The Awakening – Chapter 8

Chapter 8 — Hometown Clash

Day 40 — Bensonhurst, NY — The Home of Darren and Tara James — The Kitchen

“I’m sorry man, but that’s a little bit too rich for my taste,” Darren stated as he placed his playing cards down on the table.  “I’m going to fold.”

“Not me, I’m still in,” Walden replied as he slide a few poker chips to the center of the table.  “I’m going to raise the stakes a bit.”

“Cool, I’ll double that,” Brian stated as he slid some poker chips to the center of the table also.

“I don’t know about that,” Walden stated as he shook his head.  “What about you Jennifer, are you in or are you going to fold?”

“I’ll fold,” Jennifer stated as she placed her cards down on the table.

“Damn,” Walden stated as he shook his head and then flipped a card from his hand.  “What you got Brian?”

“I got this,” Brian stated as he laid his cards on the table.  “Read ‘em and weep chumps.”

“Damn, I should’ve known the lil’ white boy was bluffing,” Jennifer stated with a smile as she shook her head.

“I think he used his powers and looked at all of our hands,” Darren stated with a frown.

“Stop being a sore loser man.  I don’t cheat,” Brian said with a smile, pointing his finger at Darren as he slid all the poker chips to his pile on the table as there was a bright flash of light in the room.

(<SPLINGKKKKK>)

“It’s about time that you two came back,” Darren stated as Brian jumped up from the table quickly and then left the room.

“What’s the matter with him?”  Walden asked as he turned and looked at Tara and JT.  “Is everything cool?”

“Welcome back you two, what took you so long?”  Jennifer asked as she got up and then walked over to Tara and JT.  “Has the danger past?  Are you back to normal now?”

“Excuse me,” JT said as he turned away from Jennifer as he faded away into nothingness.

“Is he okay Tara?”  Jennifer asked as she looked at Tara closely.  “He could’ve answered my question.”

“I think he has something else on his mind right now, but I think he’s better than what could be expected,” Tara replied as Jennifer looked at her strangely.

“So where have you two been for the last few days?  Were you two still in Limbo?”  Darren asked as Tara nodded her head.  “So, do I even want to know what happened?”

“No, you don’t want to know,” Tara replied with a sigh.  “For now, let’s just keep our focus on staying alive and making sure that General Ranger and his followers don’t get the upper hand.”

“We have a whole lot of work ahead of us then, but first…” Darren stated as he pulled Tara close as the two of them shared a passionate kiss.  “I missed you baby.  I was so lonely with you away.  I had no one to keep me…”

“To keep you company?  You have a house full of people around here to talk to,” Tara stated as she looked around.  “You guys were playing poker, so I don’t think you were too lonely.”

“We just started playing earlier today,” Darren stated.  “You two have been gone for a few days, it’s been really boring around here, mainly because we’ve been held up in here, scared to leave the house.”

“Why have you been scared to leave the house?”  Tara asked.

“With the way things happened in Washington, I’m surprised there aren’t military men knocking down everyone’s doors, trying to find any sign of us.  The events of the other day have been on the news stations very heavily,” Darren explained as Tara just looked at him, mouth open as he spoke.

“So were we exposed?”  Tara asked as Darren caressed her face.

“We, per se, weren’t exposed, but the media is alleging that super enhanced humans could’ve been involved,” Darren stated as Tara sighed.  “The word about how things happened is that some saboteurs broke into the Pentagon and caused an electrical fire.  There’s even footage of your friend in the sky on fire.  They don’t know who or what he is, they just think it was some kind of man-made weapon that caused the fire.”

“So the world doesn’t know anything about us or who we are, right?”  Tara spoke as Darren nodded his head.

“We weren’t implicated on the news at all,” Darren replied as he and Tara walked into the kitchen.

Outside — The Backyard

“Hello Brian,” JT spoke as he materialized a few feet away from where Brian stood, leaning against a tree.

