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Misery's End – Chapter 4

Written by Wizalex :: [Saturday, 18 February 2023 22:36] Last updated by :: [Sunday, 19 February 2023 07:08]

Misery’s End

Written by Wizalex with Max and 10K

The world is a dangerous place for young love. When Mary develops superpowers on her 18th birthday, she is taken away from her childhood sweetheart to be trained by the International Heroic Front. Eager to demonstrate her powers, she causes fear among the heroic community and complications arise in the lover's reunion. Misery's End is a dark tale of love, power and powerlessness.

Chapter 4: A Dangerous Line Of Work.

— One Year Later —

The top three floors of the IHF HQ had been missing since Mary’s sudden departure a year ago. Her new tendency to leap out of the top of the building as she left meant that no one wanted to put the funding or effort into restoring the building. They knew how easily she could have fixed it if she wanted, so the continued dilapidated state was assumed to be Mary’s will.

Fortunately, Mary always moved some distance away before accelerating to superluminal speeds, which was the only reason why the entire city hadn’t been flattened out of existence from her shock waves. As it was, many buildings with more than 10 stories were now reduced in stature and flights travelling along her path were frequently catastrophically ended. The area around IHF HQ had quickly been designated a no-fly zone.

As for that first event after the failed resurrection spell, some people had started calling it Armageddon Day.

In the time since, Mary had changed her tactics somewhat. She still occasionally participated in superhero activities, but her new lifestyle was beginning to change the shape of the surrounding world. Anything that didn’t bend to suit her whim didn’t get to continue existing.

Today, the remaining members of the Big Five were having their weekly meeting with some of the non-powered members of the IHF to discuss various tedious matters. In a bizarre turn of events, Mary had begun to take Amelie’s place, requesting that the sorceress instead use the time to investigate the resurrection spell.

The meetings so far had all been awfully dull. Each one focused on expenses, public perception and updates on recent villain activity. Mary was not interested in any of it, so decided to start doodling in a notebook shortly after the start of the first one. This came as a relief to everyone present. A distracted Mary was one who wasn’t looking into their eyes with that terrifying gaze.

Melanie always took the form of a puppy during these meetings, resting on Mary’s lap while she petted the animal for comfort. Francis habitually took a seat next to the door, anxiously twitching anytime Mary looked up from her drawings. Charlotte’s physical health had stabilised recently, allowing her to attend the meetings again. In fact, her mental powers had now significantly surpassed her prior upper limits. Her body was unable to operate without her consistent use of them after all, so she was getting constant practice.

Other than the supes, the room was filled with half a dozen people in suits. They had all been wary of Mary when she first started turning up but had realised that she could be ignored. None of them had experienced Mary’s attention first-hand, so dismissed her as a PR nightmare, rather than the more literal one experienced by some in the room.

“Now, we know that everyone has been feeling a little tense recently, so management has decided to organise a team-building exercise.” One of the types in suits was saying.

“Don’t worry though, the objective here is to have fun. No judgment on ability, no winners or losers.” Another of the management types cut in.

“Of course. Which is why we think you’ll all be pleased to partake in next weekend’s paintball -“

Francis had fled from the room before the sentence even ended, papers flying from the table, mystified looks and windswept hair on the faces of the people he left behind. People were so focused on Francis’ departure, they hadn’t noticed Mary glaring at the speaker, a manic smile infecting her mouth.

As the executive went to gather his papers and shuffled them in his hands, he winced.

“Paper cut, Derek? It’s a dangerous line of work we’re in, gotta be careful.” The suited woman next to him chuckled as Derek wrapped a finger in a tissue.

Reaching for her glass of water, the woman was oblivious to the cracks spreading across it. As it reached her lips, the glass shattered, spilling water onto her cotton blouse.

“Here, let me get you something to clean that up, Claire.” A third man rose from his seat and took a couple of steps toward the side table with a collection of cups, coffee and serviettes.

He didn’t notice that his leather shoelaces had become tied around each other. As he walked back, he tripped, falling face-first into the table. His nose crunched loudly and gasps of shock sounded throughout the room.

“Paul, can you hear me? Someone call for medical.”

No assistance is required, Stephanie. I am currently handling the situation. Charlotte hadn’t made herself known in meetings for some time, so it was a surprise for most people to hear her.

“He could have a concussion, are you sure?” Stephanie was looking closely at Paul, trying to examine his injuries without touching him.

He should not be your concern currently. Charlotte’s face was beginning to move, her mouth twisting around into a smirk.

“What do you mean? Is something wrong?” Stephanie had to do a double take as she looked to her side. Blood was coating the tissue that Derek had wrapped around his finger and Claire seemed to be struggling with her blouse.

You had some very pretty flowers delivered today, didn’t you Stephanie? Who sent them to you? Charlotte watched Stephanie as she glanced at the floral arrangement at the centre of the table.

“My boyfriend did. But what does that have to do with anything?”

Don’t you think it’s not very nice to show off your happiness when Damien is dead? That’s not very thoughtful of you.

The flowers lifted into the air, petals torn off and shredded, stems unravelling into thin strands. When only thin green fibres remained, they darted towards Stephanie, piercing her skin and digging deep.

When she started screaming, Russell ran for the open door. The heavy wooden barrier slammed closed in front of him, but not before he made the ill-advised decision to try to catch it with his fingers before it closed. Another scream soon joined the chorus as Russell’s fingers were crushed between the door and the frame.

Only Heather still remained untouched, trembling in her seat, eyes flickering wildly between her colleagues.

If you can tell me why all of you are going to die, I’ll think about making it less painful for you.

“I— I— please! Please, you have to let me go! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to upset you.” Heather was hysterical, unable to process the current events, unable to think of a reason why Mindscape may be about to kill all of them.

Until her eyes found Mary and the notebook.

