Chapter 6 — Time, The Clock of the Heart
Mar 15, 1996 – Jacksonville, FL – X-Ternals’ Compound – The Command Room
“This is all just pudding in the fucking dish,” Hank said, shaking his head as he walked into the room and sat down at the table. “Why in the hell is this shit happening? What could’ve happened to…”
“Are you seriously asking that?” Barbara asked, looking across the table at Hank as she rubbed at her head. “This all has something to do with the things that happened with Marek.”
“Marek’s gone and he’s no longer within range to control anyone around, JT said so. From what JT said, Marek won’t be bothering anyone again for a very long time,” Wanda stated as she sat down across from Barbara.
“Yeah right,” Hank said as Wanda glared at him.
“Marek’s telepathic hold on everyone ceased when he was banished by JT’s uncle,” Wanda stated.
“And you always believed what he said. You’re such a fool Wanda,” Hank stated as Wanda stood up from the table as Hank moved backwards to avoid her grabbing claw. “Stay back Wanda, I’m not scared of you!”
“You two need to cut that shit out!” Barbara yelled, shaking her head. “I was almost killed today! We have a big problem to deal with and we don’t have time for this petty squabbling and bull…”
“Please excuse the intrusion friends of the Prince of Limbo,” Necroloque spoke as he appeared in the room.
“What the hell!” Telly screamed, jumping up from his seat, taking on a fighting stance.
“Stand down Helix, this is Necroloque, JT’s uncle,” Wanda stated as she stood and then bowed her head as Necroloque shook his head as the others around the table just looked at her strangely.
“That’s not needed,” Necroloque spoke as A’Mora stood up and then walked around the table.
“Are you here to help your nephew kick our asses” A’Mora asked, standing next to Necroloque.
“Young woman…” Necroloque spoke as A’Mora shook her head and then glared at him.
“First, he goes after his mother to kill her and now he’s come after all of us, trying to kill us too! What’s going on here man?” A’Mora asked.
“Hold your tongue girl,” Wanda stated, popping A’Mora in the back of her head as A’Mora turned around quickly, zapping her with a magical energy bolt, knocking her backwards to the floor. “You need to learn respect for…”
“Ms. Langley, that’s not…” Necroloque said as Telly stepped closer to him, looking him up and down as he walked around him. “Is there something wrong with you boy?”
“So, you’re JT’s uncle,” Telly stated, looking at Necroloque strangely.
“Yes, I’m his uncle,” Necroloque responded as Telly shook his head.
“Why are you dressed like that? Are you some kind of whacko too?” Telly asked as Wanda and A’Mora both shook their heads.
“That will be enough out of you,” Necroloque spoke, waving his hand in Telly’s direction as a portal opened under Telly’s feet and he fell through it, screaming. “We don’t have time for this madness.”
“What madness don’t we have time for? Why are you here?” A’Mora asked, looking at Necroloque again.
“There’s something wrong here, but it’s not what you all think,” Necroloque stated, waving his hand as a crystal orb appeared in his hand.
“What is it that we think here?” Barbara asked, looking over at Necroloque.
“My boy isn’t behind who has attacked you,” Necroloque stated as A’Mora and Wanda looked at him strangely. “The person or thing that attacked you is not my nephew.”
“If that’s not JT, who in the hell is it?” Hank asked, walking closer to Necroloque as a portal opened in the room as Telly appeared with an angry look on his face.
“I trust you will keep your mouth closed from here on out, until someone asks for your words,” Necroloque stated as Telly’s eyes widened and then he stepped backwards away from the man. “Back to what I was saying… The person or thing that has attacked all of you isn’t my nephew.”
“If it’s not JT, then who is it?” Hank asked, looking at Necroloque again. “The person looks like him, they talk like him and they have the same powers as him!”
“But it’s not my nephew that’s attacked you,” Necroloque stated as he waved his hand over the crystal orb as it glowed, projecting images to all of them where JT was. “JT isn’t the one that’s behind this, I put him some place where he won’t bother anyone, until I’ve figured out how to solve some problems among our numbers.”
“Where is that place?” Hank asked.
“I—I put him in a hospital and…” Necroloque stated as A’Mora shook her head.
“You know, you people are really fucked up!” A’Mora screamed as Necroloque looked over at her strangely as her hair changed color. “First his mother slash aunts tried to have him cured of being gay and now you’ve gone and put him in a damn hospital! What in the hell is he in a hospital for? He’s not sick!”
