What you need to know…

Aliens known as the Ghost Raiders attacked the city using a weapon that created a cloud of darkness and also weakened Skye. Alpha had been on the Fury investigating when aliens attacked, and the ship was out of contact with the tower for over 24 hours. The team launched a rescue mission but in the process, Captain Eugenie Maestas of the Fury was taken over by General Cushzoim Haearca of the Ghost Raiders. On the second rescue mission, Arcman was taken over after Captain Maestas was freed, but it was a complete loss. The team learned that there was an arriving fleet of Ghost Raider ships that would help in covering the entire planet in darkness suitable for the aliens.

Who you want to meet…

WarBeast / Ryker Samko – He helped save the city when the team accidentally got their powers swapped. A member of Sanctuary Beta, he hones a mystical blade which he casts spells with to summon animal spirits who take corporeal form and fight alongside him.

Vessel / Harper Lawson – A former classmate of Darren's who became a member of Sanctuary Beta after revealing his mystical gauntlet that grants him superpowers from another dimension. He has super strength, flight, can breathe underwater and swim quickly with ease, crawl on walls, invisibility, electrokinesis and can protrude spikes from his skin.

Arc 12: Darkness In The Skies

Issue 5: Skies Fall Dark

December 19, 2012 – 3:11 PM

Every member of Sanctuary was seated in theater. The staff, the masked heroes, and the Alpha Team. The only person that was missing was the fearless leader, Arcman. Instead, Alpha was center stage, with the rest of the main team behind him. He was about to give the speech about how to deal with the alien invasion.

"Good afternoon, Sanctuary," began Alpha. He looked around and saw the faces of everybody. He was no intimidated by the large crowd, but afraid for their lives if the plan failed.

"In four days, we will attempt to rescue Arcman, and two days afterwards, the Ghost Raider Invasion begins. We have learned very little about our enemies, but it is enough to know how to combat them. When they arrive, they will force darkness upon the city and invade. After much debate, we have come up with a plan…"

December 23, 2012 – 2:16 PM

On the bridge of the Fury, White Witch stood next to Captain Maestas and Vice-Captain Amador. Off to the side, Sunstar, Tattoo and WarBeast were lounging around. WarBeast was a young fellow, brown spikey hair with a tan complexion that evened out his handsome face. His outfit was a gray and traditional, skin-tight, full body suit. It had several black, jagged lines closing in on the center of his chest where the Sanctuary symbol was etched. His collar resembled the main of a lion with golden streaks covering his neck. He wore a simple red domino mask that trailed off into wings near the back of his ears.

He was on his first Alpha Team mission and was rather nervous. The last time he had fought alongside the superheroes, they had their powers swapped and WarBeast was a supporter. Now he was on the offensive to save the leader of the entire superhero organization. He had to be accurate and precise.

Sunstar who was sitting next to WarBeast, watched him fidget with his teal scimitar and tapped him on the shoulder. "While everyone else is travelling the world or snowboarding or something this vacation, we get to save the world. How cool is that?"

"I actually have an internship in the city. So I get to save the world and then go back to filing papers and writing reports for my superiors in an effort to fail to enter law school," whispered WarBeast.

Sunstar chuckled and then seeing the unchanged blanched expression on his friend's face, he stopped. "You're serious…"

"You'll be taking two Stormfliers to the ship," announced Captain Maestas, drawing the boys' attention. "Tattoo and Sunstar, since you two are going to be blowing up the ship, we'll provide cover for you. White Witch and WarBeast, your arrival is going to be a bit more direct. Both teams can fly out at the same time. We're going to be within range in a few minutes. I suggest you all head towards the hangar bay."

"Thank you again, Captain Maestas," said White Witch as she began to walk with the others.

"I was in his shoes at one point, and he saved my life. It's the least I can do for him," said the captain. White Witch nodded once again in gratitude and then walked off.

The two teams went into their respective Stormfliers when they arrived at the hangar, and after settling in, they heard Vice-Captain Amador signaling the initiation of the plan. The doors of the bay slowly opened and outside, a crossfire could be seen. The submarine-like starship that belonged to the Ghost Raiders was firing wildly at the Fury while the terran ship was blasting large concussive blasts slowly across the enemy ship.

