, let's at least hear him out before you banish him to some god-forsaken place." Kaldur said.
Vanessa gave Kaldur a side glance, but sighed and released her son's ear, who rubbed it with a pout.
"Alright. So, you've obviously heard the un-crash news." Bart said to Klarion, crossing his arms with a frown.
"Oh yeah, it's all over the evil grapevine." Klarion sneered. "How Lady Despairs demon servant Utakasane has stolen Pyronies soul, and now you losers can't even get into her domain to destroy him."
"WATCH YOUR TONE, KLARION!!" Vanessa shouts, her voice deepened into a un-earthly, supernatural tone. "I am in no mood for your taunts."
"Sorry, Mama." Klarion straighted up at hearing her voice.
"But really, you Justice Leaguers don't need to worry. There's a way for humans to get into Castle Horok." Klarion said as Teekl rubbed up against his legs.
"What are you on about, only the Muerto can enter her realm." Jaime rebuked Klarion's thinking.
"Or those who've entered into her services." Artemis added.
"True.." Klarion nodded with a evil smirk, he opened his eyes to reveal they'd become solid red little beads.
"But a body without a soul is no better than a dead man."
Klarion's words had everyone stiffening in alarm, no one more than Vanessa, standing next to the Chaos Lord.
"What are you saying?" Kaldur asked. Klarion waved his hand in bored manner, picking Teekl up to scratch under her chin.
"Just what I said....if you want to get to the Demon to destroy him and free the others, just sell your soul. I'm sure there's some evil force that'd be willing to take it off your hands." Klarion smiled wickedly. "And then you can enter her home no problem."
Vanessa frowned and moved over to stand next to Shayera, who'd moved over to the others at hearing Klarions crazy statement.
"Klarion, you honestly think one of us is gonna sell our soul to enter Castle Horok?" She asked her son incredulously.
"Well, not you, Mama." Klarion smiled at her in what they supposed was a loving manner. "You've already done that once, don't wanna do that again."
"Klarion..." Vanessa growled, the ground rumbled briefly.
Everyone startled, and even Klarion widened his eyes, realizing he overstepped a line.
"Sorry...." Klarion frowned in apology. "But it IS the only way for a human, or goodie-goodie to ever get in there. And you know the old saying, 'Desperate Times call for desperate measure.'" Klarion gestures to the crack in the pillar.
"And isn't this a desperate time?" Klarion asked of his mother, and the others.
They all looked worried, and a tad thoughtful. But Vanessa just crossed her arms and gazed at her son with a unimpressed and blank expression. Klarion was a little unnerved, but huffed and threw a hand up in the air, the other holding onto Teekl.
"Fine!" Klarion sighed. "I was just trying to help, sorry if my suggestion was the ONLY suggestion and the only way to help you guys. See, this is why I'm not a hero." Klarion gets a mean smirk. "Among other reasons."
He cackled as a red mist enveloped his body and he disappears.
They all stood there silent.
"Is it possible?" Kaldur asked.
Vanessa whirled around to stare at Kaldur incredulously. So did the others, mouths agape.
"Kaldur, you can't mean that."
"It's too much!!"
"If it means saving Marie..." Kaldur continues, but is startled when Vanessa appears by his side.
She puts her hands on his shoulders, and smiles at him.
"Maybe it's time I tell you my secret plan." Vanessa told them.
"Secret Plan?" They all said as one.
"Well, I wasn't sure if it would work, but seeing as we have little time left, I guess we better act now before it's too late." Vanessa said.
They all looked at each other in confusion, but ready to help in whatever way they could, Kaldur especially, if it meant saving Marie.
"Okay, what is it?" Shayera asked the sorceress.
"Well, I might have a way to drag that Ayakashi out of Sierra's domain." Vanessa explained, holding up a hand for silence. When everyone seemed fit to be tied, and barrage her with endless questions.
"HOWEVER, it will require a lot of energy." She informed them. "You guys think your all up to spare some?"
They all immediately nod as one.
Vanessa smiles. "Then let us begin."
She holds out her hands to the others, her eye glow bright purple as everyones aura seems to glow and radiate off each other.
Location: Castle Horok. Viewing Balcony. 06:00:25 EST
Utakasane had retired to the balcony, set on the middle 'tower' of the hand like Castle, and used it's enchantment to watch the surface of the Earth. He was alone on the balcony, as everyone else was sleeping off a hangover.