“I—I put him there to try to help him deal with the current situation,” Necroloque stated as he looked down.
“And what situation is that man?” A’Mora asked as she looked over at Necroloque with an angry look on her face.
“You were there with him. You helped Venus, Earth and Pluto save him. You saw how angry he was when you all got to him. You saw what that anger did to him and almost did to this planet,” Necroloque stated as a tear rolled down his cheek. “My boy almost destroyed this planet because of his anger, hurt and pain.”
“Yeah, I saw that, but nothing more than that because I mysteriously appeared back here,” A’Mora stated, crossing her arms across her chest as she tapped her foot on the floor. “No one said ‘thank you’ or anything, I was just whisked away, like some damn unwanted trash on the street, blowing in the damn wind!”
“That’s not how…” Necroloque stated as A’Mora shook her head.
“So, why did you stop him from doing what he was going to do? Why in the hell did you release him on the rest of us?” A’Mora asked.
“I didn’t release him on anyone,” Necroloque stated, shaking his head as he held up the orb again. “When I sent you away, I sent him to Limbo to try to calm him down, but I wasn’t successful in that task. The more I tried to calm him down, the angrier he got. He fought me hard and wouldn’t stop. So, I—I had no choice but to bind his powers and lock him in the place he’s in now. I had no…”
“You people are just… Crazy!” A’Mora snapped as Wanda shook her head.
“Young lady…” Necroloque stated as A’Mora shook her head again.
“You did the same thing that his aunt did to him!” A’Mora snapped as Hank watched both of them with a strange expression on his face. “So, what you did to him, is that the end result?”
“No young lady, that’s not the end result,” Necroloque stated as his eyes glowed. “I’m trying to tell you all that JT’s here in this hospital; he’s not the one that attacked you.”
“If it’s not JT, then who in the hell is it that kicked our asses earlier?” Hank asked, moving closer to Necroloque.
“I don’t know, but that’s why I’m here to help all of you,” Necroloque stated as Barbara looked down.
“So, if JT’s in a hospital, what’s going to happen to him when he gets out of the hospital?” A’Mora asked, looking down. “Is he going to start the whole, I’m going to destroy those that hurt me and go after you too?”
“Hopefully, that won’t be the case,” Necroloque stated as A’Mora shook her head again.
“You people are just heartless,” A’Mora stated as she turned and walked towards the door. “I want no part of this madness.”
“A’Mora… Wait!” Hank yelled, running out of the room behind her.
“It seems I’ve upset the Princess of Endor,” Necroloque stated as Barbara, Telly, Andy and Wanda looked at him strangely.
“She—she’s a real princess?” Andy asked, looking up at Necroloque as he sniffled as some tears rolled down his cheek.
“Yes, she’s a real princess,” Necroloque replied as there was a loud crash outside of the room as Andy took off running.
A Moment Earlier – Down the Corridor
“Oh no, he—it’s here,” A’Mora stated, covering her mouth as she backed away as JT came into view with an evil smirk on his face.
“Oh come now Illusioness, what’s wrong?” JT asked, floating closer to A’Mora, descending down to the floor in front of her. “I’m no illusion baby, this is the real thing.”
“Stay back!” A’Mora screamed, holding her hand out in front of her, using her powers to create a magical shield as a staff appeared in her other hand.
“Oh, like that puny little thing can stop me,” JT said as he waved his hand at the magical shield and then walked through it. “Your magicks can’t stand against mine. You are a pathetic ant compared to me, you small and insignificant woman!”
“Keep away from her!” Hank screamed, flying towards JT as JT waved his hand, using his powers to slam Hank into the corridor wall, putting a big dent there.
“It seems some people never learn their place,” JT said, smirking as he looked in Hank’s direction. “I guess he’s really a dumb puppy dog… I might as well turn him into one.”
“What… No!” A’Mora screamed as JT’s eyes crackled with energy as Hank’s body glowed brightly as Hank’s body transformed into a small hound dog. “No!”
“Oh yes, isn’t he cute?” JT said, laughing maniacally as he moved towards A’Mora. “Now what should I do with you?”
“Sorry, but I’m not about to let you do anything to her!” Andy yelled as JT grabbed A’Mora by her hair, yanking her backwards and slamming her into the floor.