“What do you want man?”  Brian snidely asked with a frown on his face as he looked up at JT.  “I got the message already.  There’s no need for…”

“I’m sorry Brian… I’m sorry for the way I’ve been treating you,” JT spoke as he stepped closer to where Brian stood.  “I—I’ve been…”

“A real jerk,” Brian spoke as he turned his back to JT.

“I deserved that,” JT replied as he moved closer to Brian and touched his shoulder as the young man moved away quickly.  “I’ll be happy if you’ll let me try to change what I did wrong.”

“Why should you get a chance JT?”  Brian asked with a sniffle.

“Because everything isn’t about me,” JT replied as Brian turned around and looked at JT’s face.

“What’s that supposed to mean man?”  Brian asked as JT stepped closer to him and then leaned in as he kissed his mouth.  “That was nice, but why now, what changed?”

“My heart changed,” JT replied as Brian’s frown evened out to a neutral grimace.  “I’ve been hurt a lot in my lifetime and instead of seeing the positive things that could be, I was focused only on seeing the negative things that had already happened.”

“I—I wasn’t trying… I’m not trying to hurt you JT,” Brian spoke as he reached out to touch JT’s face, but stopped himself as JT grabbed his hand, placing it on his face, allowing him to caress him.  “My—my intentions were only good.”

“Were,” JT said as Brian looked down.

“You rejected me,” Brian softly spoke as some tears fell from his eyes as he stepped backwards.  “I—I don’t… Once was enough.”

“I’m sorry Brian,” JT spoke as he took Brian’s hand.  “I didn’t want to get hurt by the young man that I thought…”

“I’m not confused,” Brian spoke as he looked down.  “From the first time I saw you, I—I knew then that you were the one I should… Well, I thought, but maybe I was wrong about that.”

“I don’t think you were wrong Brian Steele,” JT stated as Brian sighed.  “I would like to show you.”

“Show me what?”  Brian asked as he and JT floated off the ground.  “What are you doing?  You think I can’t get away from you from up here?”

“I know you can get away from me up here, but I would rather you stayed up here with me, so we could both admire the stars,” JT spoke as he leaned in close and kissed Brian’s mouth again.  “Don’t you think the stars look great up here like this?”

“The stars look fine,” Brian replied as he and JT kissed again as they floated around in the air, holding onto each other.

“So do you,” JT stated, pulling Brian in close as they two embraced more.

“Look at that,” Tara spoke as she and Darren stood at the back door.  “I’m glad they finally got together.  Maybe now, the two of them can keep their minds on the fight.”

“Who knows baby,” Darren stated as he and Tara kissed.

Day 47 — Downtown Bensonhurst, NY

(<BOOOOM>)

“Come on guys, hurry up!  We have to get those people out the line of fire!”  JT screamed as he flew past a helicopter that carried a crew of military soldiers that fired energy rifles at him and his friends.  “Those people are innocent civilians in this mess!  We have to stop those creeps quickly!”

‘Baby, what do you think I can do up here in the air with you guys?’  Brian mentally asked as JT carried him and Darren by their hands as he flew through the air.

“We have to do something to stop those fools before they hurt more innocent people,” JT answered Brian’s question out loud as Darren looked at him strangely.

“Mal, drop me over there.  I think I have a solution of how to fix this, without too many more people getting hurt,” Darren spoke as JT’s eyes flared with psychic energy as the three of them streaked through the sky, passing another helicopter full of military soldiers that fired their rifles at them.

“What are you going to do Conjurer?”  JT asked as Darren looked around quickly and then motioned with his other hand.

“I think a bigger me, acting like King Kong can help solve some of this madness,” Darren replied with a smile as JT sighed and then shook his head.

“Are you sure about that Conjurer?”  JT asked as Darren nodded his head.  “Where are Amaryllis and Amazon?”

“Amazon grabbed Walden and Amaryllis appeared over there, looking rather strange,” Brian spoke, pointing his hand in the direction of the others.  “What’s going on babe?  Are you not able to sense what’s going on with the others?”

“There’s too much psychic static around us,” JT replied as the psychic energy that flared  around his eyes flickered. “Something’s inhibiting my psychic powers a bit.  I’m glad I’m able to stay airborne with my telekinesis right now.”