"It won't be long now," His voices said in stereo. "Lamentation and suffering will reach their climax."
All of his mouths curled into a wicked smile, but dropped into a frown as a violet light seemed to glow around him.
On his body, on one of his orbs was a purple heart with a Darker, Neon purple cursive 'V' in the center of the heart.
Earth. Location: Outside of crack-gateway. 06:00:22 EST
Conner had shown up with Icon, and at their arrival Vanessa had given everyone a sip of a powerful potion, that would, even if there was only a spark of life left in you, would completely revive and heal you.
Now, everyone had their hands stretched out to the Dark Spectre Queen of the Galaxy, channeling their life-energy to the sorceress who began chanting rapidly. As they did, the gang pressed forward, concentrating hard on expelling their energy out into the sorceress, who waved her hands faster and faster.
"More! I need more life-force, or the spell won't work!!" Vanessa telepathically told the group as she chanted harder.
And that was enough conviction for them all, they all seemed to explode into a super-nova of fiery aura, Kaldur's burning the brightest. Like a golden sun, as his tattoos seemed to move about on their own. The chanting grew in volume and tempo, until one massive white light shot from the team and at Vanessa. The Sorceress absorbed it and she let out a loud sigh.
"KIKERA!!!!" She screamed as red lighting shot out of her mouth, and straight into the crack in the pillar, causing the group to jump to the side in alarm.
In Castle Horok, Utakasane let out a yell of horrified amazement as he felt a force grab him, and he was immediately hit by the red lighting, which forced him out through the crack.
"AAAH!!" Utaksane screamed as he was pulled straight towards Vanessa, who formed a giant glowing hand and slapped him aside. Crashing against another pillar, the Ayakashi groaned in pain as he rolled on the ground.
"What is this..." Utakasane gasped in shock and pain.
"It was a summoning spell."
Utaksane turned hearing the voice of the Dark Spectre Queen, and was startled seeing the angry group of young heroes, and two adults. Kaldur being the one to shine the largest killing intent toward the Demon, his water-swords produced and tattoos crackling with magic.
Conner cracked his knuckles, Bart vibrated with energy, Jaime had his energy blaster formed on his right hand, his energy sword on the other, Megan floated with her eyes glowing with Psychic power, Artemis had her weapons out, as did Shayera. Icon had his arms crossed with a solemn stare, and Vanessa just let loose a mad cackle.
"Just what did you guys...." Utakasane began. "Why am I."
"Actually," Interrupted Vanessa. She was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. "I had cast a spell on you earlier in our fight, when I cut you with my dagger, I had actually carved a spell-glyph onto your body."
Utakasane flashbacks to the fight, and when she had struck one of his balls, as he had split his body into pieces.
"This spell enables me to call forth any being of my choosing." She said.
Utakasane gasped in horror, grasping onto the part of his body with the Glyph.
"So, knowing we couldn't go to YOU." She chuckled.
"We just had to bring you to us." Kaldur continued for her.
"But it required a lot of energy," Conner added.
"So, we all had to chip in..." Bart said too.
"Because Despair's Castle interferes with such spells." Artemis chimed.
"But once we all poured in our own energy and life-force." Jaimed said.
Shayera tapped her mace in her hand menacingly. "We were able to drag you out on your butt."
"No!! No!!" Utakasane's voices cried out in alarm. "This can't be!!"
"Yes, it can." Artemis steps forward. "All this time, I was focused on Marie, but then I thought..what about the others?"
"The other 59 people who's lives you uprooted, and the suffering of them and their family." Shayera declared, swinging her mace in agitation.
"We refuse to let anyone feel the pain we've felt." Blue Beetle boldly declares.
"And we will ensure, you do not do so again!" Kaldur charged forward at the Demon. "This is the reason for why we fight!"
"Uuh!" Utakasane yelps in alarm.
"WE'LL NEVER FORGIVE YOU FOR WHAT YOU DID TO MARIE AND THE OTHERS!!"
Kaldur yells as he slashed down at Utakasane with a powerful water-electric attack.
"HUNDRED BODY SPLIT!!" Utakasane shouted, but nothing happened.