Tattoo and White Witch both were flying their starfighters and flew off in opposite directions once they entered dark void of space. Tattoo having the map etched on his body, knew exactly where to go. He trailed towards the anterior of the ship. White Witch drifted in line with the fire, sending several attacks at the battlecruiser to draw attention to herself. Unlike the other Stormflier, the vessel was not cloaked and registered like an annoying bug on the monitor of the Ghost Raider ship. The task was difficult. In order to accomplish both her and her teammate's goals, White Witch had to maneuver through the crossfire without being hit but also stall. She essentially was on the defense, unable to close in on the spaceship until the other Stormflier had arrived.

Luckily, Tattoo managed to guide his vehicle furtively into the cargo bay. With a bit of help from the Fury, he was able to temporarily bypass their security systems. His planned had gone flawlessly. There was nobody in the spacious, dark room when the two heroes descending from their ship. Not that anyone would be during a battle.

He took off his leather jacket, exposing a detailed map of General Haearca's ship. Sunstar's body lit up, radiating across the bay. Tattoo looked across his arms, and then his chest. He zipped up his jacket and then turned to Sunstar. "Let's go."

Outside, White Witch finally dived inwards, maxing out the shields and crashing into the screen of the hangar bay, left slightly ajar. Smoke and fire ensued as the explosion erupted all about the wide bay. The screen had been sealed almost immediately after the foreign vessel had entered, and dozens of Ghost Raiders in their midnight suits swarmed into the room. They surrounded the haze where the ship had crashed. Suddenly from inside, an orange sphere shot out and hit one of the aliens. The soldiers raised their firearms and shot.

As the smoke subsided, White Witch was revealed inside maintaining an orange orb shield around her and WarBeast. WarBeast raised his scimitar horizontally out in front of him and closed his eyes. It lit up and as he slashed, a glowing teal elephant charged out from midair, stomping several of the aliens. They scattered and while some tried to shoot it down, they were confronted with the small sphere flying about, smashing into their skulls and knocking them out.

While more aliens entered the room, WarBeast raised his sword above his head and slashed, sending a flock of glowing hawks flying. The animals and White Witch's sphere made quick work of the enemies and as the fighting died down, the two heroes took their opening and ran out of the ship.

"How did you plan on finding Arcman?" asked WarBeast as they sleuthed along the corridors.

"I cast a spell using the orb, it's tracking his body. I'm afraid of what will happen if I look for his spirit," answered White Witch.

"You mean…he could've joined them?"

"I really hope not. Let's not dwell on this. This way."

They ran along the halls followed up an oversized anaconda that attacked the various Ghost Raiders that they encountered. Arcman was found at the bridge, naturally. The Fury could no longer be seen from the view of the ship. He was speaking to them in an alien language, presumably about the preceding attack. White Witch motioned for WarBeast to keep watch as she entered the bridge. Almost instantaneously, all weapons were pointed at her.

"White Witch, welcome to my ship, the Ravaging Stinger," greeted Haearca.

"I've been told that I'm hot tempered, Haearca. You don't want to see me angry," said White Witch. "Get out of my husband's body and-"

"And give you an opening? An opportunity to destroy me fleet? Is everyone in Sanctuary so single-minded? Why would I ever give you the upper hand?"

"Because if you don't, I will blow up your ship from the inside out, and send all of us to kingdom come," hissed White Witch.

"I'm not intimidated. Why don't you try again?" snickered Haearca. Arcman's laugh sounded so evil. White Witch couldn't take it.

"You've seen what we can do to your ship," said White Witch.

"And you've seen what power we possess. You come in with empty threats, outnumbered."

"Let me show you my power, and why you do not mess with Sanctuary."

As if on cue, an explosion rocked the ship, and all the aliens aboard the bridge ran to their various stations. They yelled at their leader while lights flashed in an array of colors.

"Still think my threats are empty, scumbag?"

"You have no method of getting back Arcman, and I will push you to your limits," sneered Haearca. He ran forward but was held up midair but an orange spherical shield. As the aliens fired at White Witch, a glowing blue lion ran in front of her, taking the hits and then vanishing. WarBeast ran into the room followed by the anaconda and a bear. The three surrounded White Witch, fighting off the attackers.

The witch had her eyes closed behind her butterfly mask, her white cape and hair whipped back behind her. She was chanting furiously and quickly. Haearca screamed as he clawed at Arcman's face. The bubble that he was inside began to separate like a cell beginning to divide. The bubble finally split into two adjacent spheres. In one, the skeletal ghostly wisps of Haearca floated. In the other, Arcman was kneeling on the bubble. He saw his wife collapse as she completed her spell. He took a quick look around his surroundings and prepared for the inevitable breaking of the shield.

