The city of Underwood lay in ruin, with Darkheart's castle standing far above everything else. The sky was blood red, and shadow demons were flying around the few remaining buildings. Those people not lucky enough to escape, were captured and made into slaves, serving Darkheart and his minions.
A glamour spell surrounded the city, making it look like there was nothing wrong. To the rest of the world, Underwood was a regular city with no evil intent whatsoever. An enchantment spell caused any outsiders to immediately return to where they came from, with no memory of seeing a destroyed Underwood.
"All is going well, father," Kartheiser told him as he walked into his father's throne room. "The weapons system is nearly complete on your warship. Soon there will be no weapon on Earth that can stand up to your forces."
"Excellent," Darkheart told him. He no longer had the need for his hooded disguise since he didn't have to pose as the mayor, so he could be in the form of Drake Hartley 24/7 now. "For too long we've suffered in the Dark Dimension. It lacks far too many of the resources that Earth with all of our enemies vanquished, we stand victorious."
"Father, tell me, why did you banish the Guardians to the Dark Dimension?" Kartheiser asked. "Why not simply kill them?"
"Because sending them to a place where they have no hope of surviving is a much greater death sentence," Darkheart told his son. "There is no sun in the Dark Dimension, and the water supply is dreadfully low. Plus the creatures that inhabit the darkest shadows make the most ferocious Earth beasts seem tame in comparison. The Guardians should have been dead within a week of arrival."
Andy had lost track of the time. He'd given up a long while ago. It was hard to keep track of the time when were you slipping in and out of consciousness constantly. Ever since Darkheart had started using Andy as the energy source for the power plant, Andy had been feeling mind numbingly horrible pain whenever the energy supply got low.
He'd lost track of how long he'd been there, but he knew it was at the very least, a few months. His clothes were stretched and tattered from both the electrical surges and a growth spurt he'd gone through, and the short sandy blonde hair he'd had cut a month before he was put into the chamber was now long and shaggy again.
Andy had given up any hope of Ace, or any of his friends, coming to his rescue by now. He'd seen Darkheart push them into a portal to the Dark Dimension, and his big brother Ace... he knew if Ace was alive he'd have come to Andy's rescue by now.
He also knew he'd missed his 13th birthday. He was planning on going to the waterpark with his friends Matt and Ashley, but now that was never going to happen. All he could do was lay there and wait for it all to end.
Scotty was sitting on the porch of a farmhouse in Texas. His grandmother had passed away a few weeks after he'd arrived. Sam had never shown up, and never called. Heartbroken, Scotty decided to not return to Underwood, instead choosing to stay in Texas to start a new life. Even though he kept a picture of himself and Sam from their first date in his wallet.
Andy had studied every square inch of the room he was in. There was nothing else to do, and staring at the ceiling was equally as boring. He knew exactly how he'd get away if he had the right opportunity.
Fortunately, that oppurtunity came in the form of a tiny mouse, who had found it's way into the wiring, and was chewing it's way through. Sparks started to fly as the plant started to temporarily lose power.
The lights started to flicker in Andy's chamber as the boy looked around. He saw the door open as one of the mind controlled slaves of Prometheus checked to make sure he wasn't causing trouble.
Andy managed to slide his shoe off and kicked it as the slave went to close the door, keeping it open. Now he just had to break the straps holding him down. He managed to wedge his hand free and used what little power he could muster to zap the strap enough to weaken it. He got himself freed and headed to the door, seeing the slaves were all to busy trying to fix the problem to notice him.
Andy snuck out of the power plant, virtually unnoticed and upon getting outside saw the nearly destroyed city. He walked along and noticed one of the still functioning digital clocks, seeing the date.
"It can't be," Andy said in a weak voice. "I've been trapped in that thing for six months?"
A heavy rain started as Andy walked along. A supply truck drove along, splashing mud all over Andy just as he saw the ruined remains of the Mall of Justice laying around Darkheart's castle. He took cover under some of the debris and sneezed.
He needed some dry clothes and saw that he was in the remains of his old room. He found the green and white pajamas he'd been wearing the night the Guardians took him in. The night his life changed forever.
Andy was asleep in his bed in his home when he heard a noise downstairs. His dad was home finally, after taking a long business trip. Andy rushed downstairs and found his father talking on the phone.
"No, the boy's upstairs asleep," Kartheiser said. "There's no need to perform the enchantment on him, he'll willingly serve us, father. Our plans are going perfectly, soon we'll have this entire city enslaved, and with all ot it's superpowered beings under our control, we'll-"
He noticed Andy sitting on the stairs, his eyes widened in panic.