Nothing, except that his body got hit by Kaldur's powerful and skillful sword strikes. The Demon fell backwards, a smoking, sparking mess from the attack.
"Why!? Why can't I do the Hundred Body Split!" Utakasane's voices wailed in pain and confusion.
"Don't be such a fool!" Vanessa scolded, her eyes glowing purple as she flew up into the air. Forming a purple energy orb in each hand, she unleashed them on the demon, the explosions causing the ground to burst under the demon. Who found himself in a large crater.
"You didn't think The Dark Spectre Queen would summon you only to allow you to split do you?" Shayera hollered, slamming her mace into the Demon. It was sent flying backwards into a wall, leaving a large imprint of his body as he fell to the ground.
Suddenly, Kid Flash began to speed around Utakasane rapidly, causing a mini-tornado to form. Which left him dizzy, and open to several energy blasts from Blue Beetle.
"So, she made sure the Glyph on your body would also make sure you couldn't burst your body into pieces." Jaime said.
The purple heart glowed brightly at the mention of it.
"It can't be!" Utakasane growled in fury.
"Prepare to face defeat!" Icon boldly stated.
"LIKE HELL I WILL!!" Utakasane yelled in fear, he turned and instantly leaps into the air. Such a far jump would enable him to go to the top of a skyscraper, and jump to another.
Artemis and Vanessa quickly ran forward.
"You won't escape this time!" Artemis shouted, she pulled out her bow, notching a arrow which Vanessa immediately charged with purple energy.
"TRY THIS ON FOR SIZE!" Vanessa shouts. "V-Arrows!"
Artemis let the arrow fly, and it multiplied into several arrows, which struck hard against the Ayakashi. They exploded and Utakasane fell back down to the ground.
Kaldur charged forward at Utakasane and dive foward with his water-bearers combined into a long, sharp water spear. Which impaled the Demon right through it's gut.
"AAAUGH!!!" Utakasane bellows in agony.
"And here's the final attack!" Kaldur yells, and actually lifted Utakasane over his head with sheer force of will and his water spear.
The demon goes flying over Kaldur, and heads straight for Jaime who's got his double energy hand blades formed.
"Time to split, Dip!" Jaime insulted as he cut straight through Utakasane.
Utakasane screamed as he was cleaved in two, and when the two parts landed on the ground, exploded in a large burst of flames.
"We did it!" Bart zips over to Kaldur and Jaime. "The first life is crushed!!"
"We really pulverized that guy this time....but how do we handle his second life without Marie?" Artemis asked Vanessa.
She referred to of course, to the fact that all Ayakashi have two lives. The first life is human sized, but the second one is a huge giant form.
Which was clearly shown as another explosion formed, but with pink and black flames, symbolizing the connection to Lady Despair. As Utakasane towered over the young heroes, his massive form intimidating as all of his voices bellowed at them from above.
"UNFORGIVABLE! I CANNOT FORGIVE YOU MORTALS!!" The voices of the giant demon pounding against them all like fists.
"What are we gonna do now?" Kaldur wonders.
But then he notices Megan has her eyes shut and is focusing intently.
"Megan, what are...." Kaldur asks.
She opens her eyes and smiles brightly.
"I just thought I'd send a message to Hades and Persephone, to let them know what's happened."
Everyone's eyes widened in surprise.
But the one really surprised was Utakasane as a powerful force struck him from behind.
"What the!?" Utakasane stumbles and turned in surprise.
There standing in front of him, equal of height, but outranking him in power.
For there was the King and Queen of the Underworld, Lord Hades decked out in his war armor, and his helmet on, covering his whole head. Only his yellow eyes seen, glowing from the shadows of his helmet. He wielded duel hook-ended chain-blades with a set of spiked chains with two hooks glowing purple at the end of each.
Next was Persephone, don up in heavy battle armor, with four wings, black, but the ends were dyed green. She too wore a helmet, thou her face could be seen within it.
"You will face judgment for what you have done, Scum!" Hades growls in a demonic voice.
"We will destroy you and release our daughters soul, and all the other souls you have wrongfully claimed!" Persephone adds, her voice echoing.
Utakasane let out twin purple energy beams from two mouths over his eyes at the gods, but Persephone stomped her foot to levitate a platform of earth to block the attack. She then sends it flying at Utakasane, who is knocked back several feet by the large chunk of rock.