The bubble popped and immediately, Arcman superspeeded around the room, grabbing White Witch and WarBeast before zooming out of the bridge. He didn't know where he was going but ran as far away as he could from Haearca.

He came to an abrupt stop. The suddenness had disoriented WarBeast. He leaned over as Arcman let him down and he vomited on the clean deck.

"Arcman," gasped WarBeast as he regained his breath. "We need to get off this ship. Follow me!"

Arcman nodded and held White Witch in his arms as he trailed after WarBeast and a glowing leopard. They arrived outside of the cargo bay. They entered the dark room and found a Stormflier.

"Tattoo, Sunstar, I've got Arcman," said WarBeast into his headset. The two heroes ran into the room a few minutes afterwards.

"Arcman, are you okay?" asked Sunstar.

"Not now, Sunstar!" roared Tattoo. He hustled the team into the cramped Stormflier and turned on the vehicle. He began firing rapidly on the doors of the cargo bay. As Ghost Raiders finally arrived at the bay, the door burst open and the vacuum of space sucked them all out. Tattoo flew out as quickly as he could in a linear fashion, neglecting to turn the ship. A few moments after flying into space, the Ravaging Stinger exploded, a flurry of flames blasting across the dark void. It was no more.

Tattoo breathed a sigh of relief as the Stormflier came to a halt.

December 27, 2012 – 11:19 PM

After the rescue mission, the entire team fell into chaos for a short while. It seemed like the last thing that would've happened with Nathan having returned to his rightful role, but Emma was overwhelmed with trying to make sure her children's Christmas was perfect, especially Veronica who was having her first. Nathan tried to convince her that the children wouldn't remember their childhood, but Emma was certain that it would haunt them. At the same time, she felt guilty for decorating the entire building and then clearing the party room for the children because Darren and Zadkiel weren't coming back for the holidays, and it saddened Sara. It was a difficult choice, simply to ask or not to ask her to join in on the festivities. She instead went to Willie and urged him to take her out to dinner with the Beta Team.

The three days passed with the tower empty and homelike. Many of the Sanctuary Tower staff departed for their families in other parts of the country, some out of country. Ezra invited Skye to spend the holidays with her family. So with the Beta Team with Sara and Willie together for dinner on Christmas Eve and Skye with Ezra, Alpha decided to give the Thorn family space and went out with the Beta Team as well. Nathan dressed up as Santa Claus for Veronica and gave the rest of the team a laugh when they saw him on Christmas Day. They took the opportunity to let the cold harsh truth of the imminent arrival of the Ghost Raiders pass.

The finally, Alpha sat them down two days after Christmas, on the early morning. Billy and Veronica had been sent back to Carter and Maria and the staff was about to return to the tower.

"They're coming today, we all know what to do?" asked Nathan. He had been briefed by Alpha about the intricate plan on securing their victory against the aliens. Hesitant at the idea at first, he was convinced by everyone participating that it would work.

The day passed by slowly, with the team talking to the various members and finishing last minute preparations. By nightfall, everyone was waiting. Sanctuary had neglected to inform the city about what would be occurring, instead having the mayor announce a "blackout" test and having the entire city evacuated. They sincerely prayed that all would be well, but there were no guarantees. At nightfall, the Fury finally sent a message down to the tower.

"Sanctuary, this is Commander Rolf Cerda. Eight Ghost Raider battlecruisers and one Ghost Raider mothership have just exited hyperspace and are orbiting Earth. We are not engaging. I repeat, Fury is not engaging."

Arcman had a team gathered on the 87th floor, ready for transport to the Fury. He responded to the commander's message with a request for transport and his team was brought on board. Moments later on the spaceship, he, Gravion, Trojan, and Tattoo arrived in a flash of white light.

In the tower, Alpha had his own team ready at the hangar bay consisting of Feral, Eclipse, White Witch, Amazon and Vessel. The team entered a jet that had been prepped for them but Alpha stayed back for a short while and stood next to Sunstar, who was watching them as they were getting ready to leave. Ezra walked into the hangar bay dressed in a black combat suit. She had a headset atop her tied hair and a holographic projector on her left eye that covered it with a turquoise screen.

"Are you alright, Alpha?" she asked.

