Arc 3: Fallen Angels

Issue 25: Lost In The Sea

November 7, 2004 – 9:10 PM

The team had gathered underneath the base and minus the exception of Zaethis, were lounging around in the common room next to the kitchen. Crissia had a large blueprint of a detailed machine in front of her and was scribbling various notes on it. The rest of the team was watching a football game on the TV: New York Giants and Chicago Bears. Zadkiel had thought it was inappropriate to be wasting time away, but Emma had recently cast a strengthening spell on the barrier that was keeping Limbo from ripping wide open and she stated that the team amid their jobs, Limbo and the daily crime fighting, deserved some downtime.

"After the touchdown, why do they go kick the ball?" Zadkiel asked Nathan as he watched the game. The giants had just scored a touchdown and a kicker was going for the try.

"It gives them an opportunity to receive an extra point, assuming that they succeed. It can also force a tie if necessary, or break one," explained Nathan. "How long have you been on Earth?"

"Today is my 1525th day in corporeal form," answered Zadkiel.

"That's…just over four years," calculated Nathan. "How is it that Zaethis, who has been here as long as you, and mind you, lived significantly less years than you, know more about this sport than you?"

"Willie, can I ask you something about your powers?" asked Crissia without looking up from her work.

"Sure, shoot," said Willie lazily with a beer in his hand, staring at the television screen.

"In order to create a mechanical structure, you need to know the inner workings of it, correct?"

"Right on the money," he answered.

"If I show you the schematics of a vehicle, would you be able to manufacture it?" continued Crissia without looking up.

"Depends on the complexity. I might be able to given enough time but I doubt I can do it on the spot if it's highly intricate."

"What about this?" asked Crissia as she held up the schematics she had been drawing on. Willie turned his attention away from the game and looked at the large blue paper covering Crissia's face.

"What is it?"

"Zaethis has a theory, he'll explain later. But, can you make it? I don't want to stress you out on attempting to manufacture this."

"It looks doable," said Willie as he turned back to the game.

"It's a simplified design from the original," said Crissia as she returned to work on it.

A few minutes later, there was a commercial break, prompting the boys to get up and walk into the kitchen to fetch a few more beers. Zadkiel denied any more alcohol, feeling more violated every time he did drink.

"Have you guys noticed that Crissia has been weird with me the last few months?" asked Willie as the guys stood around the center kitchen counter.

"Yeah, I have a theory about it," said Nathan.

"You do?" Willie asked incredulously. "But you weren't here all summer."

"She tried to fucking kill you!" Nathan whispered loudly. He took a look back at Crissia and saw that she was still focused on her piece of paper. "That warrants a bit of bashfulness and embarrassment especially when she found out she had no reason to."

Willie frowned. "But I told her that I forgave her."

"Murder isn't one of those things that people just get over," said Kynan.

"Attempted murder," corrected Nathan.

"I think she's been trying to make it up to you through me," said Kynan.

Nathan raised an eyebrow.

Kynan shrugged. "My theory is that she doesn't know how to make it up to you so she dotes on me. I am easier to talk to."

"What are you talking about? I'm easier to talk to!" objected Willie.

"Willie, you are loud and rarely filter your words. Kynan, on the other hand, while having a quiet exterior, doesn't judge people or bluntly points out the little details about people that they're are self-conscious about," said Nathan.

"When have I ever?"

"You told me yesterday that I should make amends with Emma!"

"Yeah, okay. I voice my opinion," admitted Willie.

"It's none of your fucking business. I've already told you that we have relationship problems-"

"You two aren't together! And not like you need to say anything but the tension between you two is as clear as day!"

"Not the point!"

"Alright. It's not really a big deal I suppose, I just wish she could be open to me about stuff, and less nervous...the way we used to be. She has no reason to fear me."

"After your fight with Zadkiel?" asked Kynan.

"He still on that?" wondered Willie.

"Have you changed your mind?" asked Nathan.