"I'll call you back," Kartheiser said. "Now, Andy, that phone call was just..."
"You're going to make me a slave?" Andy asked. "I thought you loved me."
"I do," Kartheiser said as he came closer to Andy, who backed up against the wall. "But you know your grandfather. Well, actually, you don't know the *real* him-"
"Stay back," Andy said.
Kartheiser reached his hands out as Andy's power suddenly eruprted, sending electricity rushing through his fahter's body, sending him flying back, crashing against the wall. Andy ran out of the house in a panic, crying as he went, thinking his father hadn't survived the shock.
Andy changed into the dry clothes, and stayed huddled up in a ball, trying not to cry over how bad things had gotten. He'd created a small fire and was warming himself by it, having hung his clothes over it to dry.
"He's escaped!" Kartheiser shouted as he entered his father's throne room. "Andy's gotten out of the core."
"Blast! We still don't have enough power saved to power the warship," Darkheart said as he stood up. "Find him!"
The rain stopped as Andy heard the alarms go off. He knew they'd realize he was missing soon, but he'd hoped he had longer to get out of the city. He went to grab his clothes that were drying over the fire when he heard the demons screeching.
"Uh... hi," Andy said as he ran for it, as the demons pursued.
It was late at night as Andy ran down the street, his shaggy sandy blonde hair flying back. He kept looking back to make sure he wasn't being followed once he thought he lost the demons. His bare feet splashed in the puddles from the recent rain storm, not even caring what could happen to him. At this point, it didn't matter.
It was then that he heard the creatures coming for him. He could hear the screeching sound of the monsters behind him. He kept running, not sure of how much longer he could keep going.
He ran into the alley, which was a dead end. He looked up at the fence that would have been easy to climb had he not been in his pajamas. He saw the Shadow Demons headed toward him and backed up against the fence. He closed his eyes.
The demons approached, and Andy expected Ace and Jesse to come from out of nowhere and save him. But no such luck. The demons went to grab him when a low growling was heard.
Suddenly, a small golden retriever, who wasn't anymore than a few months old, pounced the creatures, biting and clawing. Andy just stood up as the demons tossed him off, giving Andy enough time to grab a trash can filled with rain water to splash the demons, evaporating them.
Andy saw the puppy laying on the ground, his paw hurt from where the demon had tossed him.
"You saved me," Andy said as he picked the puppy up. He ripped a piece from his pajama shirt and wrapped it around the puppy's paw. Andy held him close and kissed the puppy's head. "Thanks, little guy."
"He's the only kid in the city with free will, he can't be that difficult to find!" Darkheart shouted as his minions rushed out of the room. "I'm not going to let one little boy ruin all of my hard work."
"I knew we should have experimented with twins," Kartheiser replied. "At least that way we would have had at least one evil one."
Darkheart smacked Kartheiser in the back of the head. "We DID have twins to experiment with, but my father refused to let us use them since he already had plans."
"Whatever happened to those twins?" Kartheiser asked. "Grandfather was always going on about them and how they were going to be his key to domination of the universe."
"I don't know about the other one, but one was banished to the Dark Dimension with the rest of the Guardians," Darkheart replied. "Good riddance, I say."
Andy and the puppy were walking down the street, trying to stay unnoticed.
"We have to get out of the city," Andy told the puppy. "We have to go find help to stop Darkheart. My friends are gone, so it's just us."
The puppy looked up at him innocently as Andy picked him up.
"Don't worry, little guy, I'm going to take good care of you," Andy promised as he felt the ground shake. That's when he saw Automaton, who was now twice as large with an upgraded weapons systerm, step out into the open.
"Well, what do we have here?" Automaton asked as he looked at Andy, training his gun on the boy. "The little fugitive is out for a stroll."
Andy tried to run, but a blast from Automaton's gun shot right in front of him, singing the wall.
"Come quickly," Automaton said into his radio. "I've got the brat."
A portal opened as Jerrica and Maietta arrived with a group of shadow demons.
"Aw, he has a puppy," Jerrica laughed. "It'll be fun torturing it in front of him."
Andy held the puppy close as the villains closed it. The puppy growled as Andy held his hand out and zapped Maietta back.
"You can't fight all of us, boy," Jerrica said as she closed in. Automaton stepped forward, ready to fire, as Andy sneezed again, causing all the power to shut down around them, making the streets go dark. Automaton's systems shut down as Andy started running.
"Systems back online," A computerized voice said as Automaton powered back up.
"The brat's getting away!" Jerrica said. "Get him!"
Andy was running down the street with the puppy in his arms. The boy tripped and fell to the ground, landing on his stomach. The puppy wandered around and started licking his face as a bolt of lighting struck in front of him, signaling Darkheart's arrival.