"Absolutely. I just wanted to make sure that Skye is."

Alpha looked at the young superhero. He wore an orange skintight outfit with a sun embedded on his chest. His right arm and part of his right chest had been designed in a dark shade of red, with his boots and eyemask matching the same maroon. On his shoulders were two pieces of yellow leather that guarded his joints.

"Ready?" asked Alpha.

"As I'll ever be. And don't give me that speech about how it's not too late to back out. I'm going through with it. Just make sure you guys hit these guys hard."

Alpha smiled weakly. It was late in the night and the days leading up to the attack had been tiring for everyone, including Sunstar. He prayed that the team wasn't asking more from the young man.

"I'll see you in the sky," said Alpha as he walked off into the jet. Ezra and Sunstar watched as the hangar bay opened and the jet flew out into the night.

"Skye…I'm so nervous, and afraid for you."

"We've already been through this, Ezra. No, don't cry. Come on…"

Sunstar held Ezra in his arms as she began to tear up. "We don't have a lot of options right now. I'm the only one with enough power to prevent them from taking over the whole world, be proud. Don't be afraid."

He stood with her for a while as she cried into his arms. There was little comfort for Ezra, who knew that there was a very big chance that her boyfriend might never return from his mission.

December 28, 2012 – 2:45 AM

Arcman's team had been sitting around on the Fury for several hours. The ship had not yet been detected by the enemies. Vice-Captain Amador tapped on Tattoo's shoulder, waking him up from his slumber.

"Wah?" asked Tattoo groggily. "Is it time to go?"

"Tattoo, sir. The Ghost Raider ships have begun to activate their transmitters. Trojan is interfaced with Fury. You'll have to suit up and get on the Stormflier."

"Right, let's go," affirmed Tattoo as he got up from his seat on the bridge. He looked around and saw that Trojan had indeed situated herself on the commanding officer's seat and was in a trance. Her dark complexion and soft face made her look like a sleeping baby.

He walked out with the Vice-Captain and followed him to the hangar where Arcman and Gravion were already on a Stormflier. Once inside, the three heroes watched through the screen as the ship approached the fleet. The Fury was still cloaked so they weren't afraid of being seen. But once they exposed themselves, their firepower would pale in comparison. The trio's goal in particular was to reach the mothership. Once they boarded, the Fury could escape into hyperspace and double back later. That also meant that Earth would lose its primary defense against alien attacks, but in all honesty, there was little that it could do now.

"All batteries open fire," came Trojan's voice over the ship's communication systems. "Arcman, when I give the signal, you'll have less than three minutes to reach the mothership before we have to jump into hyperspace."

About half a minute passed as the trio watched a bombardment of weapons fired across the open space. The home team was taking heavy damages. Suddenly, a red light flashed and a siren blared.

"GO!" yelled Trojan.

While the ship continued to rock from side to side from the assault, Arcman launched the Stormflier into the dazzling light show and steered towards the largest vessel in sight. Unlike the battlecruisers, which resembled black blimps, the mothership was like a large rectangle. It was more and had less curves.

The jet was speeding across the side of the battle. Several weapons finally took notice and fired at them, but Arcman weaved across the space above the fight and them took a sharp dive at the mothership.

"Go for it, Gravion!" yelled Arcman. In the seat next to him, Gravion raised his arms out as if he were clawing at something in front of him. Below, a dent formed in the structure of the ship and then ripped as the Stormflier crashed through into the ship. Arcman didn't stop. Once inside, he continued to fly the jet, steamrolling through a number of crimson suited Ghost Raiders.

Back on Earth, Sunstar was flying through the various layers of the atmosphere, his entire body engulfed in bright yellow flames. He finally stopped when he saw the planet below him in its entirety. The Ghost Raiders' ships were attacking Fury, and then a ripple in space opened and the ship flew through. Their attack stopped, but Sunstar could still see their them releasing a stream of darkness down in on concentrated area on the planet. The darkness was spreading like a plague. They were like large beams and he saw the half of the Earth facing the sun being blacked out. On the night side, it just seemed like another layer of darkness was being added.