“Like you can actually stop me Speedy,” JT said as Andy stopped in place, moved and then turned around.
“Sorry, wrong person,” Andy said as he looked at JT and then took off running down the corridor as he stopped in mid trip, turned around and then ran towards JT as JT held out his hand, stopping him quickly. “Ugggghhhhh!”
“Oh no, I have the right person,” JT said with an evil smile on his face as he floated to where Andy lay on the floor and then grabbed him by his throat as he floated into the air.
“Let… Me… Go…” Andy managed to speak as JT shook his head and then tossed him down to the floor, using his powers to slam Andy down hard, repeating the process multiple times.
“Stop this!” Necroloque yelled as he and the others arrived in the corridor.
“Well hello there Lord,” JT said as Barbara looked at him and then looked around.
“Oh God, he took out Hank, A’Mora and Andy,” Barbara stated as JT smiled and then waved his hand as he disappeared from the area. “Where in the hell did he go to now?”
“It’s not gone, it’s still here,” Necroloque stated as his eyes glowed.
“You mean, he’s still here,” Barbara stated as Telly, Paul, Laura, Tyler, Wanda and Celeste joined them in the corridor. “How are we going to stop this man, if his own uncle can’t stop him?”
“See, this is why we should be taking care of our own and not relying on outside help,” Telly stated as Necroloque looked at him again and then shook his head as Telly stepped backwards.
“What are we supposed to be doing here Telly, since you know it all… Come on, tell us what we’re supposed to be doing here,” Barbara stated as she looked over at Telly. “How are we going to stop JT with just us? He’s already taken out most of the active team.”
“It just means we need to call others in to help us out,” Telly stated, looking around. “I’m sure we can…”
“Do you really think any one of us can stand against him?” Barbara asked, looking down. “We need to just give up before he takes the rest of us out.”
“Well, with that kind of damn attitude, we have no choice but to be taken out. He’s already done something to Donna. Nobody can find her and I haven’t heard from Michura or Kalya,” Telly stated as Hank barked and then wagged his tail. “And what in the hell are we going to do about this damn dog?”
“Ah… Did Hank turn into a dog on his own, using his own powers or what?” Barbara asked, looking around.
“If Hank changed himself into a dog, I’m sure he could change himself back, but I believe this to be JT’s doing,” Celeste stated as Hank barked again and then walked over to her, sitting at her feet as he looked up at her as he barked again.
“This is just freaky,” Telly said as Necroloque knelt down in front of Hank, waved his hand in front of Hank’s face and then stepped back up as Hank’s body glowed brightly as his body started to transform.
“You will be a dog no more,” Necroloque stated as Hank’s body stopped transforming and he changed back into his human form, revealing his true image.
“Hank, is that you?” Barbara asked as Necroloque turned away from them and then waved his hands over A’Mora and then Andy’s body as both people opened their eyes, looking around quickly.
“Oh man, what happened to me?” Andy asked, sitting up on the floor as he rubbed at his head and then got up.
“It seems you were a victim of the new and improved JT,” Telly replied, looking over at Andy and then helping him away from Necroloque.
“There’s something wrong,” A’Mora stated, looking around as she shook her head.
“What do you mean there’s something wrong? That’s really an understatement around here with all that’s going on girl,” Barbara stated with a frown on her face.
“No, there’s really something wrong… There’s something wrong with JT,” A’Mora stated, looking over at Necroloque. “He—he’s really enjoying using his powers the way he is. It… It’s like he’s being turned on by it all.”
“Are you trying to say our boy is jerking off to hurting us?” Telly asked as A’Mora and Barbara both shook their heads.
“Sometimes, I wonder if he thinks before he speaks,” Tyler stated as he shook his head.
“This guy has no kind of tact at all,” Wanda stated as she waved her hand in Telly’s direction, using her powers to place an eldritch band around his mouth, stopping him from talking as he struggled to remove the band with his hand from his mouth. “Sorry, I’m not letting that off until you learn to still your tongue.”
“Thank you, I couldn’t have done it better myself,” Necroloque stated, grabbing his head as he dropped to his knees.
“Are you okay sir?” Wanda asked, rushing to Necroloque’s side.
“There’s something else wrong,” Necroloque spoke as Celeste stepped over to the two of them.