"That will be quite enough," Darkheart said as he looked down at the boy. "Did you really think you could escape? You're all alone, Andy. There's no one left to help you."
A tap came on Darkheart's shoulder. He turned as a giant sledgehammer made out of water knocked him away.
"No one but us," Matt said as the sledgehammer turned back into two human hands. He extended his hand down to Andy. "Miss me?"
"How?" Andy asked as he saw his best friend standing there, wearing aqua colored shorts and a tight light blue tank top, which was so skintight that it was able to morph with his body.
"Long story," Matt said as he helped Andy up. "Now come on before Darkheart-"
Matt screamed in pain as Darkheart zapped him with his staff. Matt fell forward as Andy rushed to his side.
"I see you managed to escape the Dark Dimension," Darkheart said as he aimed his staff. "I guess I'll just have to destroy you now."
"Hey!" A voice shouted. "That's my baby brother!"
A flame geyser knocked Darkheart back. Andy looked up and saw Jesse, Carol, Victoria, Walker, and Sam standing there, all dressed in their color coded outfits.
"I believe we owe you a butt kicking," Walker said as he pounded his fists together.
"I don't know how you survived the Dark Dimension," Darkheart said as a portal opened behind him. "But you won't live long enough to tell your tale."
All of Darkheart's minions stormed through the portal, just as Prometheus marched forward with his army. The Guardians took a step back as Darkheart zapped Andy and pulled him through a portal before anyone could catch them.
Kartheiser stood in front of the army and smiled.
"Leave no one standing," Kartheiser ordered.
The five Guardians looked at the approaching army.
"I do believe they have us outnumbered," Jesse said as he picked up a metal pipe.
"Yeah, I feel bad for them," Walker replied.
Sam was doing calculations in his head as he looked at the group. "If we take out Prometheus, I can cut the group down by 90%."
"You heard the man," Jesse said as he pipe started melting, and then reshaping itself into a sword. Flames traveled up the handle and to the blade, lighting it on fire. "We've got a city to save."
"What about Andy?" Carol asked.
Jesse looked around. "I think he's in good hands.
Andy was strapped back into the chamber after being taken back to the power plant.
"This time I'll drain all of your power in one shot," Darkheart told him. "It'll destroy you, but it'll be enough to power my warship. So long, grandson. You'll be joining your friends in death soon."
Liquid starting leaking out of Andy's pant leg as Darkheart got a disgusted look on his face. "Really, you should have gone before I killed you."
Darkheart closed the door as Andy leaned back, closing his eyes. The puddle on the floor started taking a human form as Matt stood up and started to undo Andy's restraints.
"So, this has been your room for six months, huh?" Matt asked as he looked around.
"It's not the Mall of Justice, but it's been home," Andy replied as he shocked the door to open it. "What about you guys?"
"Sleeping under the stars, or whatever passes for stars in the Dark Dimension," Matt told him as they snuck down the hall. "We've been training with our powers while trying to find a way home. Sam finally figured out a way to build a water powered portal generator from spare parts we found in one of Darkheart's old fortresses."
"Matt, I saw everyone there except for Kit and Ace," Andy said. "Where are they?"
Before Matt could answer, they arrived outside of Darkheart's throne room.
"Maybe we can find a way to send the castle back to the Dark Dimension in here," Matt said as they snuck in.
Walker pushed his way through the army, punching superpowered slaves left and right, none of them able to keep up with him. Carol was firing her light arrows into the sky, giving Victoria and Sam the chance to knock their blinded opponents out.
Jesse rushed forward with his flame sword and collided with Kartheiser's power staff.
"Silly little boy," Kartheiser said as he struggled against Jesse. "You cannot defeat the army of Darkheart!"
"We're not just going to defeat him," Jesse said as he sliced through Kartheiser's power staff. "But we're going to send him crying home to daddy."
Jesse did a spin kick, knocking Kartheiser back as Prometheus grabbed him from behind.
"Time for you to join our army, Guardian," Prometheus said as he used his powers to invade Jesse's mind.
The two soon found themselves on the psychic plain, where Jesse was unarmed.
Prometheus laughed as he grew to over fifty stories tall. "You can't beat me here, Jesse. I reign surpreme on this plain!"
In the real world, Jesse and Prometheus were standing perfectly still.
"We have to help Jesse," Victoria said as she punched one of the slaves out.
"We have to stop this army first," Sam said as he used his bo staff to fend off Triple Trouble."We could sure use Ace and Kit right about now."
"Not to mention Andy and Matt," Walker said as he sped through with Jimmy right behind him.