Sunstar breathed in and his shivering from fear stopped. He raised his head with his eyes closed and concentrated, letting all the energy flow to the surface. He had only ever entered his ultimate form once before, and it was in anger. Now he was doing it to save the world. He thought of all the people he was protecting, and it was enough to inspire him. His flames became tame, closing in on him as the fires turned to a brighter tone. He opened his eyes and immediately went off to work. He hovered over the space where New York City was and let loose a blast of energy in every direction, spanning the planet. From below, people could see a flash of fire in the sky. It lasted only a few seconds, but Sunstar was maintaining his light. It radiated to every part of the planet except for the city, where all the darkness had flooded to. Sanctuary had just taken control of the battle, but they still had to win it.

Ezra looked at her screen. Leopoldo walked over and patted her on the back. They both were looking at the city from an aerial view. Most of the city was in darkness. Parts of Brooklyn and Queens had managed not be included but more than most were. The stage was set.

The jet that Alpha's team took was hovering above the city, waiting for the descent. Sure enough, with nowhere else to go, the Ghost Raiders began descending in black jets. A swarm of them dropped in through the city, and suddenly, Alpha's stomach turned. He hadn't expected so many to arrive. While the battlefield was empty so there wouldn't be civilian casualties, he couldn't say the same for the team.

He began dropping off his team in various parts of the city. Amazon and Vessel landed by the shore of the ocean as many of the jets landed on the water. Eclipse and Feral dropped an elevated subway line while jets crashed all about. Finally, White Witch and Alpha landed at the Brooklyn Bridge on the Manhattan side while jets landed on the other end. The rest of the Beta Team had scattered about in pairs with the combat units of Sanctuary.

The outbreak of fighting was almost imminent as the Ghost Raiders left their jets. Vessel, a maskless superhero with golden hair and fair skin, was teamed up with Amazon. His ragged navy robes contrasted Amazon's hot pink uniform. Despite the differences in their uniforms, their fighting styles complemented one another. As Ghost Raiders rose from the depths of the ocean, Vessel and Amazon charged forward for the fight.

Amazon slammed her arms against a number of the aliens, tossing several around like dolls with her strength. Vessel's skin erupted in spikes and he used it as both offense and defense as he rushed forward headfirst into a group of the aliens. The two heroes then went back to back as the spikes on Vessel's retracted. The only thing they could do was hold back the tide of aliens entering.

Eclipse was fighting on her own field in the darkness, just like the Ghost Raiders. Feral and Hacnus were equally adept at fighting in the darkness, Hacnus a creature of earth, it spent much time in the pitch black underground. The Ghost Raiders entered the field and they were matched against the two superheroines that knew darkness. Eclipse was already in her shadow form and was able to engulf the aliens in solidified darkness as soon as they left their ships. Since the entire city was under the cloak of darkness, it was one big shadow, a playground for Eclipse. Feral, atop of Hacnus, guided her giant ape-like beast into the lines of Ghost Raiders arriving. It swiped its claws at them and roared with fury as it playfully knocked them aside.

At the bridge, Alpha and White Witch stood waiting for the enemy. A large orange screen had been formed by White Witch's orb. As the aliens moved in, Alpha moved onto the bridge and raised his arms, focusing an attack that when he finally let it loose, knocked dozens and dozens of soldiers down. White Witch followed after him and attacked with her orb, the wall of light slowly cracking.

Aboard the mothership, Arcman's team was running about the giant ship, following a scan that Tattoo had absorbed onto his skin from the ship's database. They arrived at the central power core and then it happened. It wasn't that the aliens wanted control over their bodies, they just wanted leverage. The heroes entered thinking they could handle the crew stationed in the room, but from behind them, three shots simultaneously fired and they were knocked out cold.

December 28, 2012 – 8:04 AM

Tattoo was the first to awaken. He opened his eyes and saw himself in a small holding cell made with glowing white panels of wall all around him. It was spacious, giving him the impression that he could create something to free himself. A dozen thoughts ran through his head. The time, where he was, what he could make, where were Arcman and Gravion?

His question was answered as he looked around and saw the two heroes in similar cells on either end. The first course of action was to generate an object to test the field that surrounded him. A baseball was drawn on his skin and he materialized it. He threw it at the white screen in front of him. It hit the shield which pulsed and radiated. The ball was unharmed but Tattoo still was unsure. As he prepared to create a firearm, he felt a strong pressure being exerted from above and he was forced to his knees.

"Your powers are fading, do not attempt to fight it," said a foreign voice. Tattoo struggled to look up and saw a Ghost Raider with a navy cape and plates of gold embedded with blue gems across his chest. "I am High Lord Kalipacur Dursaya of the Ghost Raider fleet."