Willie shook his head. "No, but he's right, it's his lifestyle and he knows Ramiel better than I. What kind of right would I have to judge him?"

"That...Willie, may have been the most mature thing I've ever heard you say," said Nathan.

Willie looked down at the surface of the counter and began drumming his fingers on it. "Yeah, I still have to apologize to him."

"So he still thinks that you're upset with him," observed Nathan.

"I suppose so."

"And this is exactly why Crissia still has reservations about speaking openly with you."

"If I apologize to Zadkiel, I think you should talk to Emma heart to heart."

"None of your-"

"I know! I know!" said Willie, putting his arms up defensively. "But you know I'm right!"

"As much as I hate to interrupt your little conversation, I need you three to gather 'round," came Zaethis's voice from the den. He had just walked into the room and had plugged in a chip at the side of the living room table which was had begun projecting an image from the center of its surface. The three men walked from the kitchen and sat down around the hologram.

The image was of a city, scaled down so that it fit within the confines of the table's perimeter. In the center was a tall tower, surrounded by several shorter spires and then an array of buildings of different heights. The landscape was circular but had four towers at ninety-degree angles from one another so that they were equidistant from the center. Between every two of the towers was a shimmering wall. Thus, the circular city was enclosed within a square.

"Nice cityscape, which one is it?" asked Emma.

"You won't even let me build up suspense," growled Zaethis. Emma gave him a look that urged him to continue. "Very well, it's our favorite lost city under the water, Atlantis. It-"

"And he knows about Atlantis. Seriously Zadkiel, how is it possible you lack so much American- correction, Earth culture when Zaethis pretty much has Encyclopedia Britannica and Entertainment Tonight in his head?" interrupted Nathan.

Zadkiel shrugged.

"At least he has shrugging down," Kynan pointed out.

"Quiet!" snapped Zaethis. "Honestly Nathan, we discover that Atlantis might exist and you're concerned about the trivial knowledge that Zadkiel has…Although Zadkiel, I am surprised that you don't know about Atlantis. Perhaps in another language? اتلانتيس, アトランティス号, 亚特兰蒂斯, Атлантида, Akandaso, ADALANSI?"

"The last one, it is in Enochian. I have only heard of the place, though. It was assigned to the thrones and guardians when the Adalansians were still here," said Zadkiel.

"Do you know about the part where it sinks into the ocean?" asked Nathan.

"More or less," said Zadkiel.

"Hey, you're getting the hang of English idioms and phrases!" laughed Nathan.

"Nathan, please. I'd like to get this done before ten. I have an early morning lecture and nobody, including myself, is ever happy with the subject of immunology."

Nathan looked down apologetically as Zaethis continued, "I talked to Carter after I investigated commercial freighter we rescued last week. They had several foreign bombs on them, which I took one of and had analyzed. The database recognized it as advanced ancient technology, specifically Atlantean. I was just as surprised as you all that this lost city had ever existed. After a quick conformation with Crissia, I had her begin developing a vehicle that would be able to enter the depths of the Atlantic."

"This isn't a rescue mission or anything?" asked Emma.

"No, we're simply going to go in to explore it. Rather, two of us will. The vehicle only fits two."

"I can design it larger," said Willie.

"I'd advise against that," said Crissia. "Altering this design might make the entire vehicle inert."

"I'll make more of them," pressed Willie.

"We don't have enough power cores, and your abilities are incapable of creating raw power."

"Hold up," interrupted Emma with her arms up. "I thought we were focusing on Limbo. This mission seems like it can wait."

"Bombs, Emma. Bombs," said Willie.

"Yes, and I also have reason to believe that Atlantis and Limbo are related," said Zaethis.

"Great, now we just have to decide who gets to go," said Willie happily as he reclined in his seat pointing a finger at himself.

"I say we play this smart and send in our powerhouses," said Kynan. He gestured at Emma and Nathan. "My abilities will allow me to travel through the water to assist them if necessary."