Andy's puppy was also pitching in, biting and clawing at whoever he could get ahold of. Carol was continuing to fire in every direction to keep the attackers at bay.
"Darkheart most likely took them to his castle," Sam replied as he knocked all three members of Triple Trouble out at once. "So as soon as we wrap up here, we'll head on over there and save them."
"Andy, check it out," Matt said as he looked through the spellbook. "This is the spell Darkheart used to open the portal for his castle. If we can reverse it, we can send it back."
"But it'd take a lot of power for that," Andy told him. "I remember when they used me as the battery to open the first portal, Matt. It nearly killed me."
"Then we'll find another way," Matt promised him. "You're my best friend, Andy, we won't lose you again."
"Oh, isn't that sweet?" Automaton asked as he stood in the doorway, with his lasers ready to fire. Several blasts fired past the two boys as they ran for cover, ducking behind Darkheart's throne.
"You thinking what I'm thinking?" Andy asked as he looked at Matt.
"Let's give him the shock of his life," Matt agreed. Andy stepped out and held his hands up.
"Alright, I surrender," Andy said as he stepped toward Automaton, as Matt's watery form soaked the carpet.
"Where's the other one?" Automaton asked.
"Oh, he's underfoot," Andy replied as put one foot into the soaked area of the carpet and concentrated, sending a shockwave of electricity through the carpet and into Automaton's metal body, causing it to start smoking. The machine fell backwards and hit the ground as Andy and Matt, both weakened, laid on the carpet.
"We really need to work on that," Matt said as he looked at Andy.
"Matt, I can't move," Andy almost whispered.
"Me, either," Matt replied.
Jesse was flying through the psychic plane as Prometheus stomped after him, laughing as he caught up toward the teen.
"Fi fo fo fum," Prometheus said as he swatted his hands, catching Jesse in them. "I smell a hero whose life is done."
Smoke started coming out of Prometheus's hands as he felt searing pain. He let go of Jesse, who flew out of his grip.
"You- you can't hurt me here!" Prometheus shouted as he raised his hands, summoning large black hands to break through the ground to reach for Jesse.
"I don't think he can take extreme heat," Jesse realized as he blasted his way past the hands and flew toward Prometheus. "So let's see what happens if I go supervova."
Jesse concentrated all of his power as his body began to glow.
"What are you doing?" Prometheus asked as he felt the heat rising. "Stop it!"
Prometheus sent a psychic blast toward Jesse, who blocked it with a flame shield. He flew closer as Prometheus felt the intense heat of Jesse's power.
"No!" Prometheus shouted as Jesse went supernova, creating a large fiery explosion on the psychic plain, sending them both back to the normal world.
Both fell backwards as Sam realized that everyone under Prometheus's control was starting to pass out.
"Jesse did it," Sam replied. "He broke Prometheus's hold over everyone."
"Jesse!" Victoria shouted as she kneeled down next to him. "He's not breathing."
Darkheart stood over Andy and Matt, who were still unable to move. He held out his power staff and prepared to fire, when the sound of someone clearing their throat was heard behind him.
As he turned around, Darkheart was met with a powerful punch, sending him flying through the wall. A bare chested young man wearing black boots, white pants, and a sheath on his back encasing a large broadsword, with the leather strap holding it extending from his left shoulder to his right thigh, stood over his friends.
"Now we can start the party," Kit said with a sly grin.
Kit picked Matt and Andy up, slinging them both over his shoulders as Darkheart got up, angrier than ever.
"Do you really think one punch can take me out?" Darkheart asked as he dusted himself off. "I am the master of the Dark Dimension, and the future ruler of Earth! It will take more than-"
Kit landed another punch on Darkheart, knocking him through another wall, having set Andy and Matt on Darkheart's throne.
"You villains always did talk to much," Kit said as he cracked his neck in anticipation of the coming fight. Darkheart stood up and rushed toward Kit, swinging his power staff.
Outside, Victoria was giving Jesse CPR.
"Come on, Jesse," Victoria pleaded. "Don't leave us."
Sam was examining Prometheus. "Guys, I have a solution to most of our problems, but we have to hurry."
Jesse started coughing as Victoria hugged him. Just then, a loud boom was heard from inside the castle.
"What's going on up there?" Walker asked.
"Let's go," Carol told him. "Sam, work on your plan. Have Victoria and Jesse join us whenever he's up."
Walker picked Carol up and rushed her into the castle, where Kit and Darkheart were trading punches, which were shaking the foundation.
"Andy? Matt?" Walker asked as he zipped into the room and saw them on the throne.
"Can't... move," Andy told him as Carol picked Matt up. Walker slung Andy over his shoulder. "No. We have to... get the portal open."