“If you’re having a problem using your psychic powers, maybe you should use your other powers,” Darren stated as he waved as JT let him go as he sailed down to the ground, hitting with a loud thump as his body grew in size, almost reaching twelve feet high.

“That’s so cool,” Brian stated as he waved at Darren as he and JT flew on.

“Keep your head on things Chase,” JT stated as he made another pass around the helicopter as the soldiers aboard, fired their energy rifles at the two of them.  “I gotta do something about those rifles.”

“You better do it quickly, those beams are getting a little bit too close for my comfort,” Brian stated as he moved a bit to avoid one of the beams hitting him.

“Enough!”  JT screamed, his eyes flaring with psychic and magical energy as he and Brian floated in place as he raised his hands in the air as the helicopter’s propellers stopped whirling around and then bent upwards.  “Why in the hell am I fucking running?”

“Baby, are you okay?”  Brian asked as he watched JT as the energy that emanated around JT pushed him backwards.

“You damn monsters should be ashamed of yourselves, hurting innocent people!”  JT screamed as his eyes flared brighter as magical energy emanated from his body, taking the form of a dragon as it attacked the helicopter as the soldiers jumped from it, parachuting down to the ground.

“Cool babe, you took out a helicopter,” Brian stated as the helicopter sailed towards the ground on fire as Darren moved towards it, grabbing it with his hand and aiding it safely to the ground as the flames that surrounded it went out.

“One down, two to go,” Darren stated as the soldiers on the ground fired at him, JT and Brian.

“They aren’t learning a damn thing!”  JT screamed as he waved his hand in the direction of the soldiers, knocking a group of them down to the ground as more men arrived on the scene, firing at him.

“Take him out, he’s the strongest of all of them!”  One of the soldiers yelled.  “The General wants him down and now!”

“Asloo Metaron Doun Noood Mu!”  Darren screamed as his body shimmered with energy as his body looked almost like glass as the energy beams from the energy rifles the soldiers fired, bounced off of his body, being deflected back at their source.

“I didn’t know he could do that.  He’ll have to teach me that spell,” JT stated as his flew higher into the sky as his body emanated magical flames as another helicopter arrived on the scene with more soldiers, firing their energy rifles at them as JT sighed, looked around and then lashed out with his powers, causing the helicopter to catch fire.

“Baby, they’re still coming!”  Brian screamed as he looked around and then shook his head.  “Put me down on the ground baby.”

“No, I’m not going to give those creeps a shot at hurting you while you’re on the ground,” JT stated as he looked at Brian.

“I’m not a weakling baby.  I can defend myself,” Brian stated as he glared at JT.  “I know you’re the amalgam of powers, but I don’t need you protecting me at every turn.”

“Brian…” JT stated as Brian jumped away from him as he fell towards the ground as he waved his arms, creating winds to cushion his landing on the ground as he took off running.

“I’ll be fine!”  Brian yelled as he took off running, punching a few of the soldiers, knocking them down to the ground as one of the soldiers pressed a button on his wrist as Brian crashed into an invisible barrier of some kind that knocked him backwards to the ground.  “Awww fuck!”

“It looks like we’re cornered here,” JT stated as he flew past Darren and then stopped in mid-air as another helicopter arrived.  “It seems General Ranger isn’t taking any chances here.”

“The General wants you freaks and apparently he’s willing to do anything to get you,” one of the soldiers spoke as JT shook his head.

“He’s going to have to try a little bit harder than this!”  JT snapped as his lashed out with his powers, knocking the soldiers backwards, slamming a few of them into a nearby wall.  “The more you throw at me, the more I’ll throw at you monsters!”

“No shit babe,” Brian said with a sigh as he got up off the ground and then ran up to where Darren was.  “What’s the plan here?  How are we going to stop those goons and keep the people around here from getting hurt?”

(<PAMPH>)

“Change of plans Chase, you’re with me,” JT stated as he wrapped a telekinetic field around himself and Brian as the two of them floated in place.