"What do you two say?" asked Zaethis. He saw Willie grinning at his brother who was frowning back at him. Nathan and Emma grunted in agreement.

"Very well, let me show you all something interesting. It took me a while to visual because I'm colorblind," began Zaethis.

"You're colorblind?" blurted Willie.

"Yes, I can only perceive color psychically. Now, as I said, there seems to be a shielding in the section where the Bermuda Triangle was located. When the hologram first displayed it, the lighting was so dim that I simply dismissed it as an anomaly or trick of light. But I am certain now that it is a force field that disables any ship that enters this region. It does in coordination with the tales, fit the profile."

Zaethis zoomed out the hologram and it showed the circle in a square in a triangle. That was Atlantis.

November 9, 2004 – 10:04 AM

Willie dropped by the church. Zadkiel was sitting with Father Ben in the office, reading quietly. It was a slow day for the church. Father Ben was on the phone chattering away making wedding plans for a couple.

"Zad, can I talk to you for sec?" whispered Willie as he walked into the office. He gave a wave to the priest who smiled at him before returning to his call. Willie realized that he was not well suited for the occasion, donning a leather jacket that exposed the top of a tattoo on his chest as well as ripped jeans. But he thought to himself that he was just in for a short talk.

"Willie, do you require my assistance?" asked Zadkiel politely.

"Dude, I feel like a fucking douchebag for cussing out on you the other day. Like, I probably shouldn't have freaked out and judged you so quickly. So…I'm uh, sorry," apologized Willie nervously. He thrust a book into Zadkiel's hands. "Take it as an apology present. It's the first Harry Potter book. Pretty good read for most people on Earth."

"Thank you, Willie. I really appreciate your gesture. I apologize for my bluntness. I am still adapting to being…around humans," said Zadkiel. He smiled at Willie who bade him farewell and walked off.

November 11, 2004 – 6:29 PM

Zaethis had just gotten out of his last class of the day and arrived at the base with Crissia, who had finished her shift at the electrical company. The two of them entered the docking bay for their various vehicles. Not that a number of them had been used. Among the lineup were two jets, a high-speed submarine and what appeared to be a tank. For the purposes of the mission though, only the newest design of an underwater diver vessel would be used. It resembled a large sleek manta, the skin of the vessel smooth to the touch. According to Crissia, the density of the hull could withstand water pressures that would easily crush standard deep-sea exploration vessels. Or perhaps it was an exaggeration.

"Are they strapped in?" asked Zaethis as he walked up to Willie, who had a clipboard with a long checklist.

"Yeah. What do you think of the design? It took me forever to draw," claimed Willie.

"I'll believe that. I like it. The holes in the front are weapons, right?"

"Standard, just like the design. Trust me, you get the best when you get Tattoo products," bragged Willie. He watched as Poltergeist flew out from the vessel and landed next to him.

"We're good to go," said Poltergeist.

"We'll be monitoring you from the sub. We won't accompany the three of you, so if you lose signal, we'll give it a few hours and then head it. Although I hope your powers work, because you're the only liaison we got," said Zaethis.

"Come on, let's get moving," Crissia called from off to the side. She had suited up in a dark green one piece that hung slightly loose.

She threw one to Willie and one to Zaethis. Zadkiel was staying at the base so he wouldn't be accompanying them. He would be mission control from home. The two other heroes quickly donned the suits and then got into the water colored submarine. The two vessels were isolated as thick glass from the ceiling fell down, encasing them. A moment later, the floor opened up to reveal the bottom of the Hudson River, dark and dirty. Water flooded into the casings and then the two divers sunk down.

The two teams began gliding through the water. It would take them a few hours to arrive but the ride was still much faster than usual. White Witch would've taken the initiative to teleport the team, but including the two vessels, it was too much. As a result, she had to suffer the length with Arcman. Poltergeist decided it best to leave them alone to avoid the tension and swam in his intangible form in between the two vessels.