Mary had placed it on the desk now, revealing a series of beautifully and impossibly intricately drawn pictures. As Mary flicked through the pages, Heather caught glimpses of various scenes: a younger Mary in her original costume, embracing a taller boy; Mary flying through the air on top of a plane, cradling the same young man in her arms; a passionate scene on a beach, depicting Mary and the man engaged in purely mind-blowing sex.

The last six pages were different.

Derek, surrounded by pages, blood dripping from thousands of paper cuts. As the page turned, the room became a frenzy as Charlotte directed all paper in the room to flurry around Derek. Tiny, excruciating cuts were scored on Derek’s body, tiny trails of blood leaking forth.

A new page.

Claire, tied up in her own clothing, vacant eyes, open-mouthed. With a thought from Charlotte, Claire’s jacket unravelled and re-knit itself around her throat, her blouse constricted over her torso and the sound of cracking ribs accompanied the buzzing of flying paper.

Onto the next page.

Paul lay face first on the table, his back torn open by lacerations. A shuffling sound from beneath the table heralded the slithering appearance of Paul’s leather shoelaces, writhing as they rose, coiling around each other and spinning faster, a flogging wheel forming from the rapidly rotating laces. They shred through clothing and Paul awoke screaming as the lashes began.

Another picture.

Stephanie, face contorted and muscles impossibly rippling beneath her skin, skin stretched taut and vines sprouting from vicious tears. The green fibres that had entered Stephanie’s body snaked around beneath the skin, breaking apart muscles and replacing them. The former heartfelt gift soon located the heart of its recipient, clutching to vessels and restricting the flow.

Another turn.

Russell lay in a bloodied pulp, body broken, crumpled in the doorway. The wooden door opened again and slammed itself back on Russell’s hand. He tried to move away, but it caught on his upper body as he turned and twisted, flinging his body into the wall and fully opening on him, crushing him against the wall. Then it repeated.

Only one page left.

Heather had perforations all over her skin, tiny pores with intricate detail. And she knew that in this image, she would be deathly pale.

Iron. Iron is sixth. I’m going to tear it all from your body.

Tiny specks of metal erupted from Heather’s skin, drawing her blood out with it. She collapsed from shock almost immediately.

And then Charlotte got to witness what she had done.

All of the non-powered people in the room were dead, torn apart by her own hand. Mary had gone back to doodling and idly stroking Melanie.

Why the fuck did you do that?

“It looks like Mindscrape’s powers have finally gotten the better of her, doesn’t it? I suppose she was the world’s most powerful psychic, that ego is going to go to your head eventually.” Mary finished her drawing and held it up for Charlotte to see. Broken bodies, lying in the ruins of a city with Charlotte at the centre. “I’ll always remember that time she decided to blow out the brains of half a city, just to show them how little she cared about people.”

Don’t do this to me. Please. What did I ever do to deserve this?

“You know what else I’ll always remember? That time I first met Charlotte. She thought she was so powerful. So much better than anyone else.” Mary looked into Charlotte’s teary eyes with utter contempt. “Then I immediately broke her just by thinking a little bit.”

Mary’s red-tipped hair lashed out at Charlotte’s body and her world spun. When she regained her senses, she found herself stranded in the Demon Realm.

“Guess who gets to be a hero now, Melanie. This is pretty fun so far. I mean, it’s not every day you see a former teammate go on a rampage and kill a bunch of people.” Mary smiled down at the puppy. “I think you should be a little smaller though. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you safe from the big bad Mindbreak.”

Melanie reverted to her usual human form, at an inch tall. Then Mary tucked the tiny supe into her cleavage and took off to save the world.

Towering machines of war surrounded Mindscape on all sides, demons pouring forth from them and scurrying across the landscape. The red sky overhead cast all manner of horrors into focus: lithe, spindly creatures, twice as tall as her, with eyes of red and green; squat, rotund beings of decaying flesh, an incredible stench surrounding them; a shifting, swirling, rotating creature, spewing forth imps from its maw.

Several demons approached Mindscape as she took in the horrific sight, tendrils raised to attack. She lifted them into the air and tossed the concerned citizen into the atmosphere and threw the demon far into the sky.

The other demons were wary now. Good. They would think twice before approaching. Mindscape stumbled as a demon took her from behind by surprise, but she reacted quickly and blew the fucking head off of the intervening bystander and blasted the demon’s mind with psychic energy, rendering it immobile.

Staggering forward, Mindscape almost fell into the path of an oncoming demon steed. She thrust out at it telekinetically just in time and compacted the car onto its occupants, crushing their bodies into pulp and toppled the demon horse and rider from her path.

This was getting serious now, the demons were making battle cries around her and swarming in all directions. A group looked hungrily at her, mouths open wide and piercing screeches tearing into her skull. She would need to silence the noise, so she targeted the mouths of the pack with a compulsion to close and the heads of the hysterical group of tourists imploded in on themselves and the noise of the demonic screeching ceased, as their mouths were forced shut.

Blue light invaded her vision, alternating with the red light of this realm. Had assistance arrived? No, simply a new breed of demon. The two-headed steed breathed blue and red flames at her, while the rider fired lightning from its taloned claws. The lightning struck true and Mindscape had little time to think. If she let the pain take her, then she was as good as dead here. She breathed out, letting her pain wash over the surroundings. And every person in a hundred-yard radius was violently torn to shreds. And every demon in a hundred-yard radius was forcefully knocked back.

Finally, a chance to think about her next course of action. Think, that was the key. What did she know about the Demon Realm? Omen has mentioned something. Something the overpowered bitch had done. A civil war? That was it. The realm was divided. All she needed to do was feed their fury against each other, then she could use the opportunity to escape.

Tapping into her darkest emotions, her hatred of Mary, her fear of Mary, her jealousy of Mary, Mindscape unleashed an aura of unfathomably powerful mental domination and forced every person in the city to begin beating each other to death and compelled every demon within several miles to begin attacking their nearest opponent.