“No, that’s really an understatement,” Celeste stated as there was a strange phenomenon in the room as JT appeared and then another JT appeared.
“Hello again Lord,” JT said with a smile.
“What in the hell… There’s two of them!” Hank screamed.
“Uncle, is that you?” The second JT asked, rushing over to where Necroloque was on the floor and then knelt down to him.
“How did you get here my boy?” Necroloque asked.
“I—I was at the hospital in bed and he—he appeared in the room. He grabbed me and said there was something I needed to see. He—he said that we had some place else to be, that I didn’t belong in the hospital and that once I came with him, I would know what I should do,” the second JT stated. “He said that there was a spell on me and that someone here tried to kill me. Is that true Uncle?”
“Go ahead, tell him!” A’Mora screamed, standing over Necroloque as Celeste’s eyes glowed.
“They’re not supposed to exist at the same time, in the same place,” Celeste stated as she pointed at both JTs. “They’re both drawing energy from the same power source.”
“A power source that is Limbo,” Necroloque stated as his eyes glowed. “One of them is not the real Prince and the other is just a performer on a stage, set up by I don’t know who.”
“How could something like this happen?” The second JT asked as the first JT raised his hands, using his powers to create a cosmic flash bomb, throwing everyone in the area through the wall and outside to the ground.
“Who cares how it happened, it did and now you’re all dead!” The first JT said, laughing as he disappeared as the others lay on the ground.
A Day Later – New York City, NY – The Park (Gay Bar)
“So, what’re we doing here babe?” Drew Claybourne asked as he and JT walked into the building.
“We’re here because you said you wanted to have some fun with me, so here we are,” JT stated as the two of them walked over to the bar.
“But baby… We—we’re not old enough to be here,” Drew stated as he looked at JT.
“Don’t worry about that babe, I’ve got that covered too,” JT stated, smiling evilly.
“No baby, don’t use your powers that way,” Drew stated as JT’s eyes sparkled with energy as the bartender turned around and then looked at the two of them.
“What can I get for you two hot boys?” The bartender asked, looking at JT with a smile on his face.
“I would like a Vodka and cranberry on the rocks,” JT requested as Drew looked at him strangely. “How about you Drew?”
“I—I’ll just have a cola,” Drew stated, looking down.
“Come on handsome, is that really all you’re going to have?” JT asked, smiling at Drew.
“Yeah,” Drew replied as the bartender smiled and then started preparing their drinks.
“Come on Drew, you have to let your hair down some time,” JT stated, pulling Drew close and then kissing his mouth.
“Baby no, we shouldn’t be doing that in here, like this… Someone would see,” Drew said as he looked around quickly.
“Good, let them all see, it’s a gar bar silly,” JT stated as Drew looked at him strangely again. “This is where people like us, go to have a really good time.”
“How did you find this place baby?” Drew asked, looking around as he stopped, noticing two guys in the corner kissing as he tapped JT on the shoulder. “Oh God baby, it’s two guys kissing. We’re in trouble here baby. Someone’s going to catch us and try to lock us up.”
“We’re not in trouble babe. No one is going to do anything to us,” JT stated, leaning in and kissing Drew’s lips as the bartender placed their drinks in front of them.
“Oh God, he saw us,” Drew said as he pulled back from JT in a hurry and then looked down.
“That’ll be seven fifty,” the bartender stated as JT smiled and then took a plain piece of paper from his pocket, tapped it with his finger as the paper changed into a twenty-dollar bill.
“Thanks man, you can keep the change,” JT stated, handing the paper to the man as the man smiled and then walked away.
“That wasn’t real money baby,” Drew said, looking at JT closely. “What’s going on here? You—you’re never this careless with the use of your powers. What has gotten into you?”
“Nothing has gotten into me at all Drew. I just want us to have a good time babe, don’t you?” JT asked, looking at Drew closely as his eyes sparkled with energy.
“Of course I do baby, but not at the expense of you using your powers the way you are,” Drew stated, looking JT in the face. “I love you baby, but I don’t want your soul…”
“You shouldn’t be worried about my soul Drew, you should be worried about your own,” JT stated, smiling evilly again as he snapped his fingers as Drew disappeared.
“Hey!” The bartender yelled, rushing over to the bar where JT stood. “What just happened to your buddy? How did he leave like that? Are you two freaky, like those people they talk about on the TV?”