"I saw Maria a few nights ago," said Nathan. He and Emma had both kept their masks off for the duration of the ride. She sat next to him without facing him. There was not much to do, or anywhere to go, the dingy vessel interior only having a the seats, a panel, and in the back a small bathroom and a view to the tail of the manta.

"Where did you see her?"

"Painkiller. I went with Carter and a few other coworkers," Nathan answered as he continued to drive through the water.

"I haven't seen her in a month since the dragon…"

"It seems like she and Carter are hitting it off."

"That's good. She hasn't been in a relationship in a while. Always looking for the right guy and never settling for anything less."

"You thinking maybe they could actually be something?"

"If Carter thinks she's the right one, then maybe. We'll just have to wait and see."

Nathan ran out of things to say and didn't feel comfortable enough to speak as he did when their relationship had been more intimate. He allowed the silence to ease in and soon Emma fell asleep. He turned on the music in the vehicle and propelled through the soothing sight of the deep sea in tranquil sounds.

A few hours later, the two vessels stopped at a deep sea trench that opened down into the Earth like a gaping hole. The only lights that shone in the darkness were the ones on the two sea exploration machines. Little specks of light flickered in the distance from the bioluminescence of marine life. Zaethis's face came on screen and he woke Emma. She was reminded of her mission and placed on her mask, along with Nathan. The two of them pushed ahead towards the barrier of the Bermuda Triangle while the sub stayed behind.

They continued to jet through the water with Poltergeist a few miles behind. They entered the force field with little resistance. It had only shown up on the manta vessel's sensors ever so slightly. They continued in the darkness for a few more miles when suddenly, they saw a light. White Witch had pointed it out and as it closed in, she grabbed her staff and screamed, "Barrier! Nathan activate the shield!"

The light had turned out to be an oversized disfigured squid that was glowing from its core. It smashed into the glowing wall that had appeared underwater, shattering it. It swam off and shot several flashes of light through the water. Arcman had activated the combat shields but regardless attempted to maneuver the manta out of the trajectory. Failing to do so, the blasts connected with the vessel but only damaged it light.

"I know squids can handle water pressure. Let's see how much this one can take. Aqua Pressure Field!" said White Witch with her staff raised. The crystal at the tip lit up white as the squid suddenly began taking the full strength of her spell. The crystal continued to brighten until the invertebrate finally became squished and fell down into the darkness, its own bioluminescence fading.

"Kynan, come in," said White Witch into her headset. Buzzing from the comm link indicated that nobody else could hear them. "Kynan? Poltergeist? Godammit. What is the point of having such sophisticated technology from the future if it only works half the time in the present?"

"I think he'll be fine. He can always surface or phase back to the team," assured Arcman.

"What if, I don't know, the squid manages to cling onto him and brings him out from his intangible state? He'll be crushed by the pressure. And I know he's already dead but-"

"If you're that concerned, I'll send out a signal to the team– OH WHAT THE FUCK?!"

The manta swerved sharply and quickly up as a flood of the mutilated squids and an assortment of glowing fish with aggressive looking features swam up from the deep. White Witch unbuckled herself and slid down to the anterior of compartment where she aimed her staff. "Explode!"

Bubbles erupted in the water but didn't even faze the dozens of bellicose fish swimming up. Scrambling for a word, White Witch began a spell frenzy, "Drown, Freeze, Faint, Wash Cycle, MASSACRE!"

While a number of the marine animals fell down from flooding, having their exteriors frozen over or simply from fainting, the last two spells White Witch cast caused the remaining fish to rotate concentrically around a focal point before they were all slashed open by magical force. The spells drained her and she retreated back to her seat, strapping herself in and breathing heavily while recovering from the dizziness.

"Good job, Emma," said Arcman. He was about to turn the manta around when suddenly, he saw a large eye pass the screen in front of him. Chills ran down his spine as he recognized the rest of the mammal's body.