It was working. She could feel the minds writhing, trying to escape her grasp, but she was so much more powerful than them. They were pathetic creatures. As a test, she exerted more psychic pressure on a group at the edge of her vision. The compulsion easily overwhelmed them and the brains of the people melted away, as they collapsed to the ground and the minds of the demons were stilled, as they lay themselves down.

This was what she should have been doing all along. Taking control. If someone had done that to the upstart bitch at the beginning, then Mindscape wouldn’t be murdering a city of innocents fighting for her life in this infernal dimension. It was time to take the fight to Mary directly.

Using her powers to control her body, Mindscape lifted herself into the sky to survey the battle, laughing at the pitiful demons squabbling below her. She was so far above them, in so many ways. In this place, she may as well be a -.

“Your reign of terror ends here, Mindbreaker!”

Descending from the sky above was the most beautiful creature that Mindscape had ever seen. Glowing white wings, stretching out almost a dozen feet on either side. A brilliant halo of golden light, dazzling to the eye, but far too entrancing to not look. Pure white robes, flowing around the body of a being so astoundingly resplendent that thoughts of describing it should have been struck from existence for the blasphemy of the act.

The angel Mary had arrived to save her.

“Let these good people go, or face my divine wrath.”

Yes, the demons couldn’t stand up to an angel like Mary. They would be forced to let her go, to return to the real world and put Mary in her place.

Something was wrong with that thought.

Ah, that was it. No one could stand up to Mary. Nothing. No one. Not an entity. Not a being. Not an object. Nothing. She couldn’t stand up to Mary. Mary was everything. Damien was everything. She was nothing. She was nothing. She was nothing.

Charlotte’s limp body somersaulted through the air as it fell several hundred feet to the ground. Mary looked at the picture of Charlotte in her hand, an expression of eternal torment etched on the soul of the girl she had trapped in the drawing.

“Much better. You were always far too loud.”

The dry heat outside the IHF HQ was soon replaced by the humidity of a leafy marshland. The ground was treacherous, but Francis kept going. He was sweating, but exertion had nothing to do with it. It was that malevolent smile and those mismatched eyes that kept appearing all around him, seen in trees and branches, the swell of breaking waves, the very sky itself.

Francis didn’t realise he had started running on water until he was too far out to sea to stop.

Not that he wanted to. He was getting away this time. No return. The IHF would be gone by the end of the day, he was sure of it. The organisation had been living on a knife edge for years now, with Mary viciously wielding the blade.

An arid desert was replaced by sprawling highways, leading Francis further from the source of his terror. The temperature dropped as rain lashed around him, turning to hail and snow.

His uniform was ragged. It was built to withstand high speed, but very little would be able to take the battering he was forcing it through. Creases around his legs turned into tears, which caught the wind and widened further. The cold became more notable as he both ventured into a barren tundra and lost the outer layer of his costume.

At some point, Francis felt a slight tug on his leg and tripped, hurtling forwards, with little control. When he saw Mary in front of him, he thought he was going to die. He knew he couldn’t stop in time. He had seen what had become of Kevin. He didn’t stand a chance.

Which is why he was incredibly surprised by the sensation around him.

The cold was entirely left behind as a soothing warm embraced his whole body. A soft cushion, letting him know that everything in the world would be okay. A place of refuge, for all to seek shelter. Mary’s arms wrapped around Francis’ body and hugged him firmly into the captivity of her chest.

“There, there, Francis. It’s okay now, I have you. If you keep up this kind of self-destructive behaviour, you’ll end up hurting yourself.” Mary held Francis gently, but with no chance of escape as she whispered in his ear. “And you know I’m the only one who’s allowed to do that.”

“Just think of the benefits of not running away for once though. You get to be near me, you get to witness me demonstrate how silly it is for people to think they might match me.” Mary lifted Francis’ chin up, straining his neck. “You get to see what happens to people who try to mock my pain.”

His feet were no longer on the ground. Mary had started floating at some point and now Francis was dangling from between Mary’s breasts.

“I’m not a monster you know. That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it? But how could someone like you, anyone with so little power really, even grasp what it feels like to not be able to do something? That’s basically your entire life. Mediocrity.” Mary let Francis drop for a heart stopping moment before he was caught between her thighs. Arms now free, she laid back in the air. “Power just shows us who we have the potential to be. All your power does is allow you to be more of a coward.”

As he struggled between the legs of the superior supe, Francis noticed something. A new pattern to Mary’s uniform, embroidered onto her inner thigh. The artwork was astounding and he felt his mind unravelling by just looking at the details. Charlotte’s horror-stricken face was given such realistic detail that he couldn’t look away. When his eyes met those of the stitching, he knew the truth.

“Oh, don’t mind her. She’ll be a lot happier there than living in the real world after what she just did. That poor city. Good thing there was a hero to stop her rampage.”

“What are you -“ Francis tried to talk, but his words were cut off by the slightest motion of Mary.

“What am I? Don’t you think that’s a rude question, Francis?” Mary sighed, a blizzard forming in the distance as a result. “Ask what I was, Francis, that’s a much better question.”

“What. Were. You.” Francis struggled to speak, but enough survival instinct was left in him to follow along with the game.

“I was a happy, optimistic girl. Someone who would save the world. Someone who could do anything she wanted and simply wanted to live her life with her boyfriend.” Mary’s body was heating up as she reminisced, the falling snow melting around her. “You know, Damien warned me about going public. He was right about that. He always was so much smarter than me.”

Suddenly, Francis was thrown into the air and caught once more in Mary’s arms. He avoided her gaze entirely, screwing up his eyes to hide away from the world.

“You’re smart too, Francis. It was a smart idea to run away from me. I don’t think Charlotte ever liked me and honestly, I’d been thinking about fucking up her head since the first time I felt her thoughts inside mine. You know how invasive that is, right?” Mary tutted before continuing. “Running so far was a bad choice though. It insults me that you think you might have had a chance of escaping.”

