The Awakening – Chapter 9

Chapter 9 — Battered Souls

Day 48 — The Outskirts of Bensonhurst, NY

“Malevolent!”  Brian screamed as JT fell to his knees as he moved quickly, catching him in his arms before he could hit the ground.  “What’s happening to him?  Amazon?  Conjurer?”

“Hello freaks,” General Ranger spoke as he walked forward from the group of soldiers with Helia by his side.  “I’m so happy that you all could join me here this evening.”

“You!”  Brian screamed.  “What did you do to him monster?”

“Ranger!”  Tara snapped as General Ranger snapped his finger as one of the soldiers fired a weapon that hit Brian, knocking him and JT down to the ground.

“Chase!”  Darren yelled as Brian groaned and then moved quickly, getting himself and JT away from the others.

“I’m okay!”  Brian yelled as he waved his arms in a circular motion, using his speed to create force winds, knocking a few of the soldiers backwards to the ground as other soldiers fired on him and JT.

“We have to stop them before something else happens to Chase and Warrior!”  Tara snapped as JT’s body shimmered with energy.

“Stop!”  JT’s voice was heard as he stood straight up, raising both of his hands as he lashed out with his telekinetic powers, knocking the first wave of soldiers through the air as he floated up into the air as Brian just watched in awe.

“Thank God baby, are you okay?”  Brian asked, watching JT.

“I’m fine,” JT replied in a cold, heartless tone as Brian looked at him strangely.

“Man, are you really okay?”  Darren asked as he appeared near Brian as JT floated before them.

“As I already said, I’m fine!”  JT snapped as a few soldiers converged on his area, firing their rifles at him as he held his hand out, using his powers to deflect the beams, nailing a few of the soldiers around him.  “We have to put a stop to this madness now!”

“Stop firing you fools!  You’re taking out your own men!”  General Ranger yelled as he raised his hand as a soldier with a strange looking suit of armor on, ran towards JT quickly as he jumped into the air, tackling him.

“What!  No!”  JT screamed as the soldier was able to move past his protective field, grabbing him as the two of them went down to the ground.

“Get away from him!”  Brian screamed as he ran in a circle around JT and the soldier, using his speed to create a barrier around the two men as the other soldiers fired their energy rifles, trying to stop him.

“Are you fools crazy?”  JT asked as his body glowed brightly with energy as he got up off the ground, using his powers to knock the soldier away from him as Brian stopped running and then looked at him as the other soldiers backed away.

“Stand down Malevolent,” the soldier spoke with a sly smile on his face.  “General Ranger wants a word or two with you.”

“No thank you,” JT replied as he raised his hand as the soldier was lifted up off of his feet.

“What in the hell is going on here?  Put me down damn you freak!”  The soldier demanded as JT smiled.

“As you wish!”  JT screamed as he waved his hand as the soldier rocketed through the air, crashing through a nearby building and knocking down a wall.  “It’s time I put an end to all of this.  Star Prism Power!”

“No, it’s happening again!”  General Ranger yelled, having to shield his eyes from the light and energy being generated by the glow around JT’s body.

“Are you okay Master?  What has happened to you?”  Helia asked as she shielded her eyes also as the glow around JT’s body dimmed as a strange ribbon-like energy flared around his body as his clothing was replaced by a new set of clothes.

“It’s always good to have an upgrade,” JT stated as he flew upwards, heading higher into the atmosphere.  “I know I shouldn’t do this, but I have no choice in the matter.  Planet…”

“Not so fast Malevolent!”  Someone yelled as JT stopped and then turned slightly as a punch connected with his face, knocking him through the air and down to the ground.

“Damn!  What in the hell was that?  What fucking hit me?”  JT asked as he leaned up on his elbows, while lying on the ground, trying to see what had hit him.  “Who in the hell was that?  What hit me?”

“That pleasure was all mine freak,” JT heard as he turned around to see a young man land a few feet from him.

“You?  I—I saw you in the pens when I…” JT said as the guy bum-rushed him, grabbing him by the collar of his shirt and pulling him up off the ground.  “You—you touched me!”

“Damn right I touched you freak!  Who in the hell do you think you are?  You’re not untouchable!”  The young man yelled as he punched JT in the abdomen.

“Owww!”  JT groaned in agony, doubling over from the pain as Brian appeared in a blur, punching the guy multiple times.

“Get away from him!”  Brian’s voice could be heard, but he couldn’t be seen as he continued punching the guy.

“That doesn’t hurt me freak!”  The young man screamed as he stomped his foot on the ground, shaking things up a bit as Brian tripped and then fell to the ground as he turned his attention back to JT.  “General Ranger is ready for you now.  You can come willingly or you can die here right now.  Choose wisely freak!”