White Witch didn't need him to say anything. The whale slammed down onto the screen and it cracked like a thin sheet of ice. Arcman was already up and tearing off White Witch's seat belt, and then they fell down to the back of the tiny ship while water flooded in.

"We need a shield, Emma!"

"Bubble…" whispered White Witch. A sphere encased them as the ship was destroyed another impact from the whale. They started descending into the darkness. The whale turned and swallowed them whole, and then it was truly darkness.

November 12, 2004 – 3:22 AM

Nathan woke up after Emma did. They were trapped in two separate holding cells in a large, dark prison hall. Each of the cells had four stone pillars that formed a cage of thick, soft-lit, energy. Emma was sitting on the cold hard ground and had a full tray of food in front of her. She was holding her legs close to her. Her costume had been replaced by dark filthy rags. Nathan similarly wore the same types of rags and had a tray of rotten goop lying in front of him.

"How are you holding up?" asked Nathan after quickly observing his surroundings and seeing Emma next to him.

"I've had better days. We've been out for a few hours I think. I just woke up about half an hour ago and nobody's come around," said Emma.

There was little else that Nathan wanted to know and he gave a quick nod before forcing himself to shut up and prevent the conversation from progressing. He could sense the tension in the air. After a month back with the team, he felt obligated to explain to Emma the reasoning about why he had to train to diligently. He was no longer the ignorant fool, the new brat on the team who lacked any sense of justice and morality. He thought his values learned over the summer had taught him what he needed to know, and now was the time to apply the teachings in the field.

After a while, with Emma in a trance and Nathan meditating in place, he finally spoke up and broke the ice. "Do you agree with Zadkiel's decision about wanting to kill Ramiel?"

"What?" asked Emma absentmindedly.

"I asked-"

"No, I heard you…His idea is really radical and will get the job done. I guess by keeping quiet, I'm agreeing with him. Not that I don't…Wait, let me start over. I think that while his method works and will get the job done, it's not my perception of Zadkiel, the intemperate one that cried when he killed a man because it was mercy killing. I wish there was another way, but I think Zadkiel is right, Ramiel isn't a human, we don't know their lifestyle, and just locking him up leaves much room for him to break out and harm the world further. Why do you ask?"

"I didn't voice this at the time, but I thought that our problem with Ramiel seemed fairly religious. Not in that they're angels but in the aspect of how we're tackling this issue. Just because we don't know or agree with what he's doing, it still doesn't give us the right to prosecute him. That can be said about all cultures and religions. Fair enough though, Zadkiel and not us, is a part of Ramiel's family and to an even further taxonomic detail, species. However, he still represents a different internal sect that claims Ramiel to be devious. We can agree that Ramiel's actions are crude, harsh and evil. But we should still preserve the right for his creator to punish him. Sanctuary's only task, the task of any superhero, has been about protection, never prosecution. Zadkiel is very partial whether he knows it or not. We cannot actively go seeking to kill Ramiel for that reason. If by chance we do kill him, then it will hold harsh on us, the way I killed Krater. I now realize that I had no right to, but can only let it pass knowing it was not intentional."

Emma stared at Nathan in silence after his speech. She choked as she realized that she had tears in her eyes. These thoughts had come from the lessons he left to learn.

"You dumbass."

Nathan looked up and saw Emma tearing. "You didn't have to leave and be a perfect hero. You could've learned from us. You don't have to be perfect. Look at us. We're still learning, and I'm still learning, even from you. But Nathan, you didn't have to, and now it hurts so much that I know you're better. Please…just tell me why we can't be together…"

"I'm not good enough, Emma…"

"Bullshit! Tell me why you're not good enough for me!"

"Emma, you know that saying how you can't help anyone else until you help yourself? How can I take care of you when I'm still lost about how to take care of myself? I'm still learning what it means to be Arcman and Nathan Thorn! I just said I wanted a break."

"I can forgive you for that Nathan…That's all I can do, but just know that what you're doing to me, it's breaking me."