Losing consciousness, losing his mind, and control of his own body already long lost, Francis’ eyes opened.

“Run away from me again and I’m going to chase you around the entire world. I’ll follow right behind you and on every lap, I’ll break a different bone. Don’t worry, I’ll fix it for the next lap, and then we’ll try it with a different one. If you ever stop moving, I might change the route. Have us pass through a few cities, maybe a couple of buildings.” Mary shuddered in pleasure at the thought. “I really quite like the sensation of people breaking against my body.”

The warmth from Mary had grown intoxicating. So much so that Francis didn’t notice she had teleported the two of them back to the IHF HQ. Landing them on the wreckage of the highest floor, Mary finally allowed Francis to leave her clutches.

At this point, he didn’t want to. The cold feeling of reality settled back in as Mary’s comforting aura was removed. The fear set back in quickly too.

“I hope that was nice, Francis, because you are never going to feel that good again.”

Recruitment numbers were always up after big disasters, but nothing quite like the Mindscape Incident had happened before. People were begging to get a taste of supe blood, especially those who had lost family and friends to the psychic hero’s mental break.

Mad Dog was honestly confused. The IHF had been so careful to keep their heroes in line and Mindscape had rarely interacted with the public on a large scale. In fairness, her lack of human interaction outside of the Big Five was being cited as one of the key driving factors of her rampage, but something didn’t add up there.

Regardless, this was a great opportunity for him, and the gang as a whole. His people were being contracted at basically every level of job, just to provide the support of a person trained in anti-supe protocols. New weapons were being produced every day to deal with the array of powers that existed in the world.

This latest batch of recruits had decided to bring in a trophy with them, as proof of commitment.

The four girls were barely eighteen, with one of them lying in chains on the floor. According to the other three, she had developed powers at her birthday sleepover. Some kind of body manipulation or telekinesis that involved precise movement and use of her hair. The sobbing girl had been shaved bald by her friends immediately, so they didn’t know the full extent of her powers.

The three simultaneous gunshots were near deafening as the girl’s brain was blasted across the stained concrete.

“Let me get each of you ladies a change of clothes. Do keep the guns though, you’ll be needing them.”

And three new jealous psychopaths joined the crusade against supes.

— One Year Later —

“There’s talk about trying to recruit some of you. The higher-ups seem to think a lot of people imprisoned down here might be willing to make some kind of deal.” Omen sat next to Demon ex Machina in his cell, watching as he drew a complicated spiraling pattern.

“You should be careful about doing things like consorting with villains, Omen. You never know what they might do.” Demon ex Machina grinned as he finished his pattern. “What’s this I hear about an end to the communication lockdown?”

“How do you even find out these things?”

“Magic may be powerful, but knowing the right people is even more so.”

“Well, after the Mindscape Incident, the higher-ups decided that cutting off supes from the outside world might be a bad idea. Apparently, a lot of people blamed the breakdown on isolationism and not on the actual issue.”

“Oh? The cat is still in the bag?”

“People are unwilling to accept that the world could be ended at any moment by the whim of a single person, so for now, we continue in peace.” Omen scowled. “Even if that means disrespecting Charlotte’s memory.”

Demon ex Machina finished laying out the pattern on the floor and lit the candles surrounding it. Technically, he shouldn’t have had access to any of it, but a glance from Mary or Amelie was enough to make the rest of the guards overlook it.

“Excellent. This should do it.”

“You don’t need the ritual room?”

“No, no. Here is fine. I just need an accomplice.”

“Lead the way then.”

“Follow my every step and don’t look up, minion, lest you be dazzled by the might of the magus!” Demon glanced at the sorceress, who had a look of bemusement on her face. “My apologies, Omen, old habits die hard.”

Standing on either side of the magic circle, the mages began the incantation.

“Pierce the veil, unravel the thread,

Reveal your secrets to be known.

Sound the echo, unmask the tread,

For I have secrets of my own.”

Swirling green light appeared, tracing the pattern sketches on the parchment. It continued until it reached a forked path, trailing off and returning red.

“There’s your problem. The spell couldn’t find the soul. It must be trapped somewhere.” Demon ex Machina thought for a moment. “Any chance he made a deal with an otherworldly being? The Fey Wanderer did that a few years ago. Found a fairy in a glade who gave her the ability to slip through cracks of any size. Shame she ended up stuck in that bottle for so long. Lost her mind entirely, poor thing.”

“I don’t think he sold his soul to a fairy, Demon. Someone might have stolen it though. Any ideas?”

“Only a few mages with that kind of power. Aside from us, there are only 3 others I know of.” Demon picked up his quill and started writing. “I’ll give you their numbers, just tell them I sent you. No arresting them though, I won’t betray a colleague like that.”

“Demon, one of these people may have stolen the soul of a very big problem for us.”

“And at least two of them probably didn’t. Be gentle, Omen, even villains have standards.”

“Mine seem to be sinking lower every day.” Omen smiled at Demon ex Machina as she took the information. “Thank you, you’ve been a great help.”

“You should call them The Revenants, if they make that villain deal team. Names are important, you know. First impressions and all.”

“I’ll pass along the feedback. For now, I have to try to save the world again.”

The fury emanating from Mary’s room was inciting a lot of violence in the surrounding area. Tempers flared in the hallways and Francis had decreed that the area be cordoned off for everyone’s safety. News of the communication lockdown being lifted for new recruits had reached her and she was absolutely fuming.

It had been going on all day. Not only that, but it was now 11 pm and it had continued. Mary wasn’t asleep, which could only spell trouble for the rest of the building. Francis resolved to get the new recruits settled and then hide away somewhere she might leave him alone.

“Hey, Blue? We were thinking about getting a drink in that bar you mentioned, wanna join us?” Chillz was gesturing towards the rest of the new hero group with one hand and miming taking a shot with the other.