“What about me?”  Darren asked as he looked over at JT.

“I’m not your boyfriend,” JT replied as Darren cut his eyes at him.

“Didn’t we just have this discussion?”  Brian asked as he looked at JT.  “Let me out of this thing.”

“Brian, I’m trying…” JT stated as Brian shook his head.

“I have an idea of my own,” Brian stated with a small smile.

“No Chase, I’m not going to allow those creeps to hurt you,” JT stated as Brian looked at him and then blew him a kiss.

“Honest baby, I’ll be all right.  You don’t have to worry about me,” Brian stated as he leaned in and kissed JT’s cheek as Darren cleared his throat.  “They won’t even be able to see me coming.”

“Guys, get your head back into the things going on around here,” Darren stated as he motioned with his head as JT’s eyes flared with psychic energy as there was a loud explosion as an astral projection appeared before the three of them.  “What… What just happened here?”

“I happened here,” Tara replied as she landed next to Darren as he shrunk down to his normal size.  “You three need to cool it for a minute.  It seems we have a bigger problem than just these two showing affection in public.”

“What’s the problem Amazon?”  JT asked as he moved over to where Tara stood.

“It must be all those damn helicopters, Brian stated as Tara shook her head in the negative.

“The helicopters aren’t the problem right now,” Tara stated with a sigh as she pointed her hand.  “Helia and General Ranger should be your main concern.”

“What do you mean Amazon?  What’s going on?”  JT asked as his eyes flared with psychic energy.

“Because of Helia’s actions, Alpha and Amaryllis are missing,” Tara replied with an angry look on her face.  “That bitch used her powers, opening those funky ass portals of hers to get rid of them!  They’re all gone!  They’re nowhere around here!”

“Say what?  Baby, are you able to track them down with your psychic powers?”  Brian asked as he looked over at JT.  “Can you find out where she sent them?”

“There’s still too much psychic static around here for me to get a lock on anyone or anything,” JT stated as he sighed and then looked around.  “My psychic powers are useless for the time being.”

“We have to do something and quick,” Tara stated as she looked around as she removed her lasso from her belt.  “General Ranger is here and it seems Helia’s helping him get rid of us.  We have to stop them!”

“So what can we do?  It’s just the four of us.  Are we really going to be able to stop this shit?”  Darren asked as he looked around, noticing that there were more soldiers around with their weapons drawn and aimed at them.  “Ah guys…”

“We have to try.  We don’t really have a choice in the matter,” JT stated as his eyes crackled with energy as he waved his hand outward, sending a wave of psychic energy towards the soldiers near them that knocked the men down to the ground.  “Scatter!”

A Few Minutes Later — The Outskirts of Town

“So how do we stop Helia?”  Tara asked as she used her lasso to rope in a few of the soldiers as she flew upwards with the soldiers and then let them go, allowing them to fall to the ground.  “We can’t just let her run free with General Ranger.  She waved her hand and within an instant, Alpha and Amaryllis were gone!  She did that without a blinking a damn eye!”

“I don’t have an answer to that damn it,” JT replied as he shook his head as he slashed a group of soldiers with his psychic sword.  “I can’t believe this is happening.  This is all her fault!  I just wonder how she was able to trick me—us so easily.  How was she able to deceive us so easily?”

“If it helps any, I don’t think she’s willingly helping him,” Tara stated as she punched a few of the soldiers.

“What do you mean?”  JT asked as he spun around, punched a soldier in the face with the back of his sword and then spun around again as he stabbed the sword through the forehead of another soldier as both soldiers fell to the ground, convulsing.

“I mean, when Alpha disappeared, she acted as if she—she was talking to herself.  It sounded like she was fighting with someone near her, but no one was there,” Tara stated as she grabbed a few soldiers and then tossed them through the air.

“Strange, but that could be a possible clue,” JT stated as he waved his hand, using his telekinesis to knock the soldiers nearest them backwards a bit and then gestured with his hand as their rifles flew from their hands, smashing to pieces.

