History Unwound: Scavengers

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The Twirling Tyrant walked down the stairs to the Citadel’s main dungeon. She stopped by a heavy steel door and pressed a button on its surface. An access port opened up and ejected a pair of syringe needles full of blood. The Twirling Tyrant removed the needles and set one on the floor, injecting the other into her arm. She picked up the first needle and smirked, flickering out of existence.

The Twirling Tyrant flickered into existence in front of a large desk. A man in armor made of large green gemstones sat behind the desk, his face hidden in the shadow. The Twirling Tyrant handed him the needle. "You asked for this?" The Emerald Emperor grabbed onto the top gemstone on his wrist, twisting it to remove it from his armor. Underneath lay a series of electronics. The Emerald Emperor picked up the needle and stuck it into an access port in the mechanisms, injecting the blood into the system. "Thank you. My trip to the Council and back had drained the last of what I had." The Emerald Emperor removed the needle and put the gemstone back onto his armor, twisting it into place.

"Speaking of which, what's the situation with that brat?" The Emerald Emperor held out his palm, projecting a hologram of the Resc.ue logo, a golden police shield, the bottom transitioning into a fleur de lys. A nightingale spread its wings on the front, with the word RESC.UE underneath curving with the ends up. "I believe I may have found her ancestors. Why a nightingale? Why not an eagle, or a hawk, or any other bird that signifies 'justice' or 'patriotism'?" The Twirling Tyrant held her hand to her chin. "I always wondered about that too. But what does it have to do with anything?" The Emerald Emperor held out his other hand, projecting a hologram of a man in a black jumpsuit with a red cape. "This man is the first superhero they created. His name is Victor Nightingale. Tell me, does he look familiar to you?" The Twirling Tyrant took a closer look at the hologram. "You think he's..." The Emerald Emperor closed his fists, shorting out both holograms. "Her great grandfather. I'm certain of it. Give the command. I want the Order looking for his children and his grandchildren, just in case I fail. Only then... Will we be completed."

"I have a question." Lucy asked. April chuckled. "Of course you do. Who doesn't?" Lucy smiled. "You said that being a superhero is kind of like a part time job? Isn't that a little..." April nodded. "Resc.ue kind of blurs the line between profit and nonprofit organization. If it's just a paycheck you're after, then level one, superhero level, is actually the worst place you could go. Everyone else gets at least a half decent salary, but they do everything possible to encourage the 'selfless hero.' Once you get there, you only get paid every other time Friday the 13th has a Blue Moon. Personally, I think that it's a great method." Howard nodded. "Is it even possible for a Blue Moon to occur as early as the 13th?" April laughed.

"It has a few interesting side effects. Supposedly, it's backfired a few times, the superheroes in question throwing in the towel, quitting the agency, moving on to other things. But my dad was one of the best examples of how it could turn out great. He joined the police force, basically getting the exact same job with different hours and a more frequent payday, but still worked the Superhero gig before his retirement. And Mom... Well, she got a job as a writer, which I'm pretty sure pays even less often, but her superhero income always goes straight to charity. Nothing says 'Selfless Hero' more than that. Besides, once you retire, you actually do get a fantastic pension."

Lucy stood up. “Well, speaking of Selfless Heroes, let’s go stop an apocalypse, or warn the citizens to de-ass the city.” April smiled and got off the bed. “Fair enough. Let’s go save the world.”

April slipped on the wristband and contracted it down to size. Howard and Lucy put their arms forwards, holding out their hands. April put her hand down on top of theirs as she activated the wristband. April flickered out of existence, leaving Howard and Lucy behind. Howard blinked. “I thought she said...” Lucy sat down. “I guess it only carries one.” The computer beeped, startling the two. Howard opened up his email. "Well, here we go again."

Hi, Howard. Hi, Lucy. Sorry about what happened back there. I could have sworn that Kelsey could travel through time and space with company if she made physical contact, but I guess that this wristband isn't nearly as strong enough to do so. I really did not mean to leave you two behind. But now I'm even more motivated to fix the situation, so you two don't have to be slaves anymore.