“I won’t be joining you, I’m afraid. You younger lot tend to take the energy out of me.” Francis realised this was a good opportunity to leave though. “You have a nice evening, I’ll be heading to bed.”

“Your loss, old timer. I’ll have you know I mix a wicked cocktail. Mixmeister Chillz they call me, and not just for my epic playlists.” The cocky cryomancer spun on his slicked heels and skated across the floor. “Let’s go get wrecked!”

The feeling of unease in Francis’ stomach was exacerbated by the carefree antics of these new heroes. They would be fine. Just as long as they kept to themselves and didn’t interrupt her, she would probably just cool off. Maybe he should warn Amelie not to come back from her mission too soon.

Before he had a chance though, Mary strode towards him. He pressed himself against the wall in time to avoid her steps, which appeared to be sinking several inches into the ground.

“Do you need anything from me, Mary? I thought you were normally asleep at this time.”

“I have some business to turn into pleasure. Don’t stick around tonight, Francis. In fact, use that broken fight or flight instinct of yours and fuck off completely for a while. You don’t want to get in my way.”

He didn’t. Five seconds later, Francis was no longer in the city.

The bar was fully stocked with spirits, along with a variety of beers on tap. The rest of the room was taken up by pool tables, dartboards and a karaoke machine at the far end.

Majestic Defender was reluctantly impressed. She had worried that taking on this ‘hero’ responsibility might impact her ability to live her life as she pleased, but when the IHF relented and let her keep contact with her friends, she decided to sign up.

The Seven Dogs gang was another incentive. With rumours of the supe killers targeting more powerful heroes, she fancied the protection of a team, as well as potentially a couple of her teammates.

She looked at Chillz again. For a guy with cold powers, he was ridiculously hot. The confidence was a plus too. She was definitely getting her hands on him later, probably on Trickshot too, there was no way that just one guy would be enough to keep up with her needs.

This looked to be a pretty sweet gig. Not only was she going to be a worldwide superhero and sex icon, but the IHF had promised to forgive that incident at the nightclub too. Most of the guys had recovered by now and only a few were still actually mad. Their girlfriends might have been a bit mad still, but Majestic was used to girls being jealous of her.

The six-and-a-half-foot blonde reclined in the air next to the bar. She eyed her competition as she commanded the attention of her male teammates.

Emotigirl was an odd one. Apparently, her powers changed with her mood, which didn’t appear to be the most stable of things. No real threat there, the girl was barely holding it together and would require a lot of training, as well as possibly therapy, before she could get into the field, let alone a guy’s pants.

The real issue was Miss Malleable. Guys would go mad for a girl who could reshape her body into any position that she wanted. She said that Miss Shift was a big inspiration to her, though the shapeshifter was rarely seen these days. Besides, Malleable’s powers were more focused on stretching and contorting what she already had, rather than changing into someone else entirely.

It was, however, particularly annoying that the other supe had decided to surpass Majestic’s measurements in all dimensions. Her own tremendous, boy-entrancing tits were only the second biggest in the room. She was also now the second tallest girl, with the second largest butt. Apparently, Miss Malleable was asking for war with Majestic Guardian.

“Anyone know any good drinking games? I’ll bet I can drink you guys under the table.” Miss Malleable was eyeing the selection of alcohol eagerly.

“I’m a great beer pong player. Wanna try?” Trickshot picked up an ice cube and tossed it into Miss Malleable’s bulging cleavage.

“Nice, dude.” Chillz high-fived Trickshot as Majestic smirked at her flailing teammate.

“Not cool man, those are cold!” Miss Malleable had extracted the ice cube, throwing it back at Trickshot and missing. Emotigirl squeaked as the ice flew past her.

“Shoot, I guess I’m out of luck there then.” Chillz tapped a glass, producing a perfectly frozen chunk of ice inside.

“Don’t worry Chillz, I can put up with a bit of cold. You’ll find yourself getting hot under the collar pretty quickly.” Majestic had seen her chance and leaned forward to press her breasts against the self-proclaimed mixmeister.

“I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”

The newcomer had long black hair, dyed red at the ends. She was almost a foot shorter than Majestic, but her breasts were enormous. Mentally downgrading herself to the third bustiest person in the room, Majestic evaluated the woman’s potential as a sexual rival. Fuck, it was pretty high.

“Hey, you another super babe? I’ve got mad skills in more ways than one if you wanna see ‘em in action.” Trickshot flickered a beer bottle into the air, catching it in his mouth and using his tongue to remove the cap. He gave the room a thumbs up as he chugged the bottle.

“Impressive. Nice tongue work too. I bet you had girls throwing themselves after you back home.” The newcomer walked into the room and Majestic noted the tremors she was causing with each step. Fuck, she was strong too.

“Babe, I got so many side chicks, I’m gonna need another dimension soon. Name’s Trickshot.” He launched his empty bottle across the room and into the corner hole of the pool table.

“Not to be rude, but who are you?” Majestic thought she knew most of the supes, but this one wasn’t in costume. Oh fuck no, could this be…

“I’m Mary. Never chose a supe name, but apparently people started calling me Armageddon.”

Fuck, it was her. Armageddon wasn’t sexy, she was fucking hot. Majestic had been following the work of the vicious superhero in awe for years and still couldn’t work her out. Not her motivation, not her powers.

“No, no, no. She’s not happy. I’m not happy.” Emotigirl rose from her seat, flames erupting across her body. “Burn it all!”

“Woah, cool down crazy chick.” Chillz laid a hand on Emotigirl and the flames dissipated. “Way too much booze here to risk a hothead getting involved. Just think some relaxing thoughts. Here, I just put out a new mixtape, let me get that bad boy on. Chill vibes incoming.”