“I suggest you watch your mouth guy,” JT said as he smiled again. “That’s the perfect idea.”
“What,” the guy said as JT’s eyes glowed as the man’s mouth disappeared from his face.
“That’s so much better… There’s peace and quiet, the way it should be,” JT said as he laughed and then turned around. “Okay, who’s next?”
Jacksonville, FL – X-Ternals’ Compound – The Infirmary
“I would very much like to know what’s going on here,” A’Mora stated, looking at Necroloque and JT. “It seems you two are the only ones that can answer the questions of what’s really going on around here.”
“I don’t have an answer for this,” Necroloque replied, looking over at JT’s unconscious body.
“Well maybe JT has an answer in his head,” Hank stated, looking over at Necroloque.
“I guess I could take a peek at what’s in his head. Maybe there’s something I’ve missed,” Necroloque stated as his eyes glowed brightly.
“Does this have anything to do with Marek’s actions?” Hank asked.
“I don’t think so, but that could be the case,” Necroloque stated with a frown as he touched JT’s forehead. “With all that’s happened, maybe he left a hypnotic suggestion in JT’s mind.”
“Damn, I thought all of our problems were over when Marek was captured. This new shit just adds new flare to everything,” Hank stated as he walked behind the examination table that JT laid on.
“No, it just means that I need to reverse what I did and unbind JT’s powers and put things back right,” Necroloque stated as A’Mora shook her head. “If I do that, maybe things could go back to the way they were and one of this stuff would’ve happened.”
“Yeah right,” Hank stated as Necroloque looked at him.
“Hank, you get upset way too easily,” Necroloque stated as Hank shook his head.
“Yeah, you two are related,” Hank stated, shaking his head again.
“Very intuitive of you,” Necroloque stated as Hank rolled his eyes.
“Well excuse me o’ powerful one, but some of us are not as powerful and god-like, like you and your nephew there,” Hank stated as Necroloque looked over at him as his eyes stopped glowing. “If there’s an inkling of Marek in his mind, I wasn’t able sense it.”
“You’re psychic too? I didn’t know you were psychic Hank,” A’Mora stated as Hank turned and looked at her strangely.
“I’m not as strong as JT or Donna, but I have psychic potential,” Hank stated as he looked over at A’Mora. “He—he helped me develop my limited psychic abilities, but I tend to not rely on it, mainly because it’s so limited.”
“Non-sense Hank,” Necroloque stated, looking over at Hank. “You could’ve been a strong psychic, but it seems you’re scared to use…”
“Get out of my head man,” Hank stated, pointing his finger at Necroloque. “You’re acting like JT and Wanda. I’m glad she’s not a real psychic… she’s only capable of projecting her voice into the minds of others, using her magic, whereas he can do that and read our minds.”
“Wow, go ahead and give a complete history of all the X-Ternals’ powers and weaknesses Hank,” JT spoke as Hank turned and looked at him. “Yeah, I’m awake and no, Marek is not in my body.”
“Get out of my head man!” Hank snapped as JT shook his head and then rolled his eyes.
“Mainly, a head that most wouldn’t want to be in anyway,” JT stated, looking over at Hank.
“Jerk,” Hank said, rolling his eyes again as he turned his back to JT and Necroloque. “So, if there isn’t a sign of Marek in him, then what’s causing all this crap that’s happening? Why did he…”
“I’m not responsible for what happened to you guys,” JT stated, looking down.
“If you’re not, who is?” Hank asked as JT’s body crackled with energy as Necroloque stepped back.
“Oh no,” Necroloque said, covering his eyes as JT’s clothing started to change as ribbon and energy flared about his body as the light faded. “Demonloque!”
“In the flesh,” JT spoke in a cold tone as Necroloque shook his head.
“It seems when you went searching for Marek in his mind, you found something else instead!” Hank screamed, stepping backwards as he bumped into the wall and then slid down it as he tried to make his exit from the room.
“What in the hell is going on around here? Why is Demonloque here again?” Barbara asked as she and Wanda walked into the room, taking on fighting stances.
“No time for talking, we might need to take the defensive here and get moving. It seems JT isn’t looking to play around and be nice,” A’Mora stated, her hair changing color as her costume reappeared. “We need to get out of here, pronto!”
To Be Continued…