The Final Break

After being reunited, Firework tells the others about his experiences in the swampy portion of the Nevernever, including introducing his father and the rest of the coma patients. The others regale him with their exploits, and introduce the various entities they’ve encountered. Caretaker suggests that everyone comes inside his home and take a breather before deciding what to do next.

The tree house is much larger on the inside and everyone is able to relax comfortably in the very spacious living room. While everyone is given coffee, Caretaker, Firework and Wildheart go into the library and begin doing some research. Caretaker’s memories are still jumbly, and he hopes that by reviewing the security camera footage from inside The Pocket Dimension Lair, he can figure out what happened to start all this.

Together, they view the final battle between the former chosen ones and Cain. Cain is able to take out the team before Caretaker shows up. They start to do battle when the camera goes out. Caretaker flashes on the fight and his memories return.

“Oh no, he says. “We caused it. Our battle, Cain and I. We caused The Breaking.”

Cain was trying to force his way into the Nevernever through the doorway that led to the realm. Caretaker let loose with his power, holding his own against Cain. Their battle destroyed The Lair, which repaired itself over the year, but is the reason it had the abandoned look to it. A stray blast from both of them near the doorway to The Nevernever triggered an explosion, sending out the energy from The Nevernever into Earth, empowering people all over the world. The blast also sent Caretaker and Cain into the timestream, causing Caretaker to lose his memories and his powers. Caretaker found himself in San Francisco, years before The Breaking, but with no idea of who he was.

Caretaker explains that Cain wants to get into The Nevernever so he can absorb all the energy there, changin him into a god. Cain couldn’t get in on his own, so he’s on Earth, gaining power by devouring the energy of other Paranormals. With enough of their energy, he’ll be able to break through, piercing the walls between the dimensions. The team has to stop him.

Caretaker tells everyone he can send them home, though they’re not sure what will happen to the coma patients, since they’re on Earth. Sort of. They decide they don’t have much of a choice, so Caretaker opens up a door to Earth. He says that he’ll stay in The Nevernever and try to do more research and figure out how to stop Cain.

The team walks through the door and end up back at the unfinished Golden Gate Bridge. They figure out they’ve only been gone a few hours, and that it’s the middle of the night. Firework is carrying everyone with his sparks, but quickly realize the coma patients aren’t there! He phones Dr Brennan, who asks where they’ve been.

Before he can answer, Firework begs her to contact the facility where his dad is being kept. She does so, and most of the coma patients are waking up! Dr Brennan says that not all of them are waking up, but that Firework’s dad is indeed one of the conscious patients. She says that they are to report to AEGIS immediately to update her on their disappearance.

After arriving at the camp, still on high alert after the first Cain sighting, the team is directed to go to the meeting room. They enter to find a disheveled Dr Brennan. Considering it was the middle of the night, she looked alert, but recently woken out of bed.

The team quickly decides what they’re going to share with Dr. Brennan. They explain that there is a lot happening, but that she has to trust them in order to make sure things don’t go out of control. They tell her that Cain is a dangerous Paranormal, and that he’s going to hurt a lot of people unless he’s stopped.

Dr. Brennan says she does trust them, but that her superiors may not be so understanding. She tells them they have full access to any AEGIS resources they may need in order to stop the threat.

As they prepare to leave, Bouncer gets a reminder that he’s been asked to speak at The Neutrals support group, a meeting of civilian paranormals. The Neutrals get together once a month to talk about their experiences, but also to get a physical from AEGIS doctors to make sure their powers are under control. Bouncer realizes that it’ll be a hot spot for low powered paranormals, all easy pickings for Cain.

With the help of Dr Brennan, the team decides they’re going to set a trap for Cain. They are going to use The Neutrals as bait. Firework contacts Jackson, the AEGIS Technophile, and asks him if he has any gizmo that may help. Jackson says he sometimes gets visions of devices to create, and that last week he got the idea to create an anti-teleport field generator. He tells Firework that he’ll have it in their hands by morning.

The team scopes out the church where The Neutrals meet, in San Francisco. They place the ATFG at the rear of the church and get some rest. AEGIS agents are scattered around the area, and are ready to evacuate if needed.

The morning passes slowly, each team member bracing themselves for the upcoming conflict. By 9 a.m., everyone is ready. The Neutrals begin to enter the building, heading towards the back room where their meetings are held. The team takes their positions.

They don’t have to wait long. When The Neutrals begin talking and sharing, one of them explodes as Cain teleports into him. He looks around at the stunned crowd and says, “Ah. A smorgasbord.” He shuts the door to the room with a flick of his hand as people start to scream and panic.

The team leaps into action.

Firework sends sparks into the room to distract Cain, while the others get into positions. The ATFG is activated, which they hope will prevent Cain from escaping. Kali teleports into the room, and launches an attack at Cain. Cain easily dodges out of the way. As he does so, he goes, “Ah, the main course!”

Kali keeps up the attacks, which push Cain back. Cain snarls and says, “I don’t have time for this.” And teleports away.

Or so he tries.

Instead, the church is surrounded by a static sound and a scream of pain as Cain is blocked by the anti-teleportation field. He lands in the middle of the church, smoking and kneeling. He glares at the rest of the team, who launch their own attacks.

