Chapter 1 — Home Coming
Mar 16, 1996 – Jacksonville, FL – The X-Ternals’ Compound – The Infirmary
“Oh God, I didn’t think I could do it,” JT spoke, floating down to the floor as his costume changed to his regular clothes and his scepter disappeared as Tara rushed over to where he stood.
“Are you okay JT?” Tara asked, checking his body over. “That took a lot of power and you look like…”
“I look like hell warmed over,” JT stated with a frown on his face. “Is that what you were going to say Tara?”
“No, I was going to say that you look like you need some sleep,” Tara replied with a frown.
“Yeah, I’m tired, but I don’t know where I’m going to get sleep. How am I supposed to sleep right now?” JT asked, looking around. “It’s going to take some time to come to terms with all that’s happened here.”
“Like your uncle said, none of this was your fault JT. You shouldn’t be dwelling on this,” A’Mora stated with a frown.
“But you know he’s going to dwell on it anyway,” Hank stated, looking over at JT.
“I have no choice but to dwell on it,” JT stated, looking down. “This mess is my fault and there’s nothing I can do to change any of it now. All that’s happened is stuck in the timeline and there’s nothing anyone can do to change it, to the way it should be.”
“Change it to the way it should be… What are you talking about J?” Tara asked, looking at JT strangely.
“I’m talking about Donna being here. She’s supposed to be here, with the rest of us, not dead. She was supposed to be here to live her life, to have a family, to have a successful career. She was supposed to…”
“From what has been said already, all we can really do is move on with our lives JT. There’s nothing we can really do about Donna’s actions,” Tara stated as she looked down.
“Those were not Donna’s actions, it was the demonphage’s actions!” JT snapped as the area around them shook. “If it hadn’t removed the power blockers from her mind, that restricted her powers, she would still be here now!”
“Calm down J,” Drew stated as he walked up to JT and rubbed his back.
“I’m not going to calm down!” JT snapped, jerking away from Drew’s touch. “One of my friends, your friend too, killed themselves because of something I could’ve stopped!”
“How could you have stopped the demonphage JT?” Drew asked, looking at JT strangely. “You’re powerful, but you’re not that powerful JT. You’re not God.”
“I never said I was God,” JT stated, turning away from Drew.
“No, you didn’t say it, but sometimes you act as if you are,” Drew stated as he folded his arms across his chest. “You can’t control everything that goes on in the world JT.”
“I do no such thing,” JT stated as he turned back towards Drew, glaring at him.
“Come off it JT, you’ve been acting that way since I’ve known you,” Hank stated as he stepped up behind Drew. “You know you have power and you’ve always done everything you can to display that power to the rest of us and the people we’ve taken down. So, don’t stand there and say you don’t act like you’re God!”
“I—I’m sorry, if that’s the impression I’ve given you guys, I’m really sorry,” JT stated as he shook his head and then sighed. “That’s another reason why I should’ve been able to do what I had planned to do moments ago.”
“No, that’s just another sign of you trying to act like you’re God!” Hank snapped, pointing his finger at JT. “There are things in the world that shouldn’t be controlled. There are things in this world that even you can’t change. Donna’s actions, ending her life is one of those things!”
“I have the power to…” JT started as Hank rolled his eyes and then sighed.
“Yep, you have the power, but did you ever use it the way it was supposed to be used? Even though you’re a psychic with the power to see into the future, that doesn’t mean you can see the outcome of everything that’s going to happen. You can’t control the outcome of every living being on the planet JT. We can make our own damn decisions!” Hank snapped, throwing his hands up. “Everything isn’t about you always coming to the damn rescue!”
“You have a point,” JT stated as he waved his hand in the air, creating a portal as he shook his head and then flew into it as Tara shook her head and then flew in behind him as it closed.
“Hank, I think you said too much,” A’Mora stated as she looked down.
“He needed to hear it though,” Hank replied, looking down as he shook his head. “Besides, you all were thinking the same thing I was, go on and admit it.”
“He might have needed to hear that, but he didn’t need to hear it the way it was delivered,” Drew stated, looking down. “I guess we have to wait until he calms down for him to come back.”
“I guess so,” A’Mora replied, looking around. “Who wants to start the clean-up process?”
“You all can be my guest,” Hank replied, making a move towards the door as Drew grabbed him by the arm, stopping him. “Damn it, I was so close.”
“If we have to clean up this place, so do you,” Drew stated as he sighed and then walked out of the room.