She flies up into the air and fires a large green energy ball at the demon, who didn't manage to block the attack, which injured him greatly. She swooped down to deliver several strikes to him with her glowing green fists, over and over she dived bombed him.
"Aggh!" Utakasane stumbles from pain, even thou he held up his sword in defense, it was easily blasted out of his hand by a beam shot by Persephone.
She then finally grabbed both of his arms, and flew up high into the sky with the demon, before sending him careening back down to the earth.
The demon struggled to his feet out of the large crater his fall made from impact.
"Wow!! Now that's a mama bear!" Bart exclaims in amazement.
"Marie's mom sure is amazing!" Artemis said in agreement.
"Wretched hag!" Utakasane fumed. "Onanashi Company! Come forth!"
The loud order shouted from the Ayakashi summoned the Onanashi Company, a race of demon grunts that served more powerful demons like the Ayakashi, or Lady Despair. But unlike their cousins, the Nanashi Company. They were born giant sized, and slipped out through the gaps between buildings.
They were beastly, face less creatures, and over 500 of them had appeared after being called, with each one wielding a bident.
"Hahaha. Ah, My beloved." Hades said to his wife, when she landed next to him. "I haven't had this much fun in centuries, how about you?"
She took his hand in both her hands and kissed the back of his hand lovingly.
"It is entertaining, My love. But we are on a time limit."She reminds, as her hands glow.
"Yes, I'd nearly forgotten." He pulls out 'The Claws of hades' and begins swinging them in a loop.
"Face the wrath of a mother, foul sanzu-river trash!" Persephone shouted as she raised her glowing hands up in the air.
At that, large glowing spots formed under the Onananshi, and erupted upwards into huge pillars of green energy. This decimated all 500 of the Onananshi. And that left only Utakasane.
"Time for you to relinquish those souls, Fiend!" Hades growled.
"Uh-Oh." Utakasane gasped.
Hades proceeded to unleash his Claws, which go flying at Utakasane and hook right into the Ayakashi. And Hades proceeded to tug on it, Persephone assisting in the tugging.
But instead of his body, Utakasane found a spectral version of himself being yanked out of himself, as well as the 60 souls he'd devoured. To his horror, he realized he was having his second life ripped out of his body.
"NO! NO!! CUT IT OUT!!" He pleaded in desperation.
"We're trying to, you fool!" Persephone scolds.
She then tugs on the end of the Claws, and began to spin rapidly in place, which caused the Claws to rip right out his spirit. The Souls all came out in the form of gold orbs. They scattered about in the sky as they sought out their respective owners.
"NOOOOOO!!!" Utakasane cried out his last breathe as he fell to the ground and exploded.
In the hospital where all but one of the victims had been put, everyone began to weep with joy as the orbs went to their respective vessel and all the people woke up. Startled, and confused as their loved ones hugged them overjoyed.
Earth. Location: Hall of Justice. 9:55:60 EST
Marie was being lead down the hall by her father Hades. She was holding onto his arm as he insisted on her leaning on him for support, thou it'd been over 15 hours since she'd recovered from getting her soul back. And even thou she'd gotten a clear bill of health, Marie found everyone acting oddly.
"Father, what is it. I'm okay now." Marie told her father.
"I know. Just follow me." Hades told her gently.
He then turned her around a corner and a explosion of multi-colored string and confetti flew over her and Hades.
She was floored, everyone was here, or everyone who was still on Earth and free. Shayera, Icon, Red Tornadoe, Carter, Jaime, Bart, Megan, Garfield, Karen, Mal, Conner, Vanessa, Plastic Man and so many others.
Marie was floored as everyone cheered, and proceeded to bring her to the main table, where there was a big cake with her name on it, literally. And so many foods, snacks, and gifts as well.
"I don't believe this..." Marie gasped, truly moved. "You all set this up, even thou I just made you worry?"
"Nonsense!" Vanessa huffed as she carried over some presents. "We were planning this for you a while before it."
"Did you really have no clue?" Garfield had jumped onto her shoulders.
She laughed and spun around to grab and tickle him playfully.
"No I did not!" She growled playfully, as Garfield laughed his head off.
"We have even more of a reason to celebrate this birthday," Megan said in a slightly solemn tone.