“Cool baby, my turn!”  Brian exclaimed as he took off running, passing a large group of the soldiers as he knocked the rifles from their hands, grabbing each one and disassembling each one and then returning to stand next to JT.  “They have been effectively disabled.  Their guns can’t hurt us anymore.”

“But mine can!”  Someone yelled as there was a flash of light as JT screamed out as if he were in agony as he doubled over, holding his head.

To Be Continued…

The Awakening – Chapter 7

Chapter 7 — An Unordinary Reunion

Day 36 — Washington, D.C. — Outside of the Pentagon

“How dare you people!  You don’t know what you’ve done!”  JT screamed as he floated in the air above all of them with a woman in his arms.  “You better pray she’s all right!”

“Ah Darlin’, what’s that around him?”  Darren asked, pointing at JT.  “He—he’s warping reality with his powers right now… That’s not a good thing Dear.”

“I bet that would be the Chaos effect,” Tara replied with a frown.  “That’s not good at all.  It’s a sign that he’s tapped into the powers of Limbo again.”

“He’s tapped into something.  He’s exhibiting powers that even I don’t have. My spell didn’t give him the power to do that,” Darren stated as JT floated down to the ground as he turned towards the soldiers and raised his hand as a wave of energy expelled from his body, knocking all the soldiers down, leaving the ground scorched as if it had been burned by fire.  “Oh God!  Dear, do you know what’s about to happen here?”

“I don’t, but I doubt it would be a good thing,” Tara stated as Brian ran up next to her.

“Amazon, all the cells are empty, but… Ah, what’s happening here?”  Brian asked as he looked around as Walden walked up next to him.

“I don’t have an answer for you right now Chase,” Tara replied as she looked around.  “All we can do is try to get him and get the hell away from here.”

“I don’t think we should,” Walden stated as Jennifer landed next to Tara.  “We need to leave here.  Ranger has sent for others to take you guys out.”

“That’s not going to happen,” Tara stated as she turned around just as there was a flash of light as her armor disappeared.  “Conjurer, what’s going on?”

“I don’t know, but it seems something has countered the spell I placed on all of us,” Darren stated as everything around the disappeared and then faded away.  “What’s going on?  Why is it so dark around me?”

Between Here and There — The Limbo Dimension — Castle Limbo

(<SPLINGKKKKK>)

“Don’t worry my friends, you’re all safe from harm now,” JT’s voice was heard, but he was not seen.

“What’s going on here man?  Why is it so dark around me—us?”  Darren’s voice was heard.

“There is no need to worry, you are safe here,” JT’s voice was heard again, but he was still unseen.

“We’re someplace safe… I’m not buying that one but if I can’t see anything around me,” Walden Nest spoke, bumping into a wall in the darkness.  “What in the hell is going on?  Does someone have a light?”

“JT, where are we?  What’s going on here?”  Tara asked as the snapping of a finger was heard as torches along the corridor walls lit by themselves, providing light to the area.  “JT, where are you?”

“I am here,” JT replied as he walked into the light, carrying the woman in his arms.

“Are we really safe here, wherever the hell here is?”  Tara asked as she pushed Darren behind her.  Where are we JT?”

“We’re someplace safe,” JT answered as Tara shook her head.

“That’s not an answer JT,” Tara stated as she moved closer to JT and the woman in his arms as he took a step backwards.  “Where are we JT?  Answer me truthfully.”

“We’re nowhere and everywhere,” JT replied as Tara looked at him strangely.

“I don’t need a damn riddle man.  Where are we?”  Tara asked.

“We’re in Limbo,” JT replied as Tara gasped and then covered her mouth as she looked around.

“We—we’re in Limbo, Darren spoke as he moved way from Tara.  “I—I knew we were someplace powerful… I can feel the power coursing through me…  I am so powerful here.”

“Don’t get drunk with power here Darren,” Tara stated as she smacked Darren across the face, snapping him out of the trance he had fallen into.

“Where are we really?  What’s this Limbo place you speak of?”  Walden asked as he looked around at the others.