Here's what's happened so far since I last spoke with you. It's quite a lot, to be honest, so expect this Vlog to go on for a while. Believe it or not, I actually wound up in the same exact place and time as I did last time. I turned around as soon as I arrived, only to see myself. Now, I'm no expert on time travel, but I'm pretty certain that I didn't encounter myself last time. As if to answer my question, the other me evaporated as soon as we made eye contact. I had no idea what that was all about, so I asked. "That was weird. What do you guys think that was?" When I didn't get a response, I turned around to find out that you two weren't there. I was horrified at first, thinking that we may have gotten separated, but then remembered Kelsey's warning that it might not carry more than one. Again, sorry. Let's... Let's just move on, so that I'm not apologizing the entire duration of this vlog.

I got to thinking. When Valkyrie knocked me out last time, I recognized the place where I woke up. That told me that she lived in the same house as before. That was a good sign that she had at least some of the same personal information as the Valkyrie from back home. I crossed my fingers as I dialed her phone number, hoping that it was still valid. Fortunately, she picked up on the other end. "Hello?" My mind raced, trying to figure out what to say. I was ninety nine percent certain that she once again didn't know who I was. "Atoms from a parallel universe follow a different... Um... Electricity?"

I couldn't see her face, but she made a quick noise that told me that I had gotten her attention. "Energy wavelength. S... Sorry, what? Who is this?" I crossed my fingers again, hoping that she would listen or believe me. "My name is April Pride. I'm from an alternate universe. And how many people do you know who can even guess something like what I just said?" I heard a few buttons tapping. Either she was typing up a report to alert the cops of a psycho, or crunching the numbers to confirm what I said. "Fair enough. Very few people are smart enough to even think about that. Still, why are you calling me?"

Roughly two hours later, Valkyrie and I were back at the Diner. I had filled her in on what my world was like, what it was like when I woke up, what it was like the first time I was here, all the way up to finding you two. I also mentioned the whole thing about Baxter being some form of ghost, and you two being slaves before the massacre. Again, Valkyrie scanned me to prove that I was from a parallel world. Not only did she believe me, she actually added more to the story that I didn't know, which answered those two questions.

How do I explain this... We thought that the world you live in right now is a parallel universe. Turns out, that's not true. Well, it is, somewhat. Valkyrie told me to imagine a brick wall. Each brick in the wall is one of the universes. But a brick wall isn't made up of bricks alone. There's also that clay stuff that binds every single one together. Let's call it the Hub. This is where it gets complicated. When you go back in time and make a drastic change, you create a link between that world and another. ... I guess you could try to imagine the brick wall made out of water balloons instead of bricks? And you use a straw to puncture a hole in two to bridge them together? But when you do so, at least one of the connected balloons will leak. Supposedly, this alleged "Hub" is supposed to be completely vacant of anything. But because of the Massacre, a colossal change, not to mention my traveling through time, the universes are leaking into the hub. That's how I woke up in the Hub, I just fell through the leak. Baxter is apparently in between home and the Hub, hence his ghostlike appearance. It also explains you two. Either you leaked out of a different world, or you leaked out of mine, but somehow without memories. Like Grandma Hannah. As for me just plain disappearing? A conflict in my own personal timeline or something. I really don't know.

Sorry, probably way too much info all at once. But that's how I felt when Valkyrie explained it to me. Neither of us even knew if any of it was true, but it was her most calculated theory. As soon as she finished explaining her theory, I did the only thing I could do. I shrugged and asked, "Okay. Um, could you please dumb it down a little more?" That was always one of her biggest problems. She knew she was smarter than most people, but she often underestimated by how much and would occasionally start talking in terms very few could understand.

Valkyrie suddenly got up and headed towards the bathroom, but bumped into one of the waitresses on the way, knocking each other over. It seemed random at first, until I noticed that the waitress was the same as the one from last time. The one that I was almost certain was the Twirling Tyrant. Now I understood, somewhat. Valkyrie must have noticed her flirting with the customers like I explained, and staged the accident. She quickly went into the bathroom and just as quickly came back out, sitting across the table from me. "Sorry. I..." I nodded. "Was it her? The Twirling Tyrant?" Valkyrie shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine. I wasn't trying to see her face. I scanned her." I scooched to the side. "You... Scanned her?"

"Her atom wavelengths matched your own, not anything else. She came from your world." I looked up. The Twirling Tyrant was a time traveler? I stopped to think. The Twirling Tyrant was part of a group of five supervillains who never seemed to age, and even got slightly younger as time went on, predating Resc.ue itself. How could I have been so stupid? It wasn't that they had descendants taking on their parents' names and powers. They were going back in time! But why? What was it that they were trying to achieve?