Between Here and There – The Limbo Dimension – Castle Limbo
“I thought after he took back his power and the world continued, things would be different, but as you can see, things are not,” Necroloque spoke as he walked past a mirror with Mother Divine’s reflection in it. “Things in the real world will never be alright for my boy. Do you see what your actions have done?”
“No Sidney, nothing I did was responsible for any of that,” Mother Divine spoke as Necroloque looked at the scrying glass and then snapped his fingers as the images changed.
“You have a point there. I can’t blame everything Chaos did on your actions, but I can contribute most of what it did to your meddling in Timmy’s life,” Necroloque stated as he shook his head. “So, what do I do with you now? I can’t hold you in that mirror for…”
“No, you can’t hold me in this mirror forever, trapped like this brother,” Mother Divine stated as her eyes glowed an eerie purple color. “You will pay dearly for entrapping me this way.”
“Remember sister, I reign supreme here, not you,” Necroloque spoke as his eyes crackled with energy. “You are just a visitor to this realm, keep that in mind.”
“I may be a visitor here, but my powers will set me free and when they do,” Mother Divine spoke as the castle walls shook. “What’s happening?”
“I don’t know, but that shouldn’t be your main concern right now,” Necroloque spoke as there was a flash of light in the area as things seemed to fade in and out around them as new walls appeared around himself and Mother Divine, blocking them from the rest of the castle.
“Where are we JT?” Tara asked as she looked around the area as she covered her mouth.
“Limbo,” JT answered as he looked around and then sighed as he waved his hand as another portal appeared. “You’re leaving here Tara.”
“Nope, I’m not leaving here JT. You might as well hang that idea up,” Tara stated as she looked at him as if he were crazy. “If you’re not with me when I go, I’m not going anywhere. If I go damn it, you go!”
“I’m not going anywhere and you can’t stay here in this domain,” JT stated as he looked around again.
“What happened to this place JT?” Tara asked as she looked around again. “It looks like a battle took place here.”
“I—I don’t remember this happening while I was trying to leave here,” JT stated as he shook his head. “I don’t think I did all of this.”
“I’m sure you didn’t,” JT heard as he turned around and then stopped in his tracks. “Hello Timmy.”
“Grandma!” JT yelled, the walls of the castle shaking and vibrating as Tara looked around again and then backed away from where JT stood. “How—how did you get here? How did you get to Limbo?”
“This was once my domain, a lifetime ago,” the woman spoke, smiling at JT as she walked over to where he stood. “And as you know, your bloodline can enter Limbo freely, without you being here.”
“I thought that only applied to the chosen ones, not my entire bloodline,” JT stated as the woman shook her head.
“No so,” the woman stated as she waved her hand as it glowed brightly as a portal appeared. “Your magical bloodline is able to enter Limbo at will, not just your family bloodline.”
“I’m confused a bit,” JT spoke as the woman shook her head.
“There’s nothing to be confused about my child,” the woman spoke. “As long as our bloodline is the highest on the Winding Way, our bloodline is the strongest and has access to this realm.”
“So, this place isn’t just mine as I’ve always thought,” JT stated as he looked at the woman strangely.
“Not so much as this place being yours, but you are the gatekeeper here,” the woman spoke as JT looked down.
“All that time, I thought this was my domain and mine only,” JT stated as he shook his head.
“It is your domain, as it is all in our bloodline,” the woman stated as she walked down the corridor as she motioned with her head for JT to follow her.
“But—but I thought this place was tied to me and was just mine,” JT stated as the woman shook her head again.
“My child, Limbo belongs to no one in particular,” the woman stated as her eyes glowed brightly as she doubled over as if she were in pain.
“Grandma!” JT screamed as he moved past a mirror in the area, noticing his reflection and the reflection of the thing that was posing as his grandmother. “What the hell is going on here?”
“Is there something wrong JT?” Tara asked as she landed next to JT.
“That’s not my grandmother,” JT stated as he waved his hand, using his magical powers as magical energy chains shot through the air, grabbing the woman, holding her tight as her visage changed. “Who in the hell are you?”
“Come now Prince, that’s no way to talk to your dear old grandmother,” the woman stated as she laughed.
“You’re not my grandmother!” JT screamed, his eyes crackling with magical energy as Tara stepped behind him. “Now, who in the hell are you?”
“You’re not going to get the answers you want that way Prince,” the woman stated as she struggled to get free of the magical chains that held her tightly. “Release me and I’ll tell you what you want to know.”
“I’m not releasing you at all,” JT stated as Tara looked at him and then at the woman.