"Yes, you manage to survive having your soul taken," Plastic Man added. He wrapped his one arm around her several times in a one armed hug.
"That makes this twice as special." He finished.
Marie smiles, tears starting to form in her eyes, and she laughs as Megan levitates a box of Kleenex over for her to wipe her eyes with.
"We made sure to get a few hundred boxes of these things," Mal said as he walked up with Karen, who pulled Marie into a super tight hug. Them not hearing about her near-death until they'd come back from a mission in Asia.
"It's gonna a very teary birthday, Girl." Karen laughed with a sob. Very much overwhelmed.
Marie hugged back too, happy to be surrounded by her friends, her parents watched from a bit away, holding onto to each other in relief their daughter was alright. And all the while, a familiar pair of sea-green eyes watched over Marie.
The party went on till almost midnight, and she opted to head out into the courtyard to get a breather.
There she found Kaldur, leaning against a tree and sipping a drink.
"I wondered if I would find you out here," Marie smiled as she strolled toward Kaldur.
The atlantean remained at his spot, thou he stood up straight and waited for her to get closer before smiling warmly.
"I am glad to see you well, Marie." Kaldur said.
"Me too. It got rough there, and I won't lie and say I wasn't utterly flabbergasted when my soul actually returned to me." Marie said with a light chuckle, crossing her arms with a jangle once she got close enough to Kaldur.
"And you are feeling well?" Kaldur asked.
"Yes, surprisingly, considering I had my very essence ripped out of me." Marie said. "But as a Demi-goddess, you tend to leap back quickly from these sort of things."
She was startled when Kaldur took both her hands in his own, and let his thumbs rub the back of her hands. She gazed into his eyes which stared deeply into her own, and a very loving smile crossed his features.
"I am glad. And...I wondered, if you were feeling up to it. Might I ask..." Kaldur paused. Marie looked at him, nudging her chin toward him in encouraging manner.
"If...I may inquire, if you truly meant what you confessed when you laid in bed." Kaldur looked at her so softly and vulnerable.
"What I said in bed?" She gave him a coy smile, because of his wording.
Kaldur blushes madly. "That is not what I meant!"
"I know, Kaldur." She said with a bright smile. That smile made Kaldur feel incredibly happy, cause he nearly lost that smile and vowed then and there to make her smile more.
"Well, if what you said was true, and you feel the same..." His eyes became hooded and Marie looked up at Kaldur in anticipation.
"Then, would you consider..." Kaldur leaned forward as if to kiss her.
"What's going on?" A voice whispered harshly.
The sound of bushes shaking caught the twos attention.
"Hush! They'll hear us!" Another voice shushed the other.
"Move over!" Another voice, female griped. "And Shayera, get your big wings out of the way, I can't see a thing!"
"Nothings even happening!" Growled a male voice. "And now their looking our way now..."
And with a sigh, Marie pulls back from a amused Kaldur, as she conjures a fireball and throws it toward the shaking bushes.
"GAAAAH!" Vanessa leaps out of the bush with Garfield, Karen, Conner, Shayera and Vanessa hoped out.
The sorceress pointed her finger at the fireball to let out a jet of water to put of the flame ball.
"Ahem! Can we help you?" Kaldur asked with a cocked eyebrow.
"uh...Well.." Vanessa poofed up a fan to hide her face from behind.
"It's just that...well...." Garfield looks awkward, twisting his tail awkwardly.
"We were just making sure Marie was okay," Shayera said flustered.
"I thought we came to snoop and see if Kaldur asked her out on a date?" Conner said bluntly.
At that Karen and Vanessa turned to scold him, mortified he'd said it out loud. Vanessa smacking him with her fan, which being magic smarted. And as the group quickly departed, mostly cause Karen and Vanessa chased Conner in outrage over his blabbing.
Kaldur chuckled as Marie suddenly leaned up to press her lips to his. Kaldur's eyes widened in amazement.
"So, maybe this Saturday we can check out the new Aquarium?" Marie asked as she impishly skipped away.
"uh...yes..." Kaldur watched as she walked away.
"Well, I gotta go spend more time with Mama and Papa before they leave, Good Night Kaldur." She cheerfully called as she headed back inside.
"It certainly is..." Kaldur sighed happily looking up at the moon.