Valkyrie chuckled. "Well, guess what? Now we know what's going to happen, with much more time to figure out how to stop it. And I think I have a theory. You said that we had to hit you really hard in the head to break you out of the trance?" I nodded. "But there was no suggestion. How do you get rid of a post hypnotic suggestion?" Valkyrie pulled out a pen, drawing calculations on one of her napkins. It took less than two seconds to rip a hole in the napkin, writing on the table and tearing up the napkin, and three seconds for her to notice. Valkyrie reached into her bag and pulled out a notepad, scribbling her calculations. "Hitting you in the head must have given you a really nasty headache." I nodded. "Uh, yeah."

Again, she explained it in too much technobabble, but here's what I gathered. Supposedly, if you "overload" all five senses, the brain kind of freaks out and nearly shuts down. Luckily, its natural instinct to survive overrules, preventing a total shutdown. The end result is some form of "Soft Reset." Sounds bad, but supposedly, it does no damage. If I heard correctly, you keep all your memories and your personality. But if she's right, and she always is, it should remove foreign ideas like a post hypnotic suggestion.

We went home to Valkyrie's place, where she proceeded to design a chemical formula that should "overload" most of the five senses. While she got to work on that, I went straight for the shower. It had been over a year, after all, and trying to phase through everything just so you don't get dirty is surprisingly easier said than done. Not to mention, nobody else had showers, so maintaining hygiene would actually make me stand out, the total opposite of what it's supposed to be. And thinking about standing out, especially when scrubbing my hair made me realize how much I missed my dyes. Trivial, I know, but I never really liked having plain orange hair.

As soon as I got dressed, I realized that my clothes fit me better than they did when I got in. Not only that, but the keyhole pattern on my shirt had been replaced with plain polka dots. And the tears in my jeans were gone. Turns out while I was busy, Valkyrie's robot had swapped out my clothes for a better fitting version, and apparently thought that the tears were damage, not style. I didn't complain. It's not like I packed luggage when I started this over a year ago.

When I got into her living room, she had finished up the chemical formula. She had a large bucket full of an obnoxiously ugly green liquid. It smelled like that prank product called Liquid Ass, combined with skunks, times twelve. There is literally no way I could describe exactly how badly it looked and smelled. Trust me, you're better off not knowing. I could only imagine how badly it would feel on my skin. And god forbid anyone accidentally tastes it. Valkyrie held up a tiny test tube. "It replicates like crazy upon contact with water. This is what I started with, before using a dropper to put a drop into this bucket of water. Just for good measure, I dumped the remainder into it to strengthen the effect. Don't worry, it's non-toxic." I looked up, holding my nose. "Smell, sight, touch, and god forbid taste. What about sound?" Valkyrie smirked. "That's the easy part."

The next day was the Fourth of July, again. Valkyrie and I walked into the Sentinel, and we took the elevator to the main office. The boss, an elderly woman named Linda O'Neill, stood up from her desk. "Valkyrie? What is the meaning of this?" Valkyrie put down a very detailed report on her desk. "If my calculations are correct, up to sixty-three percent of Resc.ue's agents have been compromised." Linda took a look at the report. "Are you serious about this?" Valkyrie gave her a stern look. "Have you ever had reason to doubt me?"

Linda shook her head. "I thought something was off about the staff here. What do you suggest?" I stepped forward. "We fix the problem." Valkyrie nodded and stepped back into the elevator, heading for the building's water supply. I'm not entirely sure why the Sentinel has a water supply of its own when the entire building is just off the coast, but I'm glad it does, because that nasty chemical spreads like crazy in water, and would have likely contaminated the entire ocean. As if there weren't enough environmental issues already.

I walked up to Linda. "Mind if I use the intercom?" Linda tilted her head. "What for?" "Not everyone will have been affected, and we don't want to have to knock out every single person in this building. You never know what backup plans may be in place if we succeed. We need people on our side, and they need to know what's going on." Linda nodded. "How do we know who's been compromised and who isn't?"

"The Twirling Tyrant compromised them with hypnotizing them, but to do that, she needed to be alone with them. Turns out that the easiest way to do just that was to pretend to seduce them when posing as a waitress, but that couldn't affect everyone. She probably didn't bother with the women, since there's no way of knowing whether they're straight or gay. And on that note, it wouldn't work on the gay men, either. If we can rally up all agents who fit that criteria, the other... Thirty-seven percent, we could be ready for anything."

