As soon as she came to, Sarah knew where she was. “God not this party again.” She grumbled and took stock of her clothing. It hadn’t changed into that slim red dress she had been wearing when the party had actually happened which meant there were limitations to what could be altered. A quick glance told her that Katherine was not in her immediate vicinity.

“Cupcake, it’s so good to see you here. It feels like it’s been ages since I saw you.” The voice calling to her was definitely her Aunt Bethany and Sarah steeled herself before turning to face her. What greeted her was exactly what had shown up in her nightmares since that day. Her aunt was standing there with the same goofy paper birthday hat that had been so out of place at the formal party her father had set up. “What’s wrong Cupcake? It won’t do for the birthday girl to look so sour at her own party. Come on let’s go get some cake.” Sarah felt a hand envelop her’s as Aunt Bethany approached and she looked to the source to find Katherine.

She squeezed Sarah’s hand and said simply “I know.”

Next was the sound of thunder as the hero of the same name forsook everything he had previously stood for and decided that if he couldn’t have the woman of his dreams than no one could. Aunt Bethany became a memory as the force of the blow painted Sarah in a red not unlike the dress she had worn at the party. It was instantly removed as Katherine used her power to whisk all the blood out of sight. “I know they caught him a few minutes later. I read how Paragon pounded him into the earth a hundred times but it never made me feel any safer. The thought that it could all be over in a flash with nothing that could be done terrifies me.”

“Good.” Sarah looked at Katherine quizzically only just now realizing that she was soaked to the bone and not from the attack.

“Fear is not a bad thing. Letting it control you is the problem.” Katherine met Sarah’s eyes and seemed completely at peace “I know it scares you to be so helpless but remember you have all of us to lean on.” Sarah hugged her and as if on que a tear opened in the air near them.

“Hey captain, how has your day been?” Orpheus quipped as he and the other members of the team came through the rip. Lily brought them up to speed on what had happened to their group as Orpheus cooled his hands in a punch bowl, apparently their wall had taken longer to punch through than the others had. “So, what do you want to do now cap?” Orpheus asked as he toweled off his hands and rejoined the group.

“We need to find Fear and Horror. From what you guys have said it doesn’t seem like any normal people are around anymore. I’d like to bring them in alive but with the lack of people around you all have permission to let loose if you think it is necessary.” Sarah looked around before continuing “I guess we should get out of this place to so have at it Orpheus.”

As they broke their huddle a pair of figures came out of the shadows. The man gestured at Orpheus and a beam of black energy disintegrated his left arm. “I am afraid I can’t have you wrecking my little world any more than you already have Mr. Orpheus.” Orpheus dropped to his knee in pain and blood began to drip from the wound.

“It really is a shame you all were so stubborn and well adjusted.” The woman Jane had met before complained “I was going to have so much fun with you but then you went and started to destroy my hubby’s world. Now I have to kill you.” She was expecting some kind of banter from the heroes. She was expecting begs for forgiveness or pleas to turn herself in.

Unfortunately, her choice of words had gotten Lily’s attention. Lily remembered the night Orpheus had come back and told her about the fight with a monster that had nearly killed him. She remembered and she was pissed. The building they were in fell away as the ground began to shake and all of the debris was swept into the mountains that were forming around the woman who had dared to threaten someone she cared about. The mountains began to form into fists and point towards the unfortunate woman. When all was said and done the death of Fear took only twelve seconds. She didn’t even have time to register the fists before they descended on her.

The other girls were quick to realize what had happened and poured everything into an attack on Horror. Huge gouts of fire, wind, and water struck the man square in the chest and threw him back. The attacks stopped when a bubble formed around him and the attacks didn’t seem to be getting through. “You…you killed her. My wife…” Horror sank to his knees in stunned silence. When he finally collected himself, he sneered and loosed a bolt of the same black energy that had taken Orpheus’s arm at Lily’s head.

A glowing shield met the bolt with a resounding crash and the wielder was thrown behind the woman he had been protecting. Shield fell into a roll as he came down and formed the shield that was his namesake again. This time when he formed it he used his right arm as his left was hanging limp and broken at his side. Sword formed a blade similar to the shield and chucked it at Horror. It imbedded in his shield but didn’t go through.

“If you had a few centuries you two would have been a threat.” Horror taunted Sword and Shield. “Now sit down and die like a good dog.” As he spoke orbs of the black energy he had thrown formed around the heroes. “Try to block all of these with that little shield of yours.”

The bolts flew to their respective marks and suddenly the sky lit up with glowing shields but it was clear from the surprise on Shield’s face that it hadn’t been him who summoned them. “Well this won’t do at all.” The voice came from Orpheus but wasn’t quite his own. The girls knew what that voice supposedly meant and they were intrigued and worried by what it had said. Orpheus’s body stood and the arm he had lost reformed “Orpheus has asked for my help before but imagine my surprise when he actually begged.” Orpheus, or at least the power controlling his body, smiled at Horror and his eyes began to flicker and change. Jane grabbed the two other heroes and began pulling them back from the fight. “He let me take full control because you were going to kill his friends in front of him.” The thing began to laugh “If you had just killed him first you might have won.” A bolt of energy from Horror was deflected as another shield appeared in front of him. Tendrils of darkness flowed from the thing and struck at Horror’s bubble.

“You see he takes too long to learn how to use these abilities but I don’t. I already know what it means to be a Sword and a Shield. I know what it means to wield Air, Earth, Fire and Water.” As he spoke torrents of each element appeared and began hammering away at the bubble. A glowing blade appeared in his hand and he began walking towards Horror. “Hell, I don’t even need to kill you. I can just leave you with the things you Fear.” The many dead bodies of Fear appeared around Horror. “Let the others go and I will make this all go away.” With a thought Horror sent the others out of his world. As soon as he was gone a pebble tore through his head faster than he could process and his world crumbled.

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