Tattoo saw his firearm on his skin fading and realized that he'd been hit with a neural inhibitor gun earlier and was now being attacked with it once again. Unable to think straight, his powers died out.

At the base, Sara and Emma had dozed off in the conference room during their break. The superheroes had been rotating all night and had managed to subdue a large portion of the Ghost Raiders. The remainder of them had retreated and had flown off. There were a few that had stayed and the team had gone on patrol for them.

Alpha had been managing reports from the various levels of the tower. The safeguard that Sunstar had produced was slowly shrinking; the darkness was slowly extending outwards. The Fury had returned to Earth's orbit and was cloaked but they had not received any messages from Arcman and were getting concerned. The crew had scanned the mothership and determined that they were still aboard.

Alpha was stressed and when he walked into the conference room, he didn't know whether to be angry that the girls were taking a nap amidst the chaos or relieved that they were finally able to get some rest. He decided that he'd give them a bit of peace and found Jamar, who had brewed him a cup of coffee.

"Sir, I am concerned about the well-being of Arcman," said Jamar as he stood next to Alpha, who was working on a holographic projector that displayed the locations of the remaining aliens.

"The girls are exhausted, and everyone else is about. I suppose the only thing I can do is take the Beta Team up for a rescue mission…"

"I must add sir, that if Arcman and his party are unable to succeed, Sunstar's power will dissipate and the battle will be lost."

"Perhaps it's time to call in the cavalry."

"Reinforcements from The Crusaders or perhaps Clandestine Assaulters, sir?"

"I was going along the lines of Anomaly and Zadkiel…"

Sara's head almost instantly jerked up. "No!"

She sounded like she had a hangover. But she knew what she was saying. "Don't call them. Darren needs to be with Zadkiel right now. Doesn't deserve this crap."

"Glad to see you're awake," said Alpha. Emma began to stir and she woke up momentarily afterwards.

"We may have a situation," continued Alpha. "Arcman's team has been out of contact with us for several hours. They haven't reported to the tower or to Fury. I propose we go onto the ship and see how they're doing."

"I really hate these aliens right now," grumbled Emma.

Back on the mothership, Arcman awoke with a start and saw Tattoo and Gravion sitting in shielded cells on either side of him.

"Guys, what happened?"

"We got captured," sighed Tattoo.

"Aren't we planning to get out?"

"Powers have been weakened. I can't even lift myself off the ground," said Gravion. "I'm going to try and take down the next guard that comes through."

"So you're awake," said High Lord Dursaya. The Ghost Raider introduced himself to Arcman.

"What do you want?" asked Arcman.

"To conquer your planet, exploit its resources and become famous throughout the galaxy."

Arcman glared at him. "And the reason you haven't killed us is because...?"

"You're my trump card. Now that you're awake, we can exchange pleasantries and discuss the terms of your surrender."

"I can't tell if you're attempting to make light of the situation or if you really think our planet will fall to you. We've already destroyed your point man, Haearca."

"That arrogant tongue of his I presume told of what a great general he was? No, he was a fool. His power is nothing compared to mine. I assure you, your planet will fall, regardless of your dirty tricks. They will give themselves willingly when they see their defender cannot even defend them."

"That's bullshit. You may think is battle is yours but just because you have more ships and you've got us captured, but you don't know anything about Earth. If you did, you'd realize that our superhero forces with or without me, can make the impossible happen and overcome incredible odds. The people of Earth know that, and the only way you're going to make them surrender is if you force them to their knees and shoot them in the back of the head. Yeah. We'd rather die than submit to you."

"Let's put that to the test then."

The screens disappeared on the High Lord's command. Arcman was lead out by several of the officers. He was unable to use his powers and followed them willingly. He gave a look towards Tattoo and Gravion to assure them that he'd find a way to escape. He was led onto the bridge and bound within a force field tube. The High Lord's mask covered his face, but Arcman could feel him giving a wicked smile as he turned to him and then to the main screen.

"I had received notice that you had been captured by Haearca. Humorous how the weak can never win. You are bound once more by us," commented Dursaya. He turned to one of his subordinates who typed around on a black keyboard with foreign symbols. The screen lit up a few moments afterwards with Alpha on the other side.