While Chillz went to sort out the music, Majestic was busy ignoring Miss Malleable’s attempts to gain her attention. The controversial supe was a far more interesting subject than whatever the elastic slut was trying to do.

“So, you dealt with Mindscape? You knew her for a while too? Any sign she was crazy?”

“Oh, Charlotte never seemed fully there from the first time I met her. It was only a matter of time really. People had been worried about a supe going off the deep end and just murdering a bunch of people for years.”

Now that was pretty shocking. Majestic had no idea it had been that bad. She’d have to keep a close eye on her teammates, especially Emotigirl, but she was confident that she could take any of them out if it came to it.

A crashing sound distracted Majestic as she saw Emotigirl’s chair collapse underneath her. When the girl stood up, she had to crouch down to avoid bumping her head on the ten-foot height ceiling.

“Move aside, pipsqueak, time for big girl chat.” Emotigirl tried to push Majestic away but frowned when her efforts did nothing. Confused, Emotigirl picked up the pool table effortlessly. “Huh, maybe you are a bit stronger than I expected.”

“Try that again babe and I’ll show you just how strong I am.” Majestic gave Emotigirl a smile in warning.

“Okay ladies, enough fighting over me, I’ve got more than enough tricks up my sleeves for all of you to be pleased.” Trickshot took the chair between Mary and Majestic, going to lay an arm across their shoulders. He soon fell off his chair though as both girls began hysterically laughing and the room shook.

“Do you not know who we are? Fuck, Trickshot, you need to get on socials more. The last time I had a night out, I put 65 guys in a hospital. I mean, it was my birthday, so who can blame me, but still, one guy is not enough.” Majestic finally managed to stop laughing. “And this is Armageddon. She’s killed more bad guys than you’ve gotten laid. You know you aren’t going to be enough for either of us.”

The music started and Chillz returned, bopping his head to the beat.

“Hey, you know what we should do? Drinking games.” Mary smiled at Majestic.

“Did someone say drinking? The mixmeister is here to serve, ladies.” Chillz took a cocktail shaker from behind the bar and began adding ingredients.

“Get me a vodka with tomato juice. Make it spicy.” Mary eyed Chillz. “Then get yourself a few dozen bottles of something strong, we’re gonna play a game.”

Shot glasses flew from the bar and settled in front of Mary and Chillz. Looking on at the display, Majestic felt a pang of envy; mental powers along with her physical strength would have made it a lot easier to find guys to satisfy her. A scuttling noise alerted her to Emotigirl’s enormous body collapsing into a pile of bugs, which swarmed across the floor and reformed themselves into the confused-looking girl.

“Okay, here’s the game. We take shots. When one of us falls behind the other, they have their temperature decreased by one degree every second until they catch up.” Mary filled 60 shot glasses with spirits and lined up 20 in front of each of them.

“Damn girl, you play hard. I’m cool with that. Let’s get our drink on.” Chillz raised a shot glass and placed it at his lips. Mary and Majestic both did the same. As he took the shot, he heard a clatter and looked down. All of Mary’s shots were empty.

“Guess I was thirsty.” Mary smiled at Chillz. “You know what that means.”

“Time for me to speed up.” Chillz continued to take shots, reaching the twelfth one in under a minute.

Majestic was pretty impressed. She had finished her shots a few seconds after Mary; she drank more than this for breakfast most days. Obviously, Chillz hadn’t been able to keep up with her either, but the guy was giving it a good go. He slowed as he reached for the next shot, blinking repeatedly, then falling off the chair. Both super girls laughed and rattled the building once more.

“Next game? Your flexible friend here has been pretty quiet.” Mary focused on Miss Malleable, who had visibly shrunk since her arrival.

“Yes, Miss Armageddon.” Miss Malleable looked incredibly nervous. Finally catching Majestic’s eyes, she repeatedly gestured towards the door for some reason. “Although it is quite late and we have our first big day tomorrow, so…”

“Loosen up a little, Flexigirl. How about we play a game that’s more in your favour? No drinking; so you can be responsible.” Mary telekinetically lifted the pool cue and held it in the air. “Let’s do the limbo.”

“Shame that Chillz is out cold, he’d have a mix for this.” Trickshot ogled Mary’s chest. “You’ve got yourself a pretty big handicap there.”

“I guess my tits are pretty enormous, huh? How about this for a wager then Bendy Girl? If I win, you get to be my bra. If you win, I’ll do whatever you want.” Mary approached Miss Malleable, who had continued to shrink her body and was now level with Mary’s chest.

“O-okay.” Her face blushed red as she gulped.

“Perfect, let’s go!”

Trickshot and Majestic watched the competition with interest as Emotigirl began to levitate. The pool cue kept descending, round after round, until it was about two feet from the floor. At that point, there was no way for Mary’s bust to fit under the cue along with her body. She managed it though, her body compressing perfectly to leave the pole untouched.

The lower they went, the thinner their bodies became. Emotigirl seemed to become overexcited at this point and had gotten stuck on the ceiling. Trickshot took that as an opportunity to flick peanuts up into her mouth, which she eagerly accepted.

When the bar was less than a centimetre from the ground, Miss Malleable lost, her head unable to compress enough to fit through the gap. To prove that she could go lower, Mary slid fluidly under the cue, with merely a millimetre gap.

“I win again! Ready to offer some support to your superiors?” Mary took firm hold of Miss Malleable’s body and began to stretch it out around her bust. Repeatedly, she wound the ductile woman around her chest, though the support did literally nothing to move her breasts.

“I should have warned you, my boobs are pretty heavy too. I’ve been known to break a few bras in my day. Just try to keep up.” Mary’s torso was covered in the yellow and red of Miss Malleable’s costume, while the hero’s limbs had been tied into knots.

“Now, I think someone is getting a bit excited, don’t you?” Mary reached a hand up and pulled Emotigirl back to the floor. “Why don’t we both try some karaoke?”