Linda sat at her computer and searched a directory of all agents and their personal bios, isolating the women and gay men. Thank god Resc.ue is an equal opportunity employer, right? I mean, if the Twirling Tyrant did this in the Salvation generation or something, the number of compromised agents would probably be up to a full hundred percent. Well, almost. Linda's mother was one of the founders, but still, times were a little tough on us girls, and hell on gays. Nowadays, it's okay-ish, but the point is, this was a time to be proud of it, because it may have helped save the world.

Once the computer had finished hooking up the intercom to broadcast to our selected agents, I turned on the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention please? Today is supposed to be a momentous day. The anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Barbecues, fireworks, etcetera. Well, there will certainly be plenty of that. Sixty-three percent of Resc.ue's staff have been compromised, and are unknowingly working for the Twirling Tyrant. She plans to use those men to hijack the Protectors start a massacre. They'll be throwing lasers and missiles like fireworks and barbecuing the vast majority of the population of Geo City. Even if the agents responsible are your friends, you have to remember that these people are carrying a post hypnotic suggestion, and don't even know what they're about to do. And while you do now, they still don't. There's a good reason why they're not receiving this message. It's because I want you all to find earplugs, sunglasses, and if at all possible, nose plugs, because we are about to attempt to release a chemical through the building to try and remove the suggestion, and we don't want you to be affected. We're going to wait half an hour, before releasing the chemical, which should give you plenty of time to prepare. Thirty minutes starts now, so good luck."

We took a look at the security cameras. Fortunately, plenty of people were busy looking for earplugs and whatnot, but over half of the staff were going about their daily routines like nothing was wrong. My phone buzzed in my pocket, so I took a look. Valkyrie had texted, "Nice speech. Chemical's successfully diffused into the water supply." Linda tapped my shoulder, pointing at the security camera of the front gate. Some guy in a black bodysuit and red cape, scruffy black hair, red goggles and a biker half mask drove up to the gate and jumped off the bike, crashing it into the gate. The guy raised his fist at the security guard, and even though there wasn't a gun in his hand, he still managed to shoot the guard. It was too far to see the bullet, but the guard was launched backwards, and there was clearly a bullet wound. Let me tell you, bullet wounds you see in the movies, as gruesome as they may be, are nowhere near the real deal. The real gruesome stuff is in the back end of the bullet wound. There are no words to describe how horrifying it is.

The guy dramatically flung his cape as he turned around, casually walking into the building like nothing happened. I quickly unlocked my phone and called Valkyrie. "Some maniac just barged right into the building, killing the guards. Be very careful." The elevator doors opened, and the guy casually strolled into the room. "Linda O'Neill. I require your intercom." All of a sudden, I understood. This guy wasn't here as a response to my warning the unaffected agents. It was way too quick for that. He was here to deliver the keyword that would trigger the sleeper agents.

I walked in between the guy and Linda. This was nothing like the events at Symblalah cliff, and it had been roughly two years. I was a little more confident in my ability to fight. "You have to go through me first, Dracula." The guy raised his arm out to the side, flinging his cape in the process. "You must be April. The boss warned me about you. I thought you'd be shorter." I raised my fists. "I had a growth spurt. So, you want that intercom or not?" He raised his fist at me, and again, even though there was clearly no gun in his hand, I heard a gun cocking. "I don't have any problems with killing children, you know." I began to phase. "Try me."

All of a sudden, something came flying out of his fist and phased right through me, embedding itself into the wall. The guy ran through me and punched the wall right on top of it. When he pulled back his arm, there was a long metal claw sticking out of one of his knuckles. Three more claws burst out of his knuckles, and emitted a low humming noise. All of a sudden, each claw was engulfed in some form of red aura or whatever. Basically, they were like Lightsabers from Star Wars, if you ever saw those movies in the Hub. If not... I really don't know how to explain it.

The guy spun around and tried to decapitate me. Even though I was phasing, it still felt very uncomfortable. Probably the excessive heat coming from the claws. I dove forward and slid between his legs, rolled onto my back, and kicked myself off the floor. The guy retracted his laser claws, only for an onslaught of bullets to burst out of his knuckles. I dove to the side and grabbed a coffee mug. “Who are you supposed to be, Count Von Swiss Army Knuckles?” I threw the mug at him, but he sliced it in half with his claws, now with cables attaching them to the knuckles, flinging them around like a whip. My mind raced, possibly working harder because of the adrenaline rush. I wound up enacting my plan before I even knew I had a plan. I phased through his swinging claws, grabbed one as I turned solid, and sliced it through the cables, severing the claws. The guy retracted the remains of the cables, returning to gun mode. I had to stop this guy before he caused any more damage, and since the guns were apparently buried inside his arms, the same trick wouldn't work.