“JT, what’s going on here?” Tara asked as she moved backwards, stepping in front of a mirror, noticing her own reflections as she jumped and then screamed. “No! That—that’s not what I look like, is it? This—this must be some sort of damn trick!”
“Snap out of it Amazon!” JT snapped as he grabbed her hand as she stopped screaming. “That’s my scrying glass… It sometimes reflects a person’s inner demons to them.”
“So, you’re saying I think I look like a damn demon? That’s not right JT; I don’t see myself as the thing I just saw in that damn mirror!” Tara screamed a JT shook his head, sighing as he kept his attention on the woman he held in his magical chains.
“I didn’t say that at all Tara,” JT stated as the woman’s eyes started to glow as the chains vibrated, some of them dissipating.
“Then what in the hell are you saying damn it?” Tara asked as she moved away from JT as she stood in front of the mirror again, seeing a different image as she jumped backwards and then looked behind her as if someone was there. “This is some crazy shit here!”
“Tara, please calm down, I can’t concentrate on what I need to do here and worry about what’s going on with you,” JT stated as he floated off the floor as Tara’s eyes widened.
“Are—are those demon wings on your back?” Tara asked as JT sighed.
“No, that’s just the appearance of my cloak,” JT stated as his eyes glowed an eerie red color. “There’s some foolery afoot in my domain and I intend to find out why.”
“Come on JT, stop playing. You—you have demon wings on your back!” Tara screamed as she pointed at JT as he flew towards a balcony above her.
“No, I told you it’s just my cloak taking on the form of wings. It’s just a means of easy transportation for when I’m here,” JT stated as he landed down on the floor as the so-called wings disappeared from his back.
Somewhere Else in Castle Limbo
“What’s happening around here?” Mother Divine asked as she slammed her hands on the glass of the mirror, having no effect of releasing her from the mirror.
“You’re not going to get out of there, regardless of how much you try. You’ll stay in that mirror until I release you from it,” Necroloque stated as his eyes glowed.
“What’s happening out there? What’s going on?” Mother Divine asked.
“I don’t know what’s happening right now, I can’t seem to put my finger on it,” Necroloque replied, looking at Mother Divine as he waved his hand, trying to create a portal, but nothing happened.
“What’s wrong my brother, something wrong with your powers?” Mother Divine asked with a sly smile.
“Is this your doing woman? What are you up to?” Necroloque asked, looking at the mirror that contained Mother Divine. “Are you behind what’s happening right now?”
“You’ll never know,” Mother Divine replied as her image flickered on the mirror’s surface.
“What have you done?” Necroloque asked as he shook his head.
“What should’ve been done a hundred years ago,” Mother Divine replied as she disappeared from the mirror’s reflection and then appeared in front of Necroloque.
“You’re free,” Necroloque stated, stepping back from Mother Divine.
“Yes my brother, I said I would be at some point,” Mother Divine stated as she stepped forward and then turned around quickly as she lashed out with her powers. “Divine, Sash of Suffering!”
“I don’t think so!” Tara screamed, appearing in front of Necroloque as she deflected the magical energy beam that Mother Divine directed at him. “Sir, are you alright?”
“Wonder Woman, how did you get here?” Necroloque asked, looking at Tara strangely. “What’s going on around here?”
“Let’s just say that JT has his hands full, but he sent me to help you,” Tara replied, grabbing Necroloque’s hand and flying through the air with him. “Is that really your sister?”
“I—I don’t know,” Necroloque replied.
“Something tried to trick JT into thinking it was his grandmother, but he somehow saw through the disguise,” Tara stated as she landed on a cliff, releasing Necroloque’s hand. “He told me to give you his cloak.”
“Hmmm, why would he give me this?” Necroloque asked, looking at Tara strangely. “This only works for him, it was enchanted by the elders to allow him to…”
“We don’t have time for all of that sir,” Tara stated with a frown. “He said for me to give it to you and that you shouldn’t trust your eyes.”
“With that being said Wonder Woman, can you be trusted?” Necroloque asked, stepping back from Tara as he snapped his fingers as her costume disappeared, revealing her true visage. “So, you really are the Wonder Woman.”
“I don’t know what’s going on in this place, but I’ll be glad when one of you figures it out,” Tara stated as she looked around.
“I’ll tell you what’s going on,” someone spoke as there was a flash of light as the castle walls started shaking.
“Who’s there?” Necroloque asked, looking around, not seeing anyone.
“The once and former king of this realm, you are king no more,” the voice spoke as there was another flash of light and Tara and Necroloque gasped.
To Be Continued…