“I don’t think so!”  JT snapped as his eyes flared with psychic energy as he grabbed the young man’s head as their gaze connected.

“Baby, what’s happening?”  Brian asked, getting up off the ground as he watched things transpire between JT and the young man.

“What in the hell are you doing to me?”  The young man asked as JT continued holding his head as his eyes continued flaring with psychic energy.

‘You will stop what you’re doing,’ JT mentally projected his voice into the mind of the young man as he ceased his struggles and stood still.  ‘General Ranger is a very evil man.  You should not be following his lead.  General Ranger is trying to kill people with special abilities like you—like us.  You are in grave danger being anywhere near that man.’

“General Ranger is an evil man,” the young man spoke as his eyes glowed the same color JT’s eyes glowed.  “I’m in grave danger being around him.  I must get away from him quickly.”

‘That’s right, you must get away from General Ranger.  He will kill you if allowed to. Use your gifts Mr. Perry and get away from here quickly,’ JT mentally projected his voice into the young man’s mind as his eyes stopped glowing as he removed his hands from the young man’s head.

“No!  I must get away from here!”  The young man screamed as he jumped into the air, taking flight as he flew away from the scene as General Ranger’s eyes widened as he balled his hand into a fist and then turned to Helia.

“You!  Bring him back here, now damn it!”  General Ranger yelled as he pointed in the direction the young man had flown in.

“I—I can’t,” Helia replied as she shook her head.

“I said get him back here!  Get him back here now, damn you!”  General Ranger yelled as he slapped Helia’s face as she screamed out and then held her face.  “You will do as I tell you to damn it!”

“Yes Master,” Helia replied as her eyes glowed as a strange phenomenon appeared before her and General Ranger as JT passed through the phenomenon and punched General Ranger in the face, knocking him backwards.

“Bet I’m not what you were expecting,” JT said as he grabbed Helia’s hand and then disappeared with her in a flash of light.

“No!”  General Ranger screamed, stomping his feet like a little child would as he’s suddenly lifted up off of his feet as he looked around quickly, trying to figure out what was happening around him as there was a strange shimmering of light as Darren appeared before him in giant mod, holding him within his hand.

“Nah uh General Ranger, I don’t think you want to put your hands on anyone else right now, while you’re in my hands,” Darren stated with a sly smile as General Ranger looked around again, trying to assess his options of getting away from Darren.  “Look around all you like, but there’s no escaping me from up here.  You’re almost twenty feet high in the sky.  A drop from this height would more than likely kill you.”

“Put me down freak!”  General Ranger screamed as he tapped a button on his uniform as a few soldiers converged on the area where Darren stood.

“General, freak isn’t a nice word to say to the person that literally holds your life in his hands,” Darren stated as he used his other hand to cover General Ranger’s body as he shook his hands, like he was shaking up dice in his hands as screamed could be heard.

“Get me out of here!”  General Ranger screamed, being bounced around inside of Darren’s enclosed hands as the soldiers on the ground fired their weapons at Darren.

“This is getting really old,” Darren stated with a chuckle as he continued shaking General Ranger up in his enclosed hands.  “Come on General, have you had enough yet?  Your soldiers are tickling me with their gunfire.”

“Destroy him, any way you can!”  General Ranger screamed as Darren shook his head.

“I guess you haven’t,” Darren stated as he opened his hand and then held General Ranger up by the collar of his shirt.  “I guess I have to resort to other methods of dealing with you.”

“Kill him!  Kill him right now!”  General Ranger screamed as the soldiers continued firing on Darren as one fired a bazooka at him, having no effect.

“You are a very evil man.  I swore I would never use my magic to hurt a living thing, but in your case, I may have to make an exception,” Darren stated as a tear rolled down his cheek.

(<PAMPH>)

“That’s something you don’t have to do!”  JT yelled as he appeared in a flash of light as he flew through the air, grabbing General Ranger from Darren’s hand as he carried the man through the air.  “Now tell me Ranger, what did you do to Helia Stroyer?”

“I don’t have to answer to the likes of you!”  General Ranger screamed as he struggled to get away from JT, the two of them physically fighting in the middle of the air.

“You stupid idiot!  Do you realize where you are?”  JT asked as he grabbed General Ranger by his throat, holding him tight.  “You’re in the middle of the fucking sky!  You’re really high in the fucking sky right now!  If I want to, I could kill you right now and be done with you forever!  All I have to do is drop your ass from up here and let you go splat all over the damn ground!  Now tell me, what in the hell did you do to Helia Stroyer!  How are you able to control her and her powers?”

