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The Valiants take on a force greater than they can imagine. No one thought that gods existed until four forces rise up from their hiding, threatening humankind. It's up to the targets to stop them. Roxanne wandered over to Artemis and stood beside her. “What’s this?” She asked, frowning. “Solar Eclipse,” Artemis said, mimicking Roxanne’s concentrated expression. She furrows her eyebrows. “Supposed to happen today around eleven. I’m worried.” “It’s just an eclipse,” Roxanne said, shrugging her shoulders. “It’s not just an eclipse!” Artemis stared at Roxanne. “There hasn’t been an eclipse like this when the sun was so close to Earth. Anything could happen.” Roxanne raised an eyebrow. “Like what?” She pursed her lips. “I don’t know, maybe like the apocalypse?” She said, looking timid. It’s like she said the wrong answer to an obvious question. Roxanne burst out laughing. “Apocalypse?!” Anna straightened. “Yeah. And vampires.” She tipped her chin up with confidence. Walking away, Roxanne shook her head and chuckled. “Apocalypse,” she murmured. She snorted. “Yeah, sure.”

Action / Scifi
Age Rating:

Chapter 1

“Get out. You’re going to school.” Roxanne said. She sat at the steering wheel staring out at the dull colored school in front of her. Reagan refused to go to school again and nothing irritated Roxanne more than going through this every single morning. Roxanne glanced at her.

“What’s the point again?” Reagan asked irritably. She rested her temples on her fist and glared back at her guardian. She didn’t like calling Roxanne her sister, because they weren’t. All she ever did for her was let her brother die and that certainly isn’t what sisters do.

“To learn, Reagan. To learn. And to be somewhere safe when bother your mom and I have to go to work.” Roxanne said, trying desperately to get the point across.

Reagan rolled her eyes and got out of the car. “Don’t you dare be late today,” she growled. She slammed the door and marched towards the school, her fists clenched. Roxanne watched her go and rolled her eyes as well.

She shook her head and turned the keys in the ignition. Driving towards Humboldt Park, just about a mile away from the Arts School, and she parked on the side of Division Street. Then walked hastily towards Formal Garden. She crept to the side between a cluster of trees and looked around. No one was watching. She pressed her hand against a tight knot in a tree and pushed. The knot disappeared into the tree and a small ray of light shown into her eye; she stared at it. It disappeared to and Roxanne braced herself, crossing her arms and gripping her biceps, her nails digging into her skin. Then she plummeted down quickly, the light disappearing above her. Her hair trailed above her and then fell around her shoulders when she lands onto the cushioned ground. A heavy metal door slides open and she’s momentarily blinded by the light. She walks in.

Artemis, wearing a plaid black and white shirt and jeans, stood in front of a TV screen. Reagan has only been here once for safety precautions. There was a lounging space complete with beanbag chairs and leather couches and a maxed out coffee machine. Opposite to that area, to the left, was the tech. That’s where the 100-inch flat screen TV hung on the wall in front of a long crescent desk covered with computers and radios. In the room adjacent to the TV was a lab for processing DNA and genetics. And, when taking a sharp right turn out of that room, you enter the room where Lance spends most of his time- when he is here- creating the super suits. It was plain, too, with white walls and few pictures and newspaper clippings hanging on the walls or framed on desks. There was one rug in the lounge area that brought color to this space. It was a hideously bright green and shaggy.

Roxanne wandered over to Artemis and stood beside her. “What’s this?” She asked, frowning.

“Solar Eclipse,” Artemis said, mimicking Roxanne’s concentrated expression. She furrows her eyebrows. “Supposed to happen today around eleven. I’m worried.”

“It’s just an eclipse,” Roxanne said, shrugging her shoulders.

“It’s not just an eclipse!” Artemis stared at Roxanne. “There hasn’t been an eclipse like this when the sun was so close to Earth. Anything could happen.”

Roxanne raised an eyebrow. “Like what?” She pursed her lips.

“I don’t know, maybe like the apocalypse?” She said, looking timid. It’s like she said the wrong answer to an obvious question.

Roxanne burst out laughing. “Apocalypse?!”

Anna straightened. “Yeah. And vampires.” She tipped her chin up with confidence.

Walking away, Roxanne shook her head and chuckled. “Apocalypse,” she murmured. She snorted. “Yeah, sure.”

Roxanne fell into the spinning chair, twisting in a circle. She snatched up a breakfast sandwich from the desk and sunk her teeth into the heated bread and egg. No matter how many times she asks Anna to get a few of these things with cheese, she gets the same thing she always has; toasted bread, melted butter, sausage, and egg. No creamy cheddar cheese. “Hear anything on the radio today?” She asked with her mouth full.

“No. It’s been pretty quiet today.” Anna turned from the screen and dropped her hands into her pockets. She fished out her phone and checked the time. Her long blond hair falls into her face and she flips it back. “Finn should be coming in soon. He feels guilty that he hasn’t been in for a while.”