I got another idea. I ran for the guy, grabbed him by the arms as I phased through his body, and twisted his arms back, dislocating them. He ran into the wall, hitting his shoulder into the wall to push it back in place just before he fell. The guy got up and shoved his other shoulder back into place, aimed his fist at me, but nothing happened. He looked at me with what I can only assume was a furious face. I couldn't be sure with the full face mask. "You unplugged my cybernetics." I raised my fists. "Don't take another step, Boba, or your cybernetics will be the least of your problems." The guy looked down at me, and kicked me into the wall. He stormed over to the desk and turned on the intercom. "Order of Masters." I looked out one of the inside windows, looking down at the agents below. A large portion of them stopped going about their daily routines and began marching towards the Protectors. The sleeper agents had been awakened. I stood up and faced the guy. "It's not over."

I reached for the fire alarm and pulled the handle. That obnoxiously annoying sound blared through the entire building, as the disgusting liquid spilled out of the sprinklers. I dove for the intercom, grabbing one of the old computer's plug-in speakers, slamming it on top of the intercom's microphone. I think the phenomenon has something to do with a noise going into the microphone, out of the speaker, back into the microphone, rinse and repeat, hundreds of times per second? I don't pretend to fully understand how feedback works, but I'm just glad it does. You've heard a fire alarm before, right? And feedback? Well, imagine the two combined. It's horrendous. Luckily, I had a pair of earplugs in my pocket. I put them in my ears, protecting me from the overload. Unfortunately, the crazy guy had the face mask and goggles protecting him from sight, smell and taste.

I took a look at the window. The other employees weren't so lucky. Over half of the agents were losing consciousness. The remaining agents were busy disabling the Protectors and locking down the building. I crossed my arms. "The sleeper agents are out." I removed the speaker from the intercom. "The spark of the sleeper agents is in the main office! I repeat..." I didn't have time to repeat. The guy kicked me in the back, through the window all the way to the ground from the top of the skyscraper. I braced myself, phasing through the air until I fell through the floor, into the ocean. As soon as I was in the water, I stopped phasing, and the water softened my fall. I was able to swim back up to the surface and phase through the floor to get back into the building.

As soon as I was on the floor, I had to shake my head and pat my ears to get the water out. I looked up, only to see the claw guy standing at the window. He flickered out of existence as a hand hit the floor. I ran for the nearest elevator, made my way back into the office, only to find Linda on the floor, blood oozing out of her mouth. I kneeled down and held her lifeless hand. "I'm sorry." Another voice called out to me. "She wasn't important to us anyway." I looked up, only to find a waitress from Alex's diner standing before me. She spun around a few times, her waitress outfit changing into an elegant red dress. I stood up. "The Twirling Tyrant. You failed." She smiled. "Just this once. I can always go back here and stop you." I raised my fists. "And I'll be there, ready to stop you every time. Is this our fate? To relive the same few days again and again, foiling one another until we're both dead?" She shook her head. "No. Until you are, you monster."

I took a step back. Monster? How am I a monster? Unless... "Look, just because I'm the good girl and you're not, just because people like me always get in the way of people like you, that doesn't mean we're the monsters. You know what monsters are? The ones who secretly convince people to murder millions of innocent civilians against their own wills." The Twirling Tyrant pointed at me. "Who cares about the millions of innocent civilians? The more the merrier, a more effective workforce for us. But it was the only way to ensure that people knew we were in control, and to take you out of the picture for good." I assumed she meant superheroes in general, and not me specifically.

I cracked my neck. "Yeah, well you're not going to get another chance." The Twirling Tyrant scowled. "I really don't like to get blood on my hands. When I need someone dead, I'll get someone else to do it, or get them to take their own lives. But John Van Price failed to dispose of you, and you clearly know how to remove post hypnotic suggestions. So you leave me no choice." I raised an eyebrow. From what I've heard, she was really not one to take matters into her own hands.

I had to act. I lunged for her, but she backed away from me, and I mean far away. Have you ever seen a Ballet dancer move so elegantly that due to the dress covering their feet, they appear to just float around? Well, from the way she quickly moved backwards about ten feet away from me, I think she might actually have been. Just as quickly, she glided to the side. I turned around to face her, but she wasn't there. I turned the other way, only to get a spinning kick to the chest. Yes, even when she gets down and dirty, she still dances. The kick sent me flying into the wall. If anyone was watching, their pupils would have been the size of pin needles in surprise. I would have been surprised by how powerful her kick was if I wasn't in the process of getting my ass handed to me.