“We are nowhere and everywhere,” JT replied as Walden shook his head and was ready to speak again, but was interrupted by a loud crash.

“Silence,” they all heard as a large mirror appeared before them as an image materialized in front of it.  “There shall be peace and harmony in the realm.”

“Are—are we in trouble here?”  Brian asked as he looked around.  “JT?  JT, what’s going on here man?”

“Man, I don’t think now is the time for you to be disturbing him,” Darren stated as he grabbed Brian’s hand, stopping him from moving too far.  “You need to save that love crap for another time.  We have other pressing matters to worry about right now.”

“Jerk,” Brian said as he snatched his hand away from Darren and then turned his back to him.

“I’m sorry Brian, but I didn’t mean for it to sound so—so rude.  We have important things to worry about right now, than you trying to get your mack on with JT,” Darren stated as the mirror that stood before them disappeared.  “Ah, was that supposed to happen Darlin’?”

“Right now, I don’t know what’s supposed to be happening,” Tara replied as she looked at Darren as he stepped forward and then disappeared from view.  “Darren!”

“Amazon, what’s happening here?”  Brian asked, looking at her closely with a scared look on his face.

“I don’t know damn it!  I don’t have the damn answers!”  Tara snapped as she stepped backwards and then turned around as Walden disappeared next and then Jennifer disappeared.  “What in the hell is going on?”

“Man, this stuff is freaking me out!”  Brian screamed as he took off running out of the room.

“Brian, no!  Come back here!”  Tara screamed as she looked around again to see that she was the only one left in the area.  “What in the hell is going on around here?  JT?  JT, what’s going on here?  Show yourself!  We don’t have time for you to be playing shadow games in the damn castle.  It—it’s been a long time since I’ve been here in Limbo and if this is Castle Limbo, I would like to know what’s going on around us.”

“The answers you seek are not here,” Tara heard as she looked around as a mirror appeared before her as an image in the mirror’s reflection could be seen.

“Mirror, what’s going on around here?”  Tara asked as the mirror glowed brightly as it grew in size.

“Once again, the Prince’s heart has been compromised by heartache and pain,” the image in the mirror spoke.  “Actions taken by others have caused a paradox upon a paradox.”

“Actions by others have caused a paradox.  Meaning what Mirror?”  Tara asked as she looked at the mirror closely, trying to see what was displayed there.

“Meaning the Prince wasn’t supposed to be in your world to see Glare,” the image in the mirror responded as Tara looked at the mirror strangely.

“To see Glare?  Who’s Glare?  What are you talking about Mirror?”  Tara asked as she turned around.  “You make it sound as if JT doesn’t belong…”

“I don’t belong in your reality Tara,” JT spoke as he walked into the area.

“What in the hell is going on around here JT?”  Tara asked.  “Where are the others?”

“I sent them back to your place in Bensonhurst,” JT replied as he looked down.

“So, what is the mirror talking about?”  Tara asked.

“I don’t belong in your world Tara,” JT stated as he looked at her and then waved his hand in front of the mirror as the images displayed changed.

“Meaning what JT?”  Tara asked as she looked at him and then back at the mirror as it glowed.

“I’m not the JT that belongs in this world,” JT replied as he walked around her and then back to the mirror as he moved over to it and then touched the surface of the reflection as the image changed.  “In the reality I came from, I—I was haunted by images of a world that would never be.  So, to change what I was feeling, I used the magic of Limbo to find a reality that I existed in, similar to the one I was in and decided to replace that version of myself.”

“Say what?”  Tara said as she looked at JT strangely.

“I swapped places with myself,” JT stated as Tara just looked at him as realization hit as she shook her head and then sighed.  “The JT that existed in the reality that you exist in, I swapped places with him, taking over his life and sent him to where I came from, where he took over my life there.  I’m living his life here and he’s living my life there.”

“So the JT in the mirror there, is the JT that I really know?” Tara asked as JT nodded his head.

“I’m the JT that you know also,” JT stated as he looked down.  “We’re both the same, just our lives turned out differently.”