“The guy hates his powers. Doesn’t wanna get too close.” She made herself spin again, pushing the edge of the desk with her hand.

Anna pushes her hands into her front pockets. She didn’t look at Roxanne very long, just glanced with big, round, ashamed eyes. “I think it’s sweet that he’s protecting us.”

“I think it’s cowardly,” Roxanne snarls.

“Who’s cowardly?” A bright voice called from the door. He walked in holding a coffee and smiling. Phenomenon.

Roxanne glared at him. “You are.”

“Oh?” He questioned.

“Yeah, you. You think you can disappear for over a month”- Roxanne stood and stalked over to him, jabbing him in the chest with a finger. She felt the power rush out of her and her breath escaped her. She paused and stared him in the eyes- “and believe that you can just walk back in here all chipper and splendid. Well, ya can’t. Cause I know exactly what you are.”

He swallowed hard. She’s in a good mood today. Her eyes were as cold as ice, menacing in their darkness. The air felt thicker. “What am I?” His spine straightened but his eyes and skin melted off of him.

“You’re a coward,” Roxanne spat. She spun on her heels and slouched against the wall, her arms crossed and brow cinched.

Finn nodded and sipped his coffee. He strolled over to Artemis and doesn’t bother smiling. She gave him a sympathetic smile and he just raised his eyebrows in a half-hearted thanks. “Anything new?”

“Just the eclipse, but we already talked about this.” Artemis glanced towards the floor and then returned her gaze to his eyes. “What about you?”

“Nah, you know me.” He shrugged and watched the screen in front of them.

Anna nodded and continued to stare at the screen. They were silent for a few minutes, all of them wondering the same thing. We’re a team, so why are we so broken? No one really knew the answer either. Anna blamed Roxanne and Finn just blamed himself. He’s the one who is the coward after all. He caused the problem by leaving. No wonder the team was so broken. But he saved them before; his DNA helped them develop the power dampening serum and cuffs.

A siren interrupted their thoughts and screamed into their ears. Roxanne bolted away from the wall and stripped off her shirt to reveal a leather, silver threaded suit. She struggled out of her pants and ran out the door, covered in black and red material. She placed her hand on the chilled, iron wall and pressed her back to the paneling. The middle of the floor opened up and a black, Kawasaki bike with a helmet hooked on the handles emerged from the darkness. The floor closed around the pedestal and Roxanne swung her leg over it, fitting the helmet over her head. She revved the engine and pressed a small black button on the handle. The wall in front of her opened up and showed a lightless tunnel. The wheels on the bike spun as she raced into the darkness. A small yellow circle glowed, getting larger as she continued forward.

Bright light swallowed her and she jumped, pivoting her bike as they landed in the middle of the crowded street. The glass lens attached to her helmet moved over her eyes and lit up in lights.

“Turn right down, Michigan Avenue,” a monotone female voice told her. She veered into the right lane and balanced between the cars. As she accelerated, the voice spat rushed directions at her.

“End of the route.”

Roxanne halted the bike and smacked the stand down to the ground. She looked up at the burning building. It was a townhouse-duplex and it had been called in for arson. The fire started only ten minutes ago and already had engulfed the wood and brick structure. A flame burst a window on the second floor and her heart jump-started. Before she could think of a plan, her legs moved beneath her and she kicked down the door. It fell with a loud crash and she marched through.

Flames licked at her skintight suit and she could feel it heat up. Her skin prickled and sweat gathered around her hairline. She ducked into a room as a beam missed her shoulder. Roxanne screamed, “where are you?!”

There was a strangled cry from the second floor and Roxanne leaped over flaming wood. She ran up the stairs two at a time and rounded the railing. The cry rang in Roxanne’s ears and she sniffed. Smoke burned her nostrils but a fruity fragrance stuck. She jerked her head toward the left and scanned the area. A door was open, smoke billowing into it. A dark silhouette crouched on the ground, shaking and heaving heavily.

She bolted over and knelt by the sobbing woman. She was no older than her, their features almost the same except for the lady’s pointy nose and littered freckles.

“Is there anyone else?!” Roxanne shouts.

She shook her head and yelped through her tears. “No!”

Without another word, Roxanne swept the woman up into her arms. She barreled into the smoke, through the hall, down the steps and swiftly out the door. An ambulance and firetruck were parked near the bike and waited anxiously for her. Roxanne gently settled the woman down onto the edge of the ambulance, next to to the EMS. She nodded to the firefighters, a signal to drown out the flames.

A whirring sound- not quite like a helicopter, more smooth and steady- swooped above them. Roxanne looked up and smiled. Jet carried an unconscious man by the collar through the air. He gently landed, running a little as his feet it the ground. He threw the man on the pavement in front of a CPD police car. They clapped and cheered as he gave a thumbs up. Turning toward Roxanne, he waved dorkily before shooting off into the sky, disappearing behind tall skyscrapers.