"Greetings, Sanctuary. I am High Lord Kalipacur Dursaya of the Ghost Raider fleet. I have captured your leader, Arcman. I have already given him the opportunity to discuss your terms of surrender, but he refuses to negotiate. Perhaps you will be more accommodating."

"Here's a deal. You let him go, and we won't beat your fleet up…too much," said Alpha.

"Ignorant little-"

"Don't even start with me. It is too early in the goddamn morning."

Alpha's transmission was cut off, and the High Lord was somewhat surprised. He turned to his subordinates and spoke in English to ensure that Arcman would understand his command perfectly. "Have all Bralcuusas attack the planet. We have no need for any lifeforms on the planet to survive."

Arcman watched as the mothership fired a laser at Earth. The battlecruisers followed in suit and attacked with vibrating lights. Their attack was cut short as it hit a wall of fire. It seemed that Sunstar had taken the initiative and was fighting back. It made Arcman sick on the inside to know that Sunstar as young as he was, was willing to take the blow for the team and here he was unable to anything.

"Something wrong?" taunted Arcman. The High Lord said something in his native tongue and Arcman was released from the containment tube only to be taken away.

December 28, 2012 – 10:03 AM

Alpha was up on the Fury with the team he'd been working with all morning. They had all been rested and were ready for the rescue mission. It seemed to be all they had been doing lately. They still had to take out the mothership and destroy the battlecruisers, but that matter would be handled after the rescue.

They took two Stormfliers. Alpha, Amazon, Vessel and Eclipse were in one while Feral and White Witch took the other. Hacnus took up a large amount of space and was cramped in the jet. Despite protests from both the beast and the team, Feral insisted on going aboard the alien ship to help out. She really hoped she wasn't a hindrance.

Fury couldn't take many more hits. It was still recovering from the initial battle. Alpha decided that the teams would fly out directly from their fixed location and maneuver themselves through enemy territory. It seemed like a good idea at first, but once they were in front and center stage, every blast that sizzled close to their jets was a near death experience that they did not want to re-experience.

The High Lord had taken note of the arrival of the pests. They were greeted with a battalion of black suited Ghost Raiders that were ready to take them on. The soldiers were in for a surprise as Hacnus tore through the roof of the Stormflier and crash landed in the middle of the ship. Amazon burst out from her Stormflier and crashed in the middle of another group which she proceeded to decimate.

The rest of the team came out one by one and disarmed the various aliens. The High Lord himself was in combat with White Witch who was sending jets of orange magic at him.

"If I had my old powers back, I wouldn't even bother with the theatrics. Now where is Arcman?" bellowed White Witch as she knocked the leader to the ground.

"Pathetic human," wheezed the Ghost Raider through his mask.

"Let me," said Alpha as he strode up to the enemy leader. He grabbed him by his head and his eyes turned blue momentarily as he went through the alien's mind. When he finished, he threw the High Lord back to the ground.

"Feral, stay here and keep an eye on him. We'll interrogate him later."

The rest of the team followed him through the giant mothership. They arrived at the holding cells and saw the three heroes slumped on the floor. They weren't fainted but they appeared to be in a daze.

"Guy, are you alright?" asked Amazon as she approached them. They were snapped out of there trance.

"You're here! We were just a bit…" began Arcman.

"Bored," finished Gravion. "Bust us outta here already!"

White Witch nodded and raised her arm, guiding her orb at the shield. It didn't break as it hit.

"Try the panels over there," suggested Tattoo, pointed at a few stands at the end of the room. Vessel was the closest and he went over, looking it over for a few moments before smashing the electronic interface. An alarm started to ring through the pitch black ship followed by flashing red lights.

The screens had gone down and the three trapped heroes were liberated but they had to move fast. It was always better if they didn't have to fight, especially since they were so drained already.

"I don't think we've got much time, and neither does Sunstar. Let's split into two teams," said Arcman. "Alpha, Tattoo, Vessel, Gravion. Get to the power room and start blowing up the ship. Everybody else, come with me."

He led them through the ship, using his memory to guide the team to the bridge. His powers weren't restored yet and he depended on White Witch, Eclipse and Amazon to protect him. Ghost Raiders flooded the hallways and the superheroines struggled to hold them off and to continue running at the same time. White Witch finally created a bubble around the team and they ran the bubble like a hamster ball down the halls until they finally reached the bridge.

"Amazon, lock the doors! White Witch, Eclipse, knock the crew out. I'm going to take over their weapons!"