“I bet your voice is fucking amazing.” Majestic wasn’t a bad singer herself, but obviously she wasn’t keen to try proving herself against Mary until she knew what the competition was bringing.

“I used to sing. Not so much now, my life got away from me. I’ll give you a rendition of my favourite song though.”

Shutting off Chillz’s playlist, Mary selected a different song. A much older one that meant a lot to her. The very first song she had danced to with Damien.

It was beautiful. Her love echoed through the lyrics, but the sadness seeped in. Her loss, her inability to ever find love again, her horror at having everything she ever wanted taken from her. It all came through in the emotions of the song.

When it ended, Trickshot and Majestic were in tears, while Emotigirl had melted into a puddle and was being absorbed into the carpet.

“I didn’t think I could ever feel as much as this. This gives me a whole new perspective, dudes. Makes me wanna find all my side chicks and tell ‘em how much I love ‘em.” Trickshot wiped his face on his sleeve and took a deep breath. “Man, I need more shots.”

“Speaking of shots, it’s your turn, Slingshot. Darts. You and me. You get the first throw. First person to miss the bullseye loses.” Mary casually tossed three darts at Trickshot, who deftly caught them. Feeling their weight, he grinned at Mary.

“Okay, but I get to feel your boobs if I win.”

“Deal. When I win, I get to do whatever I want with you.”

“Sounds good to me.”

The first dart hit the bullseye. So did the next four, as the competitors alternated throws. The space was rapidly becoming too crowded to fit any more darts though, so Trickshot was confident. Confident and drunk to the point where he entirely missed the final dart as it ricocheted off the dartboard and embedded itself into his skull.

“Now that’s a fucking trickshot.” Mary grinned as she plucked the dart from between the dead supe’s eyes as his body slumped to the ground.

“What the fuck, Mary? Are you blind drunk or something? Is he okay?” Majestic bent down to check on Trickshot and saw the sizable hole in his forehead. “You fucking killed him!”

“I killed all of them. Why are you only complaining now?“

“Wha—” Majestic looked around the room. Emotigirl’s melted body hadn’t reformed, leaving only a few damp patches on the carpet. Chillz was frozen to death out of sight behind the bar. And as Majestic watched, Mary took a deep breath and her breasts swelled outwards, tearing Miss Malleable in half.

“What are you going to do to me? I’m not going down without a fight, pick whatever game you want.” Majestic squared up to Mary, flicking back her hair and placing her hands on her hips.

“No more games, I think I’m done here. I worked out most of my anger on the guy who thought he’d ever have a chance with me.” Mary picked up a shot glass and scooped up the remains of Emotigirl into it. “I’ve got an offer though.”

Placing the dart and shot glass to the side, Mary reached into her cleavage and pulled out Melanie’s tiny form. She dropped the shapeshifter, morphing her back into human size and her original form as she did so.

“Meet Melanie. People used to call her Miss Shift, but she’s mainly my pet now. Tell Majestic about our deal, Melanie.”

“Mary is a kind and loving mistress, who looks after me and cares for me and makes sure I don’t die and keeps me company and I love her.”

“See? What a nice life that is.”

“What happened to her? I mean, what did you do to her?”

“I thanked her. She showed me that having powers can be a lot of fun. So I showed her that overwhelming anyone you meet with your powers is a lot more fun.”

“So why the fuck are you showing me?”

“Because I’m offering you the chance to be one of my toys, like Melanie here. And you met Francis, didn’t you? He’s normally such a good boy. He’s been sleeping at the foot of my bed. He tried to run away last week. Obviously, I caught him and broke his legs, but I fixed them again. He’s so funny to watch when he trembles, did you see it? There’s this kind of blue blur around him.

“Here’s the choice Majestic. Be my pet, or have one hundred seconds of freedom, to do whatever the fuck you want. Then I come after you, ready or not.”

“I’m no one’s fucking toy, Mary. I’ve had enough of that bullshit my whole life. If this is how I go out, fuck it. I’m breaking as many guys as I can in what time I have left.”

Mary closed her eyes and started counting to a hundred.

When she opened them, she merely had to follow the path of Majestic’s destruction to the nearest maximum security prison. The place had been torn apart. Hundreds of shattered male bodies littered the grounds, all with either crushed pelvises or skulls. Lying in the middle of the wreckage, with the guns of dozens of guards firing at her, was Majestic.

“I already told you, I’m not going to fuck any of you!” Majestic yelled at the guards, causing them to topple backwards from the volume of her voice.

“You know what, I’m impressed. You are certainly more powerful than Kevin.” Mary whistled as she flew down to Majestic. “I like your style.”

“Yeah, whatever. Just kill me and get it over with.”

“I never said I was going to kill you.”

“What.” Majestic’s eyes shot open as she looked at Mary.

“No, I’m going to let you live. That will be a lot more fun.” Mary smiled at Majestic as she left the hero among the bodies of the people she had just killed.

“I knew she would like it too,” Mary whispered to Melanie as she flew back to the headquarters, ready to add four more trophies to her suit.

The plan was in place. Almost a hundred recruits had been assembled and dispersed to the relevant buildings around the site. No longer just confined to a single warehouse, the Seven Dogs gang essentially owned all real estate within a mile radius.

The warehouse had been refitted too. Escape routes were added with secret rooms and passageways devised. All had proved extremely necessary after the continued spat of attempts on Mad Dog’s life from vigilante supes. His schedule was erratic these days and he had become increasingly difficult to pin down, needing to keep moving to prevent his capture from bringing down the entire organisation. The Seven Dogs had become so synonymous with the Mad Dog at this point, his death would likely be the death of the movement.

Their weaponry was beyond impressive now, both in quantity and ingenuity. The gang could well have started their own rebel nation at this point if not for the continued war they waged on the rest of the world.

The final battle was approaching, and the Mad Dog had something to say.