Emma continued to cry as she turned away from Nathan who cast down his head in shame. They sat in their cells for a bit longer until several metallic armored guards walked in lead by tall man. His outfit was much more lavish, as he wore a silver, metallic suit similar to AI's but much larger and thicker in design. The metal ran across his body and lit up thin lines that ran down the center of his limbs. His chest was puffed up and he lacked a helmet, revealing his bony, tan face. He had deep, sunken eyes that glared with intensity. He had dreadlocks and several golden ornaments on his hair and two earrings on his left earlobes.

"Intruders, identify yourselves," the man said in a raucous tone.

"We're scientists," lied Emma, taking the lead.

"Quiet, female!" one of the guards snapped. The man in charge pointed at Nathan. "You, what is your name?"

"Professor Samir Viser," said Nathan, thinking of one of his co-workers. "How are you able to speak English?"

"Quiet! Do not speak unless the lord addresses you!" the guard shouted. He prodded Nathan with a spear in his hands.

"We speak many languages, land dwellers," the man said. "I speak the most, for I am the lord of this realm. You may know me as High King Tumdoi. Now tell me, what is your purpose here?"

"Research on the disappearances of many ships who sailed this area," said Nathan.

"You land fools learn nothing. This area is forbidden to all, for it is my domain. Unfortunately my deshoika destroyed your vessel I cannot return you to your home to teach them a lesson. I shall see what to do with you later. But now, let us take the female. She will be of use to us. Her staff makes me suspect her of sorcery."

"No! She knows nothing! Let her go!"

Emma was drawn from her cell while Nathan yelled out protests. He slammed against the force field, only to feel electricity coarse through his veins.

"He won't hurt her," a man next to him said.

Nathan looked over and observed the man. He was young, as much so as Nathan. He had navy blue hair, an unshaven, detailed face with golden eyes. His skin was light, and he had many scars from cuts and whips. He was thin fellow, appearing to have been in the dark confines of the prison.

"He's too afraid to, that putrid Tumdoi," the man said. He spat on the floor after saying his name. Then he added humorously, "Must keep my mouth clean. Wouldn't want to say his name and leave it in my mouth to rot."

"Why is afraid to hurt his prisoners?" asked Nathan.

"He's not the true king. He fought the true king after his forces began attacking the city, and then then he trapped the king in a Grand Stream."

"A Grand Stream?"

"It is the force field, the wall that protects us. What you land dwellers call the Devil's Triangle, or the Bermuda Triangle. The king died out in the sea, and I rose to fight Tumdoi. I lost, but Tumdoi was never the true king. He did not feel righteous in using his powers."

"Who are you?" asked Nathan.

"My name is Bausid, I am the prince of Atlantis."

"Bausid, my name is Arcman, I'm a superhero. I have powers that can help you get back your throne, but I can't do it alone. I need you to help free me and get out of this city. I will come back with my team, Sanctuary, and help you restore your rightful kingdom."

"My brother, I am afraid I cannot help you. Look at these walls that bind us."

"You don't have any loyal followers, any loyal servants who've been manumitted who would set us from this place?"

Bausid looked down in shame. "All my soldiers fear Tumdoi will execute them or lock their families away for betraying his absolute authority."

A shadow appeared in the space between the two cells and Poltergeist solidified. Bausid was slightly alarmed but seeing Nathan's recognizing expression on his face, he calmed down.

"Poltergeist, what perfect timing! Am I glad to see you! Are you okay?" asked Nathan excitedly.

"Am I okay? Are you okay? It took me forever to find you! Your ship vanished off the grid so the team's been following my signal. They'll be here soon. Let's get you out of here."

He floated through the energy screen and grabbed Nathan, phasing him out into the cold hallway. He prepared to fly off, but Nathan grabbed his cloak. He gestured at Bausid. "We have to get him out of here. This city's being ruled by a king who usurped the rightful ruler's throne. His name's Bausid."