I struggled to get back up. She picked up a trash can lid and spun around, hurling it at me. I phased, letting it pass through me, and ran up to her to try to punch her. Turns out, the lid ricocheted off of the walls, and wound up striking me in the back. She stood to attention and planted her foot on my back. "Really. The infamous April Pride, acting like an amateur. Have you ever been in a real fight in your life?"

I spun around onto my feet, swiping her legs out from under her. "Wouldn't you like to know." I wasn't about to tell her that before that crazy guy she sent after me, I had only been in that one fight. And even then, Jason was the only one attacking. So even though I had a quick recovery recovery and a snarky remark, she brought up an excellent point. I have no idea how to fight. But I'm going to fix that eventually.

Fortunately, Valkyrie and I had already made a plan for dealing with the Twirling Tyrant herself, and it didn't require me fighting with any form of skill. When she scanned her to find out whether or not she was from my world, she discovered that she was giving off two DNAs or whatever. Maybe from a blood transfusion or something like that, and there's no denying that the foreign blood belonged to Kelsey, hence her newfound ability to travel through time. Supposedly, the human body can't handle more than one set of superhuman powers at a time, not without some sort of third party help, like my wristband. The more she uses her foreign powers, the more her body fights against it, like how you fight a cold. It's not the virus itself giving you a runny nose or nausea, it's your body fighting the virus instead of preventing those things from happening.

I raised my wrist and typed a few commands into the wristband. "Let's finish this somewhere more private." The wristband was given a special battery pack so that I could use it more than once every 24 hours, but I didn't really know how many extra charges I had, and besides, it only carries one. I was almost completely dependent on her using her Time and Space powers. Sure enough, she took the bait and grabbed me by the head and teleported with me. We wound up in the sky above Geo City, and instantly began to fall from the sky. Phasing wasn't going to help me out much in this situation, so I had no choice but to use one of my charges. I pressed the button and teleported straight down to where I was going to land anyway, but without the deadly velocity.

The Twirling Tyrant followed suit, and windmill kicked me in the face. I smiled. In the heat of battle, she had no idea where in Geo City we were... Yet. I got to my feet and phased through the floor, which was actually the Sky-Train rail. She looked down at where I phased, and looked back up, only to see the train heading for her. She had no choice but to teleport immediately, and wound up on top of the train. I phased through the rail and through the train, arriving on the roof to face her. A helicopter arrived on the scene, following us. Resc.ue was quick to find us, or at least the ones still conscious were. The problem was, we weren't the only ones on the train, just the only ones literally on top of it. The helicopter couldn't pose much of a threat to her, because they wouldn't dare fire upon innocent civilians. Now that I look back, we did the exact opposite of taking our fight somewhere more private.

To make matters worse, we were approaching Arcadia. You know, that one... Segment? Of Geo City? Is there a word for it? Arcadia is to Geo City what Chinatown is to San Francisco, or Queens is to New York. There's got to be a word for it. Anyway, the point isn't that Arcadia was a bad part of the city. In fact, it's actually really quite lovely. The problem is that one of the skyscrapers was being built after the Sky Train was already running, and was built with a tunnel running through it, and whoever built the train tunnel probably didn't plan ahead in case a supervillain and a superhero-in-training would be fighting on top, and I was willing to bet that the tunnel was too small for us. And that particular skyscraper was closing in fast. Sure, I could survive if I phased, but the Twirling Tyrant would have no choice but to teleport. Good news since it will weaken her, but bad news since there's no telling where she'll end up, and I could lose her.

I had to find a way to get her to teleport somewhere I could find her before she had time to get away, and I had to come up with it fast. I finally got an idea, but it put innocent people at risk. Unfortunately, there was no time left to consider the options. I ducked under her punch, gently flapping my hand downwards, signaling the helicopter to lower a bit. When it did, I braced myself for her kick. It knocked me towards the helicopter, and things got intense. I had to phase to avoid getting chopped up into bits, and instantly stop phasing so I'd land on the surface. The timing had to be exact. Too soon, and I'd disintegrate, but too late, and I'd fall to my death. The window of opportunity was shorter than the time it takes to blink your eyes. Fortunately, since my life depended on it, time seemed to slow down as the spinning blades of death approached me. I felt like I had more time than I really did. I began to phase, and as soon as I saw the blades stop going through me, I turned solid again. At least, I tried. It's not instantaneous, so I went through the roof and into the pilot's cabin. This time, since I was in the process of turning solid, it felt different going through. Kind of stiff. It's hard to explain without knowing what it feels like to have something passing through you in the first place.

