WoP: Chapter 23

“And that is why Orpheus is always the first in.” Jane told Sword and Shield as Orpheus and Lily vanished from coms. “So, what do you want to do boss?” she asked Sarah. Before she could get an answer, she felt the tingle of passing through a portal and the world around her dimmed. When her vision stopped being distorted the area around her had changed. She was in a warehouse and a woman was staring at her.

The woman was dressed like an undertaker and was petting a human skull. She smiled as she took Jane in and revealed a row of teeth that looked like they had been filed to a point. “Now aren’t you an interesting one.” She cooed and put down her skull.

Jane suddenly felt as if heavy chains had been placed on her arms and when she tried to turn her head to look at her arms it wouldn’t move. The woman passed behind her and she felt a chill go up her spine.

“What to do with you?” the woman mused as she came back around to Jane’s front. She rested a hand on Jane’s cheek. “I know.” She breathed into Jane’s ear “If you don’t have any of those tasty fears then why don’t I give you some.”

Jane fell forward as whatever force had been holding her released her. “She’s over here.” Sword called out to shield as she rushed to Jane’s side. “Where have you been? The world went all gray and you were suddenly gone.”

Jane looked up at the sibling and saw that her surroundings were no longer a warehouse but instead a poorly lit swamp. “Any idea where we are?”

“No, we haven’t had much time to get an idea of where we are at. This is the first moment of peace we have had in the last couple hours.” Jane looked at them a confusion and noticed that their suits were ripped in places and covered in gore.

“What happened to you two?” Jane asked

“We’ve been fighting monsters that keep rising out of the ground.” Almost as if on que the sounds of moaning filled the air and humanoid figures began to rise up out of the ground around them.

Jane realized what was going on and began to chuckle “Really, zombies. You have to think of something better.” She swept her arm out in front of her and white-hot flames erupted from it. The fire poured out of her until it had engulfed the swamp. Steam rose up as the water was evaporated and was quickly replaced by flames. “I have no problem cutting loose against zombies.” She told the siblings as she dismissed the fire to reveal the barren wasteland where the swamp had once stood.

Shield gasped as he took in the devastation “How…how does the old man think we could beat these people?” His mouth snapped shut as he realized he had just said that out loud.

“Don’t worry kiddo every team has a plan to defeat every other team.” Jane consoled the hero.

“I would love to hear how you all think you could take down The Justice Army.” Sword was sure of herself and her disbelief at their capabilities dripped from her words.

“Nuke your HQ.” Jane replied calmly as if it was no big deal. “Now come on, we need to see about finding the others and rounding up any civilians who got caught up with us.” Before she could take off running the group was suddenly falling. They were high above the clouds and the ground was fast approaching. With a thought Jane created as much fire as she could in a pillar between her and the ground. It slowed her descent enough that she was certain she would survive.

The sky seemed to groan slightly and they were back on the ground and the woman from earlier was standing in front of them. Jane turned to make a plan of attack with the siblings and they were looking through her at the woman. “I’m not a bad person.” She purred “I just want people to overcome their fears but you two don’t seem to get it. You’re afraid of people being stronger than you. You’re afraid that they will turn their backs on you or maybe even hurt you. You need to strike down something that embodies that fear.”

With that she vanished and Sword and Shield noticed Jane was there. “Do you think she means…?” Shield gestured at Jane.

“So that was Fear?” Jane asked rhetorically in order to bring their line of thought.

“Yes, it was.” Lily said from behind them. Her and Orpheus stepped out of a rip in the air and looked around. “Your place is kind of boring.” As she spoke it grew dark around them and before long they couldn’t see in front of them.

Growls came from all around them and eyes began to appear in the darkness. “I think she is trying to find something to scare me because she is kind of going down the list. Why what did she do for you two?”

“She made the mistake of leaving us together so that we confront our fears and both were basically being alone. I’m going to get rid of those eyes real quick.” Orpheus said and the darkness around them began to move. There was the sound of flesh tearing and unearthly howls of pain as the eyes disappeared one by one.

“Now that that’s dealt with does anyone want to go visit the next place over.” The darkness faded and Lily was making walls around them. Orpheus flew off and landed several miles away. “We have found out some interesting stuff about where we are the last couple of days. First off this is a different dimension of sorts. You could walk for miles and not find the end but apply enough power at a specific point and you can bust through to the next “room”, as we’ve been calling them. Our working theory is that if we break through enough it will lead us to one of the villains.”

“How much force do we have to apply? Fire here was putting out enough fire to burn down a city earlier.” The mushroom cloud that appeared where Orpheus was standing interrupted any answer that would have come but luckily the next three answered the question.

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