Poltergeist floated into the prince's cell and brought him out.

"Nice to meet you," said Poltergeist.

"He's one of my team members," Nathan said to Bausid, who nodded and greeted the other superhero. "Bausid, do you know where Tumdoi might have taken my friend?"

"He claimed that she had a staff. If they intend to test her magic and sorcery, they would only try to do so at the Casnosai, our library and department of magic. I will take you there."

"Thank you Bausid, after we get her, we'll take down Tumdoi and get back your throne."

The trio followed the prince out of the underground dungeons into the city. Nathan looked up and saw the expanse of the dome. Bright lights illuminated the physical shielding, displaying the view under the sea. The city itself had hundreds of structures all cleanly built, each unique from another in composition and design. The feeling of being underwater was much different than being on land simply by the color and texture of the ocean, contributing to the deep effulgence that seemed ancient and futuristic at the same time.

With no time to waste, Nathan followed Bausid down the alleyways, avoiding the main streets where merchants were selling strange crops and fish. He would've appreciated the jewelry or clothing that he passed by, perhaps even joined in playing a sport that involved a holographic ball. The culture was unlike anything he had ever studied before. After saving it, he thought, he might have a chance to truly immerse himself in the kingdom. It was unfortunate though, that there were city police roaming through the street, some attacking the locals without reservation. The people were living in fear and many simply walked by pretending they did not see the public enforcers abusing their power.

They just barely managed to arrive at the Casnosai by stealing three motor bikes that ran smoothly through the streets. The building they came to was a marble structure with streaming banners embroidered with jewels. They had to walk up several flights of stairs lined with columns and finally entered the massive building. Inside, Bausid them to the second floor where shelves upon shelves were stacked with books and in the center of the large reading room were an assortment of artifacts.

"Teach me your magics, sorceress," Tumdoi yelled. He was at one of the glass boxes holding White Witch's staff. He had not noticed the arrival of the heroes.

Nathan turned to direct Poltergeist in attack, but he turned to his side and saw that he was missing. A guard noticed the intruders and began to call them out but was knocked out by an invisible force. Tumdoi turned and saw his guard fall down to the ground while Nathan superspeeded up to him and punched his gut with immense force, knocking the staff out of his hands.

"Emma, let's this man here is the true king," said Nathan as he gestured to Bausid. "His name is Bausid, and his throne was usurped by Tumdoi. We have to help them."

Emma nodded and took her staff from Nathan's hands. "Enter Sanctuary."

Nathan raised an eyebrow as he and Emma both lit up in white. A moment later, they donned their superhero outfits. "You took my line."

"Sorry, let's get to work," smiled White Witch. Poltergeist appeared next to her and she turned to Tumdoi, who just got up. "Incarcer-"

"Wait!" yelled Bausid. "This is my fight."

He walked forward, still in his rags, to confront Tumdoi. Outside, lights exploded as the team saw weapons firing all about at the shielding of the city. They could see the Sanctuary submarine crashing through the barrier and exploding. Three figures flew out into the city.

"Bausid, will you be alright?" asked Arcman. "We need to protect our friends from Tumdoi's forces."

"I will be fine. Go," said Bausid as he smashed the casing of a sword. He picked it up and placed it out in front of him.

The three heroes flew out the windows, smashing it in the process. White Witch took one last look back and cast, "One On One!"

The guards fell down to the ground, leaving Tumdoi and Bausid to duke it out like men.

"I will not lose to you again, Tumdoi. You are a coward who hides behind legerdemain and lies. A coward who will never be king. I will prove myself to the people and defeat you," said Bausid.

"You think I am a coward? Let me show you why I am the true king of this domain," sneered Tumdoi as a glowing sword came out of the arm of his power suit. He moved forward and the two engaged in combat.