The pilot turned around to face me, slightly freaked out. I nodded. "It's okay!" I looked up at the skyscraper, watching the train enter the tunnel. The Twirling Tyrant sure looked surprised when the building approached. The pilot leaned back in shock. "Is she..." His answer came really, really quickly, as the Twirling Tyrant teleported right behind me and tackled me into the pilot. The helicopter instantly began to spiral out of control. I rolled to the side, and saw her wobbling to catch her feet. Either the spinning plane was making her dizzy, or using her teleportation was already affecting her. Giving her habit of spinning in circles when dancing, I doubted that she was really dizzy. Her body was fighting her foreign powers like an infection and weakening her. Almost makes me wonder how Resc.ue successfully gave my great grandfather powers in the first place. Shouldn't that be considered a foreign superpower, since superpowers didn't exist yet? What third party help stopped him from weakening every time he took to the skies?

......Sorry, lost my train of thought. Way off course. What was I even talking about? Oh, right, helicopter spiraling out of control towards Arcadia, Twirling Tyrant weakening, all that good stuff. I couldn't help but make a smart ass remark at her losing her balance. "Trouble standing? Here you go!" I stomped on her foot as hard as I could just as the pilot got the helicopter leveled out again... Just in time to collide with one of the supports of the Sky Train. The impact launched the Twirling Tyrant and I out the door. Fortunately, a large library was right below us, with a dome shaped roof. I braced myself for the impact, and slammed against the dome, instantly rolling down to the roof. Every fiber of my being hurt like hell, but the Twirling Tyrant wasn't even in that great of a shape when she fell.

When she finished rolling down the dome, she tried to get up, but couldn't. She had wrenched her back, and probably broke a few bones. I pulled out my phone and called Valkyrie. "Val? I'm on top of the Arcadia Library. She's not going anywhere." The Twirling Tyrant gave me a nasty look, so I made sure to make direct eye contact to make sure she understood that she couldn't get away. "She's too injured to get up, and we both know that using Kelsey's powers will only make her body fight back more and weaken her further." Her eyes widened. "You're making that up." I shrugged. "I'm no scientist, but I'm good friends with the smartest person who ever lived. You try traveling through space or time, and your injuries will only get worse. That power is not yours to use."

I honestly don't know what happened next, but I have a theory. Resc.ue had developed an insanely secure prison known as the Keep. It's very high tech, and virtually impossible to escape from. The prisoners' only hope of escape is parole, or for someone to break in. But the latter is impossible. Because all efforts went into keeping prisoners in, and not keeping others out, the prison was designed with an exit gate that sprays anyone who passes through with a specialized chemical. The chemical gives people enough time to return home before it wipes their memories of the last 12 hours. It's impossible to break into, because nobody knows where the prison is. Not even the prison wardens know. Resc.ue's computer system emails random employees every day, giving them an address to find the prison and their assigned duties. And if that's not enough, the email has a virus, specifically designed to delete the email after a set period of time, and then self-delete. Even the program that emails people transfers itself from one computer to another periodically. Basically, the location of the Keep is the ultimate use of the term Top Secret. It actually kind of makes me wonder how we get criminals to the Keep in the first place, but because I have no memory of the next few hours, I guess we locked away the Twirling Tyrant there.

I spent about a week after the event just relaxing, taking care of the little things. I got a haircut, finally got my dyes back. The barber thought I was insane. Valkyrie's robot gave my new jeans stylized tears like my old ones, since it forgot to include them last time. I did a lot of research, trying to learn more about the past to find out what else had been changed. The conclusion that I came to was simple: there are five generations, and five members of the Order. The best way to ensure that they rule the world is to send one member to each generation, and each make a dramatic change to the timeline.