"How?" Walker asked.
Kit continued punching Darkheart, who swung his staff and knocked Kit across the room.
"Carol, get Matt out of here," Walker told her. "I'll help Andy."
"Walker, you can't," Carol replied.
"I have to," Walker replied as he kissed her. "I love you, Carol. If I don't make it back, just remember the time we had together."
Walker picked Andy up and rushed out of the door. Carol shed a tear and picked Matt up, as Kit flew back and punched Darkheart through the wall, landing them in the hallway.
"We have to get in there," Jesse said as he saw Carol coming out with Matt. "Where are the others?"
"Still inside," Carol replied as she handed Matt to Jesse as the castle continued to shake. "Come on, we have work to do."
Walker and Andy arrived at the core that had been moved the heart of Darkheart's castle.
"Are you sure?" Walker asked.
"I'm the key to all this," Andy told him. "If I concentrate hard enough, I can open a portal on my own big enough to send the castle back to the Dark Dimension for good."
Andy put his hands onto the control panel and concentrated, pouring his energy into the controls.
Outside, The others had gotten Karthieser and Jerrica into the castle as it continued shaking.
"Look," Jesse said as he saw a portal opening under the castle. As it grew wider, debris sunk getting large enough for the castle to start sinking.
"What's going on?" Darkheart asked as the castle started crumbling around him. Kit gave him one final punch before flying out the window.
"Come on, Andy, we have to go!" Walker shouted.
"Can't... let... go!" Andy told him. "Have to keep it open until it's through."
Walker looked out the window and saw the castle was landing back in the Dark Dimension.
"Come on, kid, it's finished," Walker said as he put on a pair of rubber gloves and grabbed Andy, zipping up the stairs to try to reach the top of the castle. The portal was right over them, and shrinking rapidly.
"Come on," Carol said as she watched the portal shrinking. Suddenly Andy flew up through the portal, where Jesse caught him before he could land.
Kit watched the portal closing and saw Walker wasn't coming. He knew what he had to do. He combined Walker's speed and Jesse's flight and flew through the portal, scooping Walker up and flying back with no time to spare as the portal closed.
"You saved him," Carol said as Kit landed.
"What, did you think I'd let him stay in that place?" Kit asked as he put Walker down.
They looked around as the people started waking up.
"What happened?" A man asked.
Sam leaned over toward the others. "No one has any memory of what happened. As far as everyone's concerned, an earthquake tore the city apart."
"And what about the superpowered army?" Jesse asked.
"Well...," Sam said.
"You didn't," Walker said in a shocked tone.
"We're the only ones who remember we have powers," Sam replied as he dug the toe of his boot in the dirt. "Figured they could lead normal lives, so... I had Prometheus bury any memories and abilities as far back into their subconscious as possible. Eventually they may recover their powers, but if we act fast enough we might be able to get them to do good with them."
"Which means that we have to keep a low profile from now on since no one's going to remember," Jesse suggested. "No one having knowledge of any powers means..."
"Secret Identity city," Walker finished.
"Speaking of Prometheus," Victoria said as she looked around. "He's gone."
"I knew he'd snap out of that trance sooner or later," Sam replied. "He'll be back."
"Well, it's been fun, but I've got a lot to see," Kit told them as he floated in the air over them.
"You're not staying?" Carol asked as she looked up. "You saved our lives, Kit. We know we can trust you. Be a Guardian."
"No, you can't trust me," Kit told her. "Because I don't trust myself. Not yet. I need to work through some things, but I'll be back one day. Take care of Andy, alright?"
Kit flew off as the others watched him disappear over the horizon.
Andy picked up his new puppy. "Guy's, where's Ace? Didn't he get sent to the Dark Dimension with you?"
Everyone looked around at each other. "Andy... we thought he was here with you the whole time. Do you think he was part of the slave army?"
"No," Carol said as she looked around. "We would have seen him when we were fighting."
"Where's my big brother?" Andy asked, scared over losing Ace.
In the Dark Dimension, Darkheart was firing at his minions.
"You fools! Because of you we lost to a group of children!" Darkheart angrily shouted.
"But father, your warship was nearly powered, it just awaits you," Kartheiser told him as Darkheart smacked his son.
"It's. On. EARTH!" Darkheart shouted. "And for some reason, I can't seem to make a portal of any size to return to Earth! We're stuck! It's almost as if something were cyphoning off our magic!"
In the remains of the destroyed Mall of Justice, the statue that trapped Darkheart's father Tubro was laying on the floor, until a further look at it reveals that it's eyes are glowing red as an evil laughter is heard.