“Do what you want to freak.  There’s nothing you can do to me that make me tell you anything.  The answers you seek, won’t come from me,” General Ranger said with a smile as he looked at JT strangely.  “Why don’t you use your psychic powers, if you can…”

“So, it seems you’re responsible for my psychic powers not working properly around here.  What have you done to create so much psychic static around here?  How did you do that?”  JT asked as his eyes glowed brightly as he reached behind his back with his other hand as a sword appeared.

“Oh look, he has a shiny toy.  What do you plan on doing with that thing?”  General Ranger asked as JT held the sword under his chin.  “Go ahead Malevolent… Go ahead and kill me if you dare, but that won’t change anything.  You’ll still be right here, looking for damn answers that you won’t find.  You might as well get used to things as they are.  I am stronger and smarter than you are freak.”

“You’re not stronger or smarter than me!”  JT snapped as his voice sent shockwaves outwards, shaking things up around the area.

“That’s very interesting.  My instruments are detecting that you’re using a power to alter reality with just the sound of your voice.  How are you doing that?”  General Ranger asked with a smile.

“Ask your so-called technology that question,” JT stated as General Ranger leered at him.  “So, your technology can detect energy, is that right?”

“You’ll never know that answer either,” General Ranger replied as he pressed a button on his uniform that created a strange field of energy around his body that repelled him away from JT.  “You’ve had it freak!  Men, take him down!”

“I don’t think that’s going to work!”  JT snapped as he gestured with his hands as if he was controlling something as General Ranger’s body stopped moving away from him.  “You might have something hindering my ability to read your mind, but nothing’s stopping my tactile telekinesis.  Let your damn devices detect that.  I still have you and I’m not letting you go until you tell me what happened to Helia Stroyer!”

“Men, I said take him down, now!”  General Ranger screamed as a few soldier converged on his location, firing their weapons at JT as Brian ran around the, taking their weapons from them and disassembling them, letting the pieces fall to the ground.

“I’m not going to let you hurt him!”  Brian screamed as another soldier arrived on the scene and fired his rifle, the beam knocking Brian down to the ground.

“No!”  JT screamed as his eyes crackled with energy as fire enveloped his body, making him look like a giant firebird in the sky.

“Oh no, Chaos!”  Tara screamed as she arrived where JT and General Ranger floated.  “Psychic Warrior!  Psychic Warrior!  Oh God, please don’t let him be Chaos!”

“What in the hell is happening?”  General Ranger asked as the fire around JT’s body dissipated a bit as JT appeared, moving closer to him as it looked like he had wings made of fire, connected to his back.  “What in the hell is going on here?  What in the hell is that thing?”

“Amazon, what’s going on?”  Brian asked as he leaned up on his elbows as Darren shrunk down to his normal size to help him up.

“J?  Come on J, is that you in there?”  Tara asked as she floated backwards, trying to put some distance between herself and JT.  “I don’t like how this is…”

“Stay back!”  Helia screamed as she appeared in between JT and General Ranger.  “Master, I’ll save you!”

“You call him Master, yet I am the one that can save your soul!”  JT screamed, laughing out as his eyes turned to fire as Helia gasped and then covered her mouth, the expression on her face showing her fear.

“Not again!”  Tara screamed as she floated down to the ground as Darren and Brian rushed over to her.

“What’s happening Dear?”  Darren asked as he looked up at the scene that played out before them in the sky.

“Something’s happened to JT and it’s not good.  He—he’s changed,” Tara stated as Brian looked at her strangely.

“What’s going on with him Amazon?”  Brian asked as he tried to shield his eyes a bit as he watched things.  “What’s with the wings of fire?  I didn’t know he had the power to changed into a bird made of fire.  What’s with the fire shooting from his eyes?  That fire makes him look like a demon or something.  Is that part of his powers?  Is he the devil?  Come on Amazon, what’s going on here?”

“Damn, his mouth moves just as fast as the rest of him,” Darren stated as Brian glared at him.

“I—I don’t know,” Tara replied just as Helia and General Ranger landed on the ground in front of them with a loud thud.  “Goodness!”

“Stand down freaks!”  A group of soldiers yelled as Tara, Darren and Brian stepped backwards.

“No one defies me!”  JT screamed as he raised his hands high as the fire around his body lit up the night sky, making it look as if it was high noon.

“Oh damn, this isn’t good at all.  We have to get away from here,” Tara stated as she looked around quickly, trying to assess the team’s options as Darren’s body shimmered as his body shrunk down to size and out of view as Tara held her hand out and then looked over at Brian.  “Come on, you’re coming with me.”