Speaking of which, I should probably sign off now. Like I said at the beginning of this fourth vlog, there was a lot to cover. And it's only just begun. I'm going to bed now, I need to rest to prepare for the days to come. Days to come? It's weird, saying, "days to come" when you're talking about something that happened 20 years ago. Something that will happen 20 years ago. Next time you hear from me, I'll be in the generation of my Mom and Dad, Uncle Rodney, Kelsey, Valkyrie, the Legacy. Hopefully, I wind up in a world where the Legacy exists. Valkyrie set up a special button on the wristband that should theoretically return me to the Hub, and from there I can go back in time to another world, because there's nothing left to do in this one. So, anyway, that's it for now. See you.

A man in a black jumpsuit and red cape walked into the throne room of the Order. Four thrones rose up as three members flickered into existence, followed by the hologram of the Emerald Emperor. Mr. Magnificent cracked his neck. "These meetings are killing me. We can't keep wasting Stopwatch's power like this." The Emerald Emperor's hologram clenched his fists. "Indeed. Recovered news reports suggest that the Twirling Tyrant was defeated by this very phenomenon. We must compensate for this error." The man in the cape shook his head. "Yeah, yeah. Just give me my money. I sent the message, like you hired me to do." The Hydro Hydra smiled. "We cannot help but notice that nobody received the message. The longest speech is meaningless upon deaf ears." The man raised his arm up at her throne and extended claws from his knuckles. "You promised me Forty Grand. I don't hire out to cheapskates." The Crimson Crossbones chuckled. "Even if we had the money, the massacre would have wiped out millions of people in minutes. I highly doubt that you would have lived to see a cent of your reward." The man angrily swung his fist in the Crimson Crossbones's direction, firing his claws at him.

The Crimson Crossbones fired his flintlocks at the claws, knocking them back to the ground. The Emerald Emperor's hologram crossed his arms. "You failed to initiate the massacre, John Van Price. And more importantly, your failure allowed the girl to rid us of another member. My wife is either imprisoned in the most heavily secured prison in the world, or destroyed. Neither is acceptable for me." John backed up in anger. The Hydro Hydra thinned her eyes. "For your sake, we hope that she is merely imprisoned. Otherwise, there will be no place in this world where we, or any of the Order, cannot find you."

John flickered out of existence. Mr. Magnificent smirked. "There is still a way that your wife may be free, or alive. Ensure that the girl is never born, and nobody would have stopped her." He looked at the Crimson Crossbones, who smirked. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Kill Taserblast and Lancelot, two of the most powerful members of the Legacy. Not to mention that Lancelot is the founder and leader." The Emerald Emperor's hologram tapped his fingers on the armrest. "Can it be done?" The Crimson Crossbones smiled. "They're only better than Lancelot's old man because they're a team. Individually, they're nowhere near as good as him." The Crimson Crossbones flickered out of existence.

Mr. Magnificent crossed his arms. "Well, back to hunting down the world's first superheroes." Mr. Magnificent flickered out of existence, leaving only the Hydro Hydra and the hologram of the Emerald Emperor. The hologram turned to face the woman made of water. "Something to add?" The Hydro Hydra looked up. "We have joined your Order because you promised change. A world brought under control, under peace and good health."

The Emerald Emperor looked to the side. "You think I lied. I have not. As promised, I will correct the mistakes that these people have made. Peace and Order will be enforced, by taking away all notion of freedom. But you must understand, many are reluctant to submit to having their freedom taken away, which puts a great dent in our peace."

"And the world's good health? We cannot distinguish between night and day, as the sky has been scorched. Pollution has reached an all time high. Were not things better as they were?" "Patience. Soon, all will be corrected." The hologram flickered out of existence. The Hydro Hydra put her hands together and closed her eyes. "We believe that the world's health is our priority, and ours alone. Are we correct? Is ruling the world and retrieving those missing from the Order all he cares about?" She opened her yellow eyes and looked up to the ceiling. "Please, give us a sign."

Howard leaned back and held his hands behind his head. "Baby steps. The battle's won, but the war's far from over." Lucy stood up. "Come on. The boss is going to be furious if he has to call us to work again." Howard turned around in his swivel chair. "What boss? The Twirling Tyrant is gone! Locked away in the inescapable prison." Lucy smirked. An unfamiliar voice replied, "And how exactly would you know about that?" Howard and Lucy turned around to find another girl, sitting on his bed. Howard could have sworn she looked familiar, but Lucy was a little more confident. "Syrah?" Syrah Scarlett, April's best friend, with brown hair covering one of her matching brown eyes, light blue t-shirt, blue beanie and light brown shorts, long brown combat boots and long black fingerless gloves, smiled at the two. "The Scavengers are slowly coming back together."

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