“We all know pain. All of us have suffered at the hands of the supes. Some of us have lost loved ones, some our livelihoods.” Mad Dog was wearing his signature gas mask, so his voice was muffled and raspy. “Now is the time we bring the pain back to those who caused it.”

Barking and howling resounded through the warehouse. The gang was already frenzied and they couldn’t help but lap up the speeches every time their normally stoic leader decided to give one.

“The IHF goes down tomorrow. But be on your guard. They will try to take us down. They will try to stop us. And if we lose, the fight for the future of the world ends with us.”

A solemn note for the end of the speech, but appropriate. Tomorrow was important after all. The Mad Dog put a hand to his chest, feeling the comforting presence of the ring.

Tomorrow, Damien would finally get to reunite with Mary.

“Why do you think she stays here, your problematic super mage?” Demon ex Machina was lying on the bed, wracking his brain for a solution to their current puzzle.

“Inertia. She’s at a loss for things to do and nothing in the outside world appeals to her since Damien died. So she just sticks with what she knows. I think that’s why she has that weird schedule too.” Omen lay next to Demon, having struck dead ends on all of the contacts he had given her.

“Are you sure Vixen Red wasn’t involved? She loved imprisoning former lovers in things.”

“Nope, she’s been serving a life sentence for the past 10 years. No chance she did it.”

“Blast. Wither and Dragonis were both quite unlikely in the first place. Don’t suppose they asked about me?”

“Yes, actually. Wither asked if you still have his recipe book for failed necromantic experiments. Why is that a thing?”

“You end up summoning animals far more often than you expect with necromancy. So many dead cows and chickens go into a single human. I do admit, I must have misplaced that book though.”

“How do you know so many villains, Demon? Heroes too I suppose.”

“One’s character is based on the company they keep. I once held myself to a high standard of etiquette concerning my accomplices. The ones who weren’t possessed of course.” Demon stood up and collected a book from the shelf. “This almost went very differently, you know. If I didn’t have my standards, our fight might have been like any other.”

“How so?”

“I almost hired a gang to accompany me on the heist you know. Went to see them the day before, short notice I know, but I was desperate. The Seven Dogs gang, apparently they were looking to make a name for themselves as supe killers. I took a liking to them because they’d just broken a load of their own out of a prison transport. Now that’s the type of criminal comradery I like to see.”

“They certainly made a name for themselves. Most of our recruits these days are coming in because they want protection from them, if you believe it.”

“Oh, I do. Saw a very vicious fellow there. I believe they called him Mad Dog.”

“He’s not just Mad Dog, he’s the top dog now.”

“Well, that’s bad news then. Just don’t insult his girlfriend, that’s what I learned.”

“Why would I insult his girlfriend?”

“Hm, I haven’t a clue. But someone had decided to, while I was there. Something about his blonde super bimbo girlfriend having left him for a significant upgrade. These macho types though, you know how they are. He killed the unwise fellow at the end of the sentence.”

Gears were turning in Omen’s head, pieces gradually shifted and timelines arranged themselves.

“Demon, what would happen in a resurrection spell if the target wasn’t dead?”

“Well, it would appear to work, then nothing would happen. You can’t call a soul back if it’s already here after all.”

“Fucking hells, Demon. Did you see this Mad Dog? What did he look like?”

“Generic lanky youth, messy black hair and an angry expression. Fresh scar across his eye too. Why? Do you want to meet him? I don’t have his contact information, I’m afraid.”

“When Mary arrived, she was blonde. She changed her appearance on the first day after she saw Melanie playing with her power.”

“So the blonde super bimbo…”

“Is Mary.”

“And the Mad Dog…”

“Is alive and biting.”

“There’s nothing to worry about Jennifer, I know what she’s like. Just follow whatever she says and she’ll leave you mostly alone. Just, don’t annoy her? Please?”

“I fucking killed hundreds of people, Francis. I don’t think that's ‘nothing’.” Majestic disliked Francis’ use of her civilian name, especially given how slow she now knew he was compared to her. It just felt wrong for someone so far below her to treat her with such familiarity.

Her mind had been torn in the few days since her attack on the prison. Firstly, she had come to the realisation that there was absolutely fucking nothing that could stop her from doing whatever she wanted, especially if Mary was implicitly endorsing her. Calling herself ‘Defender’ felt wrong now, so she had dropped it.

Which led to the second point. For all the times she had tried to reach orgasm and utterly failed, Majestic’s first-ever climax, brought on by fucking those scum to death, had been world-shaking.

She understood just what Mary had been trying to show her, but it was leading to conflicting feelings in the pit of her stomach. From some angles and certainly some media outlets, the brutal justice of Armageddon was practically the will of the divine. But was Mary just fulfilling some need for her own satisfaction? Was that even a bad thing if it led to fewer bad guys out there?

There was one group that might oppose them though. Seven Dogs had set their sights on the IHF finally and the higher-ups were getting concerned. Francis had even taken the concern to Mary, to ask her to deal with it. When he had recovered from the rib-bruising hug she gave him, she accepted the request and changed into her outfit, forcing him to watch as she donned the suit newly adorned with a dart, a shot glass, a cassette tape and a scrap of what looked at first to be fabric, but Francis knew better.

The horrific patchwork mess of a costume was an affront to everything he had ever stood for and Mary knew it.

“You’re spacing out again, Blue. You need to stop doing that when I’m talking to you.” Majestic roused Francis from his recollection, forcing him to ground himself before he instinctively fled from the domineering voice.

Before Francis could react to whatever Majestic had been saying, Amelia burst through the doorway, followed by the lunatic.

“Why is he out of his cell?”

“Francis, we don’t have time. Get to Seven Dogs. Stop Mary before she kills Damien or we’ll all be dead within the hour.”

“Damien is dead, Amelie.”

“Damien is Mad Dog, Francis. Get your shit together and go save the world.”

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Quite enjoying this excited to see what happens when the characters meet each other again
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