“So that explains a bit about why your powers are different,” Tara stated as she looked down.  “What—what made you do what you did?  Why are you telling me this?”

“I’m telling you, because you’re my best friend.  You’ve always been my best friend,” JT stated as he looked up at Tara.  “I—I got tired of living in a world that I couldn’t make a difference in and decided to come here instead.  In this world, there is a chance for me to try to make amends for all the things I couldn’t do in the place I came from.”

“So you thought that swapping places with a different you was going to help you do that?  Are you fucking serious JT?”  Tara asked as she looked at him as if he had lost his mind. “I’ve known you for a long time and I must say, this is the craziest thing you’ve ever done!  This just takes the cake buddy!”

“Tara,” JT said as she shook her head and then turned away from him.

“Don’t Tara me,” Tara stated as she turned around and then grabbed JT by the throat, picking him up off the floor.  “Undo what you did!”

“No,” JT replied as his eyes crackled with energy as he disappeared from Tara’s grasp and then reappeared across the room.  “I’m not going to undo what I did, not until I’ve made a change in this world.”

“You are crazy,” Tara stated as she grabbed her lasso and prepared to twirl it around, but JT waved his hand in her direction, freezing her in place.

“I’m not crazy Tara, just listen to me here.  I need some time to fix the errors of this place,” JT stated as his eyes flared with psychic energy.  “I should’ve known you would react this way, but I must make things like they were, before you found out.”

“Stop it JT, I won’t let you!”  Tara screamed as she struggled to move her body as JT’s eyes flared brighter.

“I mustn’t stop Tara.  I have to stop what’s wrong in your world and in order for me to do that, you must forget what I just told you and what happened on Earth, before we arrived here,” JT stated as Tara stopped struggling and calmed down.  “Tara, you must forget what I’ve told you and remember that I am your friend.”

“My liege,” the image in the mirror spoke as JT turned around.

“Not now Guardian,” JT spoke as his eyes stopped glowing.

“My liege,” the image in the mirror spoke again as JT moved closer to Tara as the image jumped off the surface of the mirror’s reflection and then stepped in front of him.  “My liege, you must undo what you’ve done.”

“No, I can’t do that,” JT stated as he turned and looked at the image.  “Because of my actions in my reality, I’ve altered other realities and caused a ripple effect.  That family reunion between me and my sister wasn’t supposed to have happened.”

“My liege,” the image spoke again as JT shook his head.

“No Guardian, in the world I come from, the things I’ve seen here weren’t supposed to have happened.  This place was supposed to had been…” JT stated, being interrupted by the image from the mirror.

“My liege, things changed when your usage of chaos magic here in the castle, altered the variances of reality throughout the realms,” the image spoke as JT shook his head.  “When you became Lord Chaos, that single action caused the various versions of yourself in other realities to be enhanced with chaos magic also.”

“How did me becoming Lord Chaos cause the madness I’ve seen so far?”  JT asked as he looked at the image.

“You didn’t cause the madness my liege, but a version of yourself did.  He used that added benefit of the chaos magic for destructive means, causing the ripple that you’re trying to address,” the image responded as JT shook his head.

“So, how do I undo what that version of myself of another reality did?”  JT asked as he looked at the image.

“That version of yourself was the version you replaced here,” the image spoke as JT’s eyes widened.

“What?  How did?  What happened Guardian?” JT asked.  “How can that be?  I—I made sure…”

“When you replaced this reality’s version of yourself here, when he woke up in your reality and realized that he had powers, he used your magic to decimate all things he felt to be evil.  That actions upset the balance between good and evil and caused the paradox here and throughout the realms,” the image spoke as JT shook his head and then covered his mouth.

“Show me,” JT stated as the image jumped back onto the mirror’s surface as the images displayed, changed to show JT what happened in the other reality.  “I—I can’t believe this.  He—I—destroyed the government.  He used my powers and got rid of the government with just a thought.  He turned the world into a place of—of nothingness.”

“That’s correct my liege.  Your actions here are not making matters better.  Reverse what you’ve done to Amazon, so she can help you,” the image in the mirror stated as the images changed again.  “To fix what the other version of yourself did, you must put a stop to what happened in Amazon’s reality and that action should bring order and balance back to the realms.”