Amazon was the first to act as they entered. She smashed the control panel to the door as it closed. White Witch was guiding her orb around the room, sending sparks onto whomever it made contact with. Eclipse had tentacles of darkness rising from the ground around her and was grabbing and throwing the aliens around.

Arcman found the weapons console and grabbed the Ghost Raider about to attack him. The alien was surprisingly strong but was quickly knocked out by Amazon who smashed her fists into his stomach. Arcman thanked her and then set off to work.

"Feral, take the High Lord and go find the other team. Tattoo, when I give the signal, take down all the power on this ship. The shields will be down and Fury will be able to track us," said Arcman.

"Copy. Life support will be cut off, I suggest that White Witch creates a bubble around your team when I cut the circuits," added Tattoo. He turned to Alpha. "No time like the present to start broadcasting to Fury."

Alpha nodded. Their team had faced similar obstacles arriving at the power room. Since Tattoo's powers couldn't create explosives with efficiency, Vessel had short circuited most of the basic systems with his electrokinesis and with a few pushes from Gravion, the entire core could blow on command.

Back on the bridge, White Witch took care of the last Ghost Raider. She ran over to the window and looked out. The mothership was firing weapons at the battlecruisers. Some were returning fire while others were confused about whether or not they should attack. Two had already been blown up and as a third exploded, the remainder turned their focus onto the mothership.

"Arcman, it's time to go!" yelled White Witch as counted the remaining five battlecruisers. "They don't have enough power to continue!"

Explosions radiated all about the ship. Arcman continued to target the ships. "Better safe than sorry! They need to know that nobody messes with Sanctuary!"

"Arcman! They're done attacking! Sunstar needs our help!"

"Just one more second!"

Another battlecruiser blew up as the mothership's laser connected with it. White Witch moved behind Arcman and dragged him off of the console. She directed her orb at the panel and smashed it. "We're getting out of here. Tattoo, detonate now!"

White Witch generated a barrier around herself and the team, then reinforced it with several other layers. She waited for a few moments before several concussive waves blasted through the ship. In the cold of space, the denotation radiated its heat. One of the closest battlecruisers was blown up in the explosion. All that remained was an orange bubble and a Stormflier.

The jet flew over and opened its hatch for the bubble. White Witch moved it inside and the spell broke apart in glitter and light. She looked around. Tattoo was piloting the ship and Hacnus had the High Lord, who was out cold, in its hand.

Everybody was tired and they decided to sit in silence. They boarded the Fury and were shortly sent back down to the tower. Feral finished her job by taking the High Lord to a containment unit in the tower and then giving him a suppressor collar just in case. Alpha went up to the primary active team monitor floor and found Jamar, Leopoldo and Ezra all at various stations.

"What's the status of the ships?" he blurted out as he walked into the room.

"Sir, Fury was able to destroy one as it was headed to pick you up. The remaining two entered hyperspace promptly afterwards," answered Jamar.

"They abandoned their leader," stated Alpha.

"Does that surprise you, sir?"

"Yes, it actually does."

"Sunstar's still up there!" cried Ezra. Alpha turned to her. She stood shaking by her monitor which displayed a field spread across Earth. "Somebody has to go get him. His bios are critical. If we don't go now, I don't think we'll be able to retrieve him."

"Right," grunted Alpha. He pressed on hand to his earpiece. Suddenly, a streak of fire began falling down from the atmosphere. "Arcman! Arcman! Sunstar's falling. You have to get him! Now! Send him to Sol!"

Arcman looked out the window of the infirmary he was in and saw the flames. Behind him on a TV, a news report was coming in telling about the fire in the skies. Arcman sped out of his bed and crashed through the window, flying into the sky. He didn't have time to think. His body lit up white and his uniform was replaced by a pure white suit. It had grooves and attachments of gray attached atop it. His mask turned into a golden helmet with two vertical triangles rising from his ears. His cape vanished and his arms became studded with silver plates. Arcman was in his ultimate form.

In a flash, he caught Sunstar in his arms. The young hero's mask was burnt and his eyes were tearing. He was barely breathing and his skin was singed in various places across his body.

"Did…I…do…well?" asked Sunstar. His lips twitched.

"You did great, Skye. Don't talk. You're going to be alright."

Sunstar's eyes closed and tears fell down his face. Arcman looked to the skies and flew towards the sun. He reached the blazing gaseous cloud and kept going, diving straight into the sun.