This is an original work of fiction meant for entertainment purposes only.
The bluish energy beam was somehow shutting her mind down, but even as she lay there, she glanced to the right and saw her mother in that glass tube, and instinctively reached for her. By then, some robotic arm had stuffed Dillon into that fourth tube that sealed automatically around the unconscious boy.
"Mmmmmommmmm," she croaked.
"Don't worry about her," her uncle's manic voice sneered. "She'll soon be just another puppet in my growing empire, too. By the time I finish with you all, none of you will have a conscious thought in your heads."
Janice stared in horror as she only now saw something that was going to her mother's left ear, and was glowing faintly with a hazy pulse of energy. She felt something inside react only then, and a throbbing of familiar energy, but it wasn't Jon or Janus.
It was….something new.
"Mom," she suddenly screamed, her hand flung out as a pulse of invisible force shattered her tube, and ripped whatever was around her head to component shreds.
Ellen Collins staggered forward out of the tube, almost falling. Long experience had her recovering instantly, and her eyes went solid black as she glared around her, and then lifted a hand to point at the ceiling.
Even as did, her anti-matter emitter appeared, and she blasted the entire laser array to pieces even as she turned it on the three tubes to her left with Dillon and his parents in them.
Janice felt the change almost at once.
"Mom," she cried as she looked only at her, though she glanced to see that all three Spheres had fallen beyond the shattered remains of their damaged tubes.
"Damn you," Phantom howled.
"James," Ellen snarled, energy crackling around her. "Why don't you come out so I can introduce you to your niece," she demanded.
"I'm not that foolish woman. Still, my null-field keeps her helpless enough, so I'll just have to put you down permanently, and still complete my master…"
"No," Janice screamed and flung out both hands.
The entire chamber seemed to be crushed flat and bowed outward in the same instant.
Walls, ceiling, and even floor curved out from the force of the psionic pressure sent out, and yet not one of the others in the room with her was touched. Not one piece of tech or computer in the room was left intact. They were all as flattened as the walls.
"Janice," Ellen turned to her. "Was that….?"
"Me," Janice smiled a very Jon-like smirk and stomped over to the closest thing to a door her eyes could make out. "Now, I want to test something. Acid test, I think you call it," she smiled and lifted a small fist.
"No! Impossible," James Parkes screamed from somewhere else though he was not heard as even the intercom was ruined with everything else.
What he saw was the hatch to his perfect trap being smashed open with ease as that girl stepped out to glare around her. She had not even transformed, or split, or anything, and yet she was evidencing power at least as great as her component personas.
"How, how," he demanded as he frantically worked with his equipment and consoles surrounding him as he watched the two women stalking down the main hall, his lackeys fleeing at just the sight of them.
Of course, they knew Lady Darke well enough, even if not in costume, and that was a woman even he knew to be wary of at the best of times. Still, when he learned his witless sibling had managed to impregnate her, he had been unable to keep from testing his theory on her children once twins had been discovered.
Everything was going so well, too. Until that girl had to actually resist his efforts at controlling her. How? How could one small teenager still manifest such force without actually changing if she was so obviously a shifter?
His manic musings were cut off when the thick, reinforced panel to his private sanctuary was torn off, and Janice stood there staring at him with malice in her cold, overly bright eyes that were all but glowing with untapped energies.
She stared at him for a moment as Ellen stepped up behind her, and asked, "So what now, James? As I recall, even you cannot really teleport," she said and glared at him. "So what now?"
"You…. You have to understand," James gasped, staring at the girl more than Ellen. "I was giving you a chance to manifest more powerfully than anyone else alive! You would have been a goddess! You could have ruled….!"
"As your puppet," Janice snarled. "There's a lot of things I could do," Janice told him as she just stood there glaring, James Parkes ironically unable to think of a single thing he could do to escape just then. "Only one really fits."
She smiled coldly and shifted her stance imperceptively as Ellen only smiled coldly, and kept that anti-matter beam of hers at the ready.
"What are you doing," he asked as she began to glow.
"Giving you to someone that really wants a reunion," she said, even as Janice vanished as two distinct forms appeared before him.
"Hello, Uncle James," Jon nodded, one brown arching just slightly. "My sister would like a few more words with you," he said with a hellish smirk.
"W-Words," Phantom asked as the armored man sans his cap just then only stared at the eight-foot behemoth popping her knuckles with a very grim smile.
"Oh, yes," Janus said. "Long….term…..care. You're about to need it," she said and tore right through his sheltering consoles to grab him.
James screamed a long time before Ellen sighed, and said, "That should be enough, Janus," with a tone of genuine regret.
"Ah, but I need to offer my contribution, mother," Jon said as he walked over to the mangled, battered man who lay in shattered armor, and looking more than terrified in spite of the obvious pain wracking him.
"And what is that, son," she asked blandly.
"Why," he said, stepping over to look down at the terrified man. "I thought I would reach into his mind, localize, and shut down his Uber gene, so his healing regeneration would be that of a normal, common human," Jon said, and James lifted his left hand, the only arm he could move just then, grabbing his head as he felt the pinching sensation deep in his brain as he cried in agony.
"Oops, my mistake. I seem to have shut down your hyper-intelligence, too. Well, you won't be using it anyway. Not where you're going."
"Or, I could just add my own contribution," Ellen snarled, aiming her emitter at her brother-in-law with a look of genuine malice.