“What happened?”  Tara asked as she looked around.  “What did you do to me JT?”

“I’m sorry Tara, I didn’t mean…” JT stated as Tara shook her head.

“No JT, you’re not sorry and yes you did mean to,” Tara stated as she shook her head. “As long as I’ve known you, regardless of what reality or time you came from, you’ve always been more concerned about yourself and nothing more than that.”

“You—you’re right about that Tara,” JT stated as he looked down.  “Because of my actions and carelessness, a version of myself caused a problem.  For that problem to be fixed, I must try to solve the problems in your reality.  What’s going on with Ranger and the government in your reality, shouldn’t be happening.  That’s the fallout from your JT’s action in my reality.  If I hadn’t come here to replace him, you wouldn’t be going through the crap you’re going through with Ranger and his goon squad.”

“You’re telling me that since you swapped bodies with yourself, the ‘you’ that left here, caused a problem from where you came from and it’s effecting this place?  Is that it?”  Tara asked as JT nodded his head.  “Oh that’s just lovely.  How are we going to fix this mess?”

“There’s nothing we can really do, except for fight Ranger and the people he follow,” JT stated.  “There doesn’t seem to be a quick fix for this.”

“What happens when we stop Ranger and the people he works for?” Tara asked as she looked at JT.  “Do you go back to the reality you came from or what?”

“Is that possible Guardian?”  JT asked as he turned and looked at the image in the mirror.

“You may return to the reality from which you came my liege, but the good you do, may be undone once you’ve left,” the image in the mirror stated.

“So, I guess that means I have a new home,” JT stated as he looked down.

“That was quick and damn easy JT.  That’s what I’m talking about.  You just up and made that decision so damn easily, to just uproot yourself and leave behind others that…” Tara stated as JT interrupted her.

“That choice was easy because my life there was in shambles, because of the actions of others.  I—I had nothing, no one to… That doesn’t really matter anymore.”

“Is that why you were avoiding Brian?”  Tara asked as she touched JT’s shoulder.  “You lost someone in the other reality and you were scared to get close to someone else?”

“It goes way deeper than that,” JT stated as a few tears fell from his eyes.  “Besides, it doesn’t really matter anymore, that was…”

“It does matter JT, regardless if you think it does or not,” Tara stated as she pulled JT close and hugged him.  “I don’t agree with what you did here, but regardless of which time or reality you came from, you’re still my friend.”

“And you’re mine,” JT replied as he sniffled.

“I think we need to get back to where we belong.  We’ve been here a long time,” Tara stated as JT looked at her.  “How long have we been here?”

“Guardian, how long have we been away from Earth?” JT asked as he looked at the mirror as the images changed.

“It’s been seven years, three months, one week and two days since you left there to come here,” the image in the mirror spoke.

“I hope you’re going to teleport us back in time, a bit closer to when we left would be great.  I don’t want to attempt to explain temporal mechanics to Darren or anyone else for that matter.  I don’t know how I would be able to explain where I’ve been or how long I’ve been gone for,” Tara stated as JT shook his head.

“Yet, you’re married to a man that has magical powers,” JT stated as he shook his head.  “A man that can teleport you through space, the same way I do, but you would have to explain temporal mechanics to him.  Yeah right girl.  You might want to talk with your husband a bit.  I’m sure he’ll surprise you on so many different levels.”

“What are you trying to say JT?”  Tara asked as JT shook his head.

“I’m trying to say that your husband isn’t as innocent as he makes things out to be,” JT stated as he turned away from Tara as some images displayed in the mirror as she saw the images and then covered her mouth and then shook her head as JT stepped closer to her as a portal appeared.  “Let’s get back to your husband and our new friends.  I have a feeling that things are heated and need to be toned down a notch.”

“Probably so,” Tara stated as the two of them stepped through the portal, vanishing as the mirror glowed and then shrunk down to size as it disappeared.

To Be Continued…