Bouncer takes a flying leap, directly at Cain’s face. Cain dodges out of the way. Wildheart tries to dizzy him, but Cain is able to resist. Jesuit takes aim from the balcony of the church, and manages to ping him. He notices that the bullet, though causing Cain pain, stops inches away from his face. A force field!

Inside the meeting room, everyone is panicking. Kali takes charge and start helping people climb out the window. She can’t teleport them outside due to the ATFG, but she calms the crowd and begins to get them to safety.

As she does so, a few of the Neutrals step up and say they want to help. One of them can give other people strength boosts, and spends his time doing so. Another one has super strength, but gets cold feet at the last second. The final one, an older lady, gives Kali a bit more stamina, but it tuckers her out.

Outside, the battle rages on. Attacking from all sides, the team manages to keep pinging the former “hero.” Jesuit is able to “read” Cain, and figures out that for all his bolster, Cain is a coward. Bouncer uses this to his advantage by screaming battle cries as he continually launches at Cain, disturbing him and causing him to lose focus.

Firework slams his sparks into Cain, while Wildheart gets an idea. He mimics Cain’s teleportation power and decides to give Cain a taste of his own medicine. With a loud POP, Wildheart teleports into Cain!

Cain screams in agony as Wildheart tries to burst through him. But instead, something goes wrong. Wildheart can feel himself being ABSORBED by Cain! He quickly POPS out and gets fatigued.

Cain, who was injured from all the hits he was taking, smiles up from his kneeling position on the floor. He begins to glow a bright golden hue as copies of himself begin to surround him. The copies start off looking like him, but then turn into his previous victims. A dark golden aura surrounds figures that look like Darla, the grass covered Unmentionable, along with her friends the Rock Skinned Paranormal & the See Through Skin One. Another person shows up, one the team does not recognize.

Cain leaps into the air and yells, “Thanks for the boost. ATTACK!”

The four new players take the field.

“Darla” uses her pheromones to confuse Wildheart. “Rocky” attacks Fireworks, leaping and bouncing all over. “Skinner” stretches his body into a blob shape and attempts to overwhelm Bouncer.

While the four apparitions keep the team busy, Cain starts punching at the air, causing the entire structure to shake. A small shaft of light begins to be released from where Cain punched, and as he continues his attacks, the light gets bigger and brighter. He’s opening a doorway!

Bouncer gets a call on his communicator, from AEGIS. They report that portals are starting to open up all over the world, and…things…are coming out of them! Dinosaurs, what appear to be viking robots, flying machines and creatures, they’re pouring out of these rifts.

The team switch partners and layout the apparitions. They then focus on Cain.

Bouncer takes a leap at Cain, forcing him to focus on him. At the moment he’s distracted, Jesuit gets in another shot, which blinds him to Kali’s attack. Kali opens a portal above Cain and lashes her whip through it, catching him by his feet. She yanks and causes him to flip head over heels, hanging from the portal like a pinata. Bouncer uses the opening and hits him hard enough to go through the wall of the church, into the meeting room.

The team rushes over as Cain whispers, “I’ll…never…stop…” and passes out.

They can hear the emergency teams outside, and wrap up Cain, ready to deliver him to AEGIS. Bouncer stops the team from going outside. He says, “He’s right. He’ll never stop.”

A brief debate occurs, about what to do with Cain. Bouncer steps forward, and says, “As team leader, I’ve decided.”

And stomps on Cain’s head.

The team helps with the damage, tending to the civilians, but everyone is quiet. They report back to AEGIS after a few hours, and are brought to their briefing, where Doctor Brennan And General Johnson await them.

After they give their report, General Johnson gives an update on the rifts. He says, “The portals seem to have stopped appearing the moment you attacked Cain. Things kept pouring through them, but the other Paranormal teams, along with government agencies, were able to drive the invaders back, some more easily than others. So far, we have an all clear from New York, Chicago, Freedom City, Dallas, and Emerald City. Other agencies from around the world..”

The General is interrupted by Bouncer, “Wait, what cities?”

The General repeats what he said.

The team look at each other.

Firework says, “Freedom City? Emerald City? What…?”

The General, clearly annoyed, says, “Yes, yes. Please stop interrupting…Wait.” He puts a finger to his ear piece communicator. “He’s here? Finally. Send him in.”

The door opens up and in walks A man of above-average height in a tight white collared shirt, with the two top buttons undone hugs against his athletic body. Black ink in the form crudely conceived but elegantly rendered runes in different shapes and sizes spiral out from beyond this shirt, down his arms to his wrists. Two locks of chestnut brown hair obscure either side of his handsome face, the remainder of his long hair hangs neatly plaited down his back. A well kept goatee of the same hue darkens his pale features. With Blue-green eyes he exudes an obvious confidence; a glimmer of orange within them reveals as ense of hidden knowledge. Strange jewelry adorns his fingers and neck. In his arms he carries a tablet and several ancient time worn scrolls.

He sets the scrolls and tablet on the table and smiles at everyone, and winks at Firework. The General, looking annoyed, says “Nice of you to keep your team waiting, Aurum.”

Aurum smiles and says, “Sorry, General, but you know how it is. Had to whip up something to take care of those pterodactyls. Anyways, hi everyone!” He walks past Firework, gives him a pat on his bum, whispers, “Hello, sweetie” and sits down on the other side of the table.

“So, what’d I miss?”


The Final Break

The Breaking darkshifter