"Mom," Janus smiled, putting a big hand on her shoulder. "Then he wouldn't suffer. And I was kind of hoping he would live to suffer. After all, how else is he going to learn his lesson?"
"Excellent point, Janus," Jon nodded. "We'll let Janice decide."
"Oh, well, I guess," she nodded, and they both melded, and the smaller, cold-eyed teen was once more looking down at him with utter indifference.
"She didn't pull your head off," she asked blandly. "That's a surprise."
"My he-head," James whimpered.
Which was when the Spheres all appeared and looked at the ravaged control room, and the equally battered Phantom.
"Well, it seems our fears were unfounded," Allen said as the hero studied Janice, and noted the weapon Ellen held at the ready.
"We were just coming to a consensus," Janice declared. "Do we eradicate this idiot, or let him suffer for his sins. Frankly, even I'm not sure."
"Let's let the law have him, ladies," Allen suggested. "I think after today, he'll realize you are not going to just let him have his way. You don't want to kill him, because that just makes you as bad as he is, and I know you're not."
"Well, Janus wants him to suffer. Jon is indifferent," Janice said, rolling her eyes. "No surprise there. Mom?"
"Okay. Last chance, James," Ellen said, eyes still black as night as she glared at him. "And I mean that literally. We ever see you again, and no one else ever will. Understand," she snarled.
"I….giv' up," he moaned, staring at Allen. "P'eese…. Doc-tor…."
"Do I have to ask," Dillon asked.
"Janus wanted him," Janice smiled. "I gave him to her," the girl told him. "Then Jon turned off his Uber genes, so no more Brainiac games, or regeneration."
"Ouch," Diane realized as she eyed the battered man. "Yeah, we'd better get the authorities, and paramedics in here."
"Uh….. Where are we," Allen asked.
"Let's ask him," Janice said, and gestured at a man that was trapped by rubble, and just flew up into the air, and toward them at her motion.
"Wow," Dillon said, not having been awake to see her breakthrough.
Janice only smiled as she gestured again to the man.
"So, where are we," Allen asked the terrified man. "Exactly."
He told them everything, and more, but his eyes were locked only on Janice.
"Jon," Janice said quietly. "You might want to reach out touch the lackeys here, or our secret might still get out. He kind of saw us slap Uncle James down."
"Already on it," Jon's voice echoed as the man's eyes rolled up in his head, and then he dropped unconscious at their feet.
Ellen sighed, her eyes only then returning to normal as she made a motion, and her anti-matter emitter vanished.
"The authorities are on the way," Diane said as she slid her communicator into the hidden pocket in her skirt, which explained it not being found.
"We should go," Janice told her mother.
"I'll stay. The rest of you leave," Allen nodded as he simply tore off his clothing, and revealed Champion's costume beneath them. "It'll only make sense if I found this fugitive, and had to….incapacitate him," he told them as Janice eyed her uncle.
"And you'll back that up, Uncle James. Or we'll be back," Janice smiled at her with a cold gleam in her brown eyes. "Mom?"
Ellen lifted her wrist with the curious watch on it, pressed a few buttons, and she, Janice, Dillon and his mother all vanished.
Allen smiled at the fallen man, and said, "You're lucky. That girl actually has a real conscience. But don't discount her mother. Lady Darke is still furious with you. I'd stay very quiet if I were you, or she might try a few of her experiments on you next time," he pointed out with a grin. "We both know she can still be vicious. Especially if you target her children."
James just shuddered, and finally passed out.
"Home," Janice smiled as she walked into the house that had been recently completed in surprisingly swift time.
"I think it might be better than our old house," Ellen smiled. "Of course, I'll have to upgrade our security, and replace our safe room, and…."
"We'll help, mom," Janice said, hugging her as the Spheres walked into the house, and smiled.
"So, how about a housewarming," Ellen asked. "We have a lot of folks out there that want to welcome you to the neighborhood. Again," she grinned.
Ellen turned to see a lot of her neighbors who had rarely even spoken to her before smiling, and some even held dishes and pots as they came into the house.
"We know you still have to settle and get a few personal things, so we thought you'd like a little help, Ellie," one of the older women she had seen around pause to speak to her.
"That's….very nice of you," she smiled, not used to being so accepted even if the Spheres had proven to be real friends.
"Welcome home, Ellen," Diane told her with a smile. "Hopefully, nothing else crazy happens anytime soon," she grinned.
"Hey," Janice sputtered as everyone turned to eye her. "Why are you looking at me?"
Dillon only laughed, and winked, saying, "Well, you have had a very interesting year, gorgeous," he told her. "And it's not even half over," he added.
Janice groaned as everyone else laughed.
"Keep on," she stepped close to murmur, "And I'll let Janus have you next."
Dillon had the sense to look worried.
"Ah, when you say you'll let her have me….?"
"Janice," he moaned. "C'mon, I was easing. Honest. Janice?"
"C'mon, I'll show you my room," she beamed and led him down the hall.
"Leave that door open, young lady," Ellen shouted, and many of the adults chortled as the teens left them as more neighbors kept arriving, and Ellen realized she had a real chance for a new, and better life here after all.
She smiled at the Spheres, and murmured, "Thank you," as she turned to speak to another of her neighbors.
The two heroes only smiled back and went back to socializing themselves.