Outside, Zaethis had encapsulated his teammates in a psychic shield that was being fired upon by dozens of city police. They were using a combination of high capacity magazines and various pistols. Tattoo was in the process of drawing himself a powers suit like AI's and when he was complete, he was the negative image of her. While she had a silver suit with a red visor, Tattoo's was completely black with a blue visor. The two of them stepped out from the shield and attacked with a number of firearms. It appeared that Tattoo's were of lower grade and quality than his counterparts, but the concussive force was enough to knock out the guards.

A white blur zoomed around and the stronger firearms suddenly became crumpled and were unable to fire. Several flashes of light burned out another few and the guards that were managing the firearms were beat and fell down. The team was together again. As they prepared to greet each other, they became surrounded by several guards atop large motorbikes.

"You really need to revise your foreign policy," said Zaethis as his eyes lit up blue. The guards and their bikes were all lifted into the air and tossed far into the distance. Many of the on looking citizens cheered.

Bausid was fighting viciously with Tumdoi.

"Your skills are untarnished even by your time in the dungeons," commented Tumdoi as he received a well dealt blow. Then he returned with full force and almost stabbed Bausid in the stomach. "But I have honed mine continuously."

"I do not wither, I trained my mind, I stayed strong waiting for the day to hunt you. If only to avenge my father!" roared Bausid. He slashed away at the ground and flipped the carpeting into Tumdoi's face, and then finally had the sword at his neck, pointed.

Tumdoi's power sword faded. "Avenge your father? He who killed your mother? He stole my wife!"

"Quiet! You killed my mother! Do not lie to me!"

"Your mother never told you that she loved me, did she?"

"You are a misogynistic tyrant. She could never have loved you!" shouted Bausid, the sword cutting into Tumdoi's neck. He started tearing.

"Kill me, you don't need to believe my words."

"No…It's too easy. I said I'd prove myself by defeating you. Now I will show the people what you are."

Bausid grabbed Tumdoi's arms and bound them before he walked him unwillingly into the streets. He saw Sanctuary walking up to him followed by a crowd of people. He saw White Witch's staff glow and he was suddenly wearing royal robes in place of the rags he had a moment before.

"Atlantis, I have defeated our oppressor, Tumdoi. Today, I will purge our city of evil once more, with help from our new friends," announced Bausid. He pointed at the team and remembered the name, "SANCTUARY!"

The crowd cheered as Tumdoi cast down his head in shame.

November 15, 2004 – 12:10 PM

"Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown," said Nathan as he sat down next to Zaethis in the park across the street from the campus. It was a cloudy day, with only slivers of sunlight passing through the clouds.

"How did the reconstruction go?" asked Zaethis.

"Bausid is getting everything back in order. I would have stayed longer but he said he wanted us to see the beauty in full when all was in order. I told him it already looked beautiful."

Zaethis nodded. "Well, just bring some more good news at the meeting later. Did you want to talk about Emma?"

"We're talking again. But I still want to know if she's going to be okay."

"What? You think I snoop around in her head? I'm not like that."

"I'm not asking you to be a dick and tell me every last detail that she tells you, I just want to know if she hates me, if she can feel better."

"I understand you there, I also get why you left, Nathan. I've been watching and I'm proud of the hero you've become. But what kind of man have you become? Nathan Thorn and Arcman are two different people. The man that Nathan is, the hero that Arcman are, I hope you don't sacrifice one for the other."

Nathan smiled and thanked Zaethis for the advice. They watched the heavy clouds move across the sky for a while.

"Bausid agreed to join us, by the way," said Nathan. "He also gave us a present. There was a giant whale that attacked us, a deshoika. He sent one of its kind to our waters to help clean it and protect us from threats in the water."

Almost on cue, a large tail could be seen flipping in the waters before descending.

"Sanctuary is getting bigger and bigger, I hope that helps us fight the good fight," said Zaethis.

"The good fight…," muttered Nathan as he continued to watch the changing forms of the clouds. He remembered Limbo was just in the sky. He remembered Bausid still had to fix the city from years of damage. It was going to be a long journey.