“What?  Where are we going… What’s going on?”  Brian asked as he looked up at the sky and then back to Tara.  “What about J?”

“We can’t be concerned with him right now, we need to worry about our own safety,” Tara stated.

“What about Alpha and Amaryllis?”  Brian asked as he looked around.  “Where are they?  Have they been found?”

“Don’t know where they are Chase, but we have to get away from here, now!”  Tara snapped as she grabbed his hand, taking flight as the soldiers nearest them fired their weapons.  “Once we get to safety, then we’ll worry about finding Alpha and Amaryllis.”

“Dear, what’s going on with Malevolent?  I know you know something here,” Darren’s voice could be heard, but he wasn’t seen.

“I believe he’s changed into a darker, evil version of himself called Chaos.  Back when we were kids, Chaos decimated the entire team,” Tara stated as she flew through the air.  “The way he looks right now, is the way he looked back then.  We’re all in danger here.  We have to get away from here before…”

(<PAMPH>)

“You have to get away before something happens to you all, is that it?”  JT asked as he appeared in a burst of flame in front of Tara and her passengers as he waved his hand as Walden and Jennifer appeared in a burst of flame as a strange phenomenon appeared and Helia fell out of it.  “Now, we’re all here.”

“What the hell!”  Tara screamed, stopping quickly as Brian fell from her grasp.  “Brian!”

“You act as if you’re frightened by me or something,” JT stated as he waved his hand again as Brian appeared in a burst of flame in front of them.  “Are you scared of me Amazon?  You’re not supposed to be scared of me, you’re supposed to be my best friend.”

“I—I am your best friend,” Tara replied with a frown on her face.  “But…”

“Break yo’self fool!”  Jennifer snapped as she slapped JT across the face as the fire dissipated from around his body as a strange energy-like ribbon shot out from his body as his clothes changed back to his regular street clothes as his body fell to the ground, hurling towards the ground like a meteor.

“No!”  Brian screamed as the four of them flew behind JT, trying to catch his falling body before he could hit the ground.

“I got him!”  Jennifer screamed as she projected beams of energy from her hands that enveloped JT’s body, holding him in place.

“Thank the heavens,” Tara stated as JT’s eyes opened as he waved his hand as all of them disappeared in a flash of light.

Between Here and There — The Limbo Dimension — Castle Limbo

Tara’s POV

What in the hell is going on with JT?  One minute he’s acting like Chaos and the next, he’s acting somewhat back to normal.  Where in the hell are we right now?  I can’t make out where we are and I would like to be able to get my bearings before he tries to kill us, if he is Chaos.  He was acting like he was going to kick our asses and then Jennifer slapped him back to himself.  She must’ve hit him really hard because he went out, almost dying in the process and when we all got to him, he woke up, waved his hand, teleporting us all away and here we are, wherever the hell here is.

“Where is JT?”  Brian asked as he looked over at me.

“Is everyone okay?”  I asked, turning to look around, trying to locate everyone.  “Roll call.”

“Walden here,” Walden spoke in a groggy voice.

“I’m here,” I heard Helia speak as I looked around at here to see that she was crying.

“You know I’m here,” Brian spoke as he shrugged his shoulders.

“Here dear,” Darren spoke as he looked around at Jennifer as she waved her hand.

“Jennifer’s here, alive and kickin’,” Jennifer spoke as I sighed.

“So the only one missing is JT,” I said as I looked around again, not spotting him anywhere.

“Where are we?”  Jennifer asked as she sighed and then looked around.  “Where is he?”

“I have a sinking feeling that we’re in Limbo,” I replied as she shook her head.  “He tends to enjoy traveling here when he’s in need of shelter.”

“Well that’s nothing new girl,” Jennifer spoke as she turned around and then bumped into a mirror.  “What in the hell!  What the fuck is this?  Where did this mirror come from?”

“Jennifer, I don’t think that’s…” I said as she struggled, acting as if she was trapped.  “Jen, is there something wrong?”

“This… Thing… Won’t… Let… Me… Go!  I—I’m stuck!”  Jennifer screamed as her eyes glowed an eerie red color.  “Let me go damn it!”

“Wait a minute, what do you mean you’re stuck?”  I asked as I flew over to where she was as her eyes glowed brighter as energy beams projected from her eyes, zapping the mirror as the beams were reflected back at her and other places where we were as we all had to duck and seek cover.  “Jennifer!  Stop those damn things!”

“I—I can’t!”  Jennifer screamed as another mirror appeared in the room with us as Darren backed up, stepping into the mirror.

“Darren!”  I screamed, flying towards him, trying to grab him, but the mirror disappeared before I got to it.  “What in the hell is going on here?  JT, show yourself!”

“This shit is freaking me out!”  Brian screamed as he took off running from the area.

“Brian, no!”  I screamed, not able to see him anymore as he disappeared into the darkness.  “Walden, Helia, stay close to me!”

“Yes ma’am,” Walden replied as he took on a fighting stance as another mirror appeared next to him, moving quickly and enveloping him as it disappeared also.

“What in the hell is going on around here?  JT!  Damn it, show yourself!”  I snapped as there was a blinding flash of light as JT appeared in the room, looking rather older than usual.

“Hello Tara,” JT spoke as his eyes flared with magical energy.

“JT, what’s going on here?”  I asked.

“This is your chance to get out of this,” JT stated as he waved his hand as a mirror appeared before him.  “You can walk through the mirror and be free from being my creation of Wonder Woman.”

“What in the hell is wrong with you?”  I asked.  “Have you lost what’s left of your damn mind?  We’ve had this discussion already man!”

“No Tara, this is your chance to live the life you wanted to live,” JT spoke, his voice sound a bit pleasant, considering where we were and what I’m used to hearing.  “All you have to do is walk into the mirror and you’ll be free and all the pain you’ve experienced in the last forty years will be…”

“Shut the hell up JT!”  I screamed as he looked at me strangely.  “I’m not going to let you use that funky ass mirror to erase my life and create a new one!”

“I’m trying to give you what you want here,” he said as I shook my head.

“How do you even know what I want?”  I asked.

“We’ve been friends for a few millennia Tara, I know what you want,” he said as I looked at him funny.  Hell, we’ve been friends for a long time, but not that damn long.

“What in the hell are you talking about JT?”  I asked.

“Look Tara, I’m trying to give you a way out here,” he said as he looked down.  “If you stay Amazon, my version of Wonder Woman, you’ll forever be cursed, living a life of always looking over your shoulder.  I don’t want you spending the next few hundred years, trying to keep the world protected when you can have a simple life.”

“What!”  I screamed, my voice shaking the walls around me as some torches lit in the distance to show that I was in the castle.  Why did my voice shake the walls like that?  “You’ve really lost your damn mind this time.  What did you drink?  Did you take anything?”

“I didn’t drink or take anything Tara,” he replied as he shook his head.  “You know from here, using my scrying glass, I can see through time and space and what I see, you and…”

“I don’t want to know JT,” I said as I moved back away from him and that mirror.  “Life is something that isn’t supposed to be always known.  We have to live life to experience new things and learn.  If it’s automatically told to us, we don’t learn and grow.”

“So, you’re telling me that you want to learn and grow for four thousand years?”  He asked as I looked at him strangely.

“Say what?  Are you’re saying I’m going to live to be over four thousand years old?”  I asked as he sighed.

“I’m saying that when I wished you into being like Wonder Woman a long time ago, I really wished you into being a goddess, just like the way they have her in the comic books I used to read.  You are nearly identical to her in power, strength, skill and wisdom,” he said as I shook my head.  “If need be, if Wonder Woman was real and someone needed to take her place, say something had happened to her, you would be a perfect replacement for her.”

“What!”  I screamed again as the castle shook as he looked around.

“Remember what I gave you when I made my wish?”  He asked, looking down at his hands.

“Yes, I remember your wish, but what does that have to do with me living for over four thousand years?”  I asked.

“Tara, my wish turned you into a goddess,” he said with a frown as he waved a hand as another mirror appeared as the image on the surface of the mirror changed to show me, himself and others, fighting.  “That’s me, you as Amazon still, your great-great-great grandniece Hyppolytah, your husband Conjurer, my great-great grandson Malik, distant offspring of our friends Illusion and Speedster, that’s DreamScape and her brother Speedy.  It seems the dream still lives on.”

“So you’re saying I’m not going to die?”  I asked as he looked down again.

“In every time I’m able to see, you’re still alive,” he replied as he turned as I grabbed his hand, stopping him from moving as multiple images appeared in my mind.  “No Tara, stop!”

“What… What was that JT?”  I asked, trying to piece together the images I just saw.  “Was—was that about me?  Where those thoughts about me?”

“Yes,” he answered as he shook his head.  “I—I don’t want you to spend the rest of your life being this way.”

“What way?”  I asked, looking at him closely.

“I don’t want you spending the rest of your life, being my Wonder Woman,” he said as his eyes glowed brightly as he waved his hand and then smiled.  “Goodbye Wonder Woman.”

“What!”  I screamed as everything around me turned black and I was no longer holding his hand.

To Be Continued…