Before leaving, Roxanne looked at the woman sitting in the truck, her eyes tired and coughs haggard. She had a blanket wrapped around her and an oxygen mask secured to her face by elastic straps hooked behind her ears. Her hair cascaded down into her face and her chest rose and fell shakily. Her legs were pulled up onto the step, her butt close to the edge. Roxanne knew the feeling that the young woman had: despair. Memories flashed into her mind of Savannah’s house going up in flames, lighting up the dark night. Her eyes still burned from the brightness and from the tears. She lost close to everything.

Roxanne could never avert the memories from that night. It didn’t matter that the man she loved is somehow physically alive. But emotionally, he wasn’t there. Jonathan died in the crossfire but Wade was born. With Jonathan’s death, were the memories. Roxanne or Savannah or even Reagan can show Wade pictures but he won’t recognize what’s happening. They’ll explain the whole story behind them and he’ll stare at the picture, his eyes sullen and lost. His former-self unable to be restored.

They still had his gravestone planted in the ground at the cemetery. His name engraved on the marble. Every once and a while, after the memories have festered inside of her too long, Roxanne visits it. Today was no different. She crouched down and wiped away the fallen leaves and plucked the blades of grass. Savannah had been here recently, too. A withering rose rested upon the corner. Roxanne picked it up and twirled it between her fingertips. She returned it to its place and stood.

“I miss you,” she whispered.

Artemis paced in the lab, walking a hurried five steps forward and five steps back. Her nails were shortened today from her constant nibbling and her eyebrows furrowed at nothing in particular. Since the eclipse started, a tropical storm upgraded to a hurricane. An earthquake took place in Korea, spawning a tsunami, already killing a minimum of three people.

Roxanne doesn’t understand. An eclipse like this hasn’t happened in all of human history. The oceans had gotten high tide for over their usual hours. More natural disasters have taken place in less than 12 hours than ever recorded. Something was wrong.

The door swished open and Roxanne came traipsing through. “Arson averted.” She smiled.

Anna didn’t smile, she just frowned and continued to stare at the floor. She sat down in a chair and rested her wrists on her knees.

“What did I do now?” Roxanne groaned.

“Have you seen the news,” Artemis snapped.

“The eclipse?” She asked, shocked. Anna couldn’t still be stressing over a little eclipse, could she? “You can’t be serious.”

“How are you not?” Artemis flailed her arms around wildly. “It’s off the charts for all of history! People are dying from what it is causing! Is that not a good enough reason to be concerned?!”

Roxanne’s lips formed a straight line. Her eyes narrowed. “How many people?”

“There’s a minimum of 5, at least. Three for sure in Korea. Two from high tide and rapid currents.” Anna sighed.

“In what time frame?”

“Last five hours maybe.”

Roxanne sat down the same chair she spun around in before and wheeled it close to the desk. She didn’t know what was going on. She figured that if she acted like it didn’t matter then it wouldn’t. But it’s worse than she imagined. Apocalypse was still ridiculous but these unpredicted events are rather... disturbing.

“It’s supposed to reach its maximum potential in a half an hour; ten,” Anna said, getting up to watch the screen again.

They couldn’t do anything to stop the disasters themselves. Both of them were powerless when it came to the weather and earth’s elements. But Angel 5 could do something about it, and if Roxanne knew them well enough, they already were.

A news reporter held on to his raincoat tightly and yelled at the camera. “We can see that these natural disasters are trying to be brought to a stop, yet, even their efforts aren’t enough to halt these storms.”

Roxanne watched the screen intently as Tempest was thrown at least a thousand feet through the air. She smashed into the pavement, uprooting the cement. Then blasted back towards the raging storm.

“Something just isn’t adding up,” Anna murmured. “I just can’t figure out what.”

So they sat there, their eyes glued to the bright light of the TV, watching in horror at the events.

Phenomenon had left, Roxanne didn’t have to ask. He always made a quick appearance and then vanished again. Where he was, Roxanne didn’t care.

A pencil started to shift across the table. Then the table visibly shook and the flat screen smashed to the floor, shattering to pieces. Anna stared at Roxanne, her eyes wide and terrified. It’s happening here, too.

Roxanne stood up and bolted towards the door, screaming, “move your ass, Anna! We gotta get to higher ground!”

Anna’s feet started to move and never stopped. She scrambled over the fallen debris and followed Roxanne. They sprinted to the tunnel and continued to run until their legs burned. Paneling started dropping above their heads, crashing in front of them. They ducked and leaped over. As everything crumbled around them, Artemis froze and stood in the middle of it. Her body shook and her eyes squeezed tight. Her fingers disappeared, followed by the rest of her body, and was replaced with a red glow. She ran again as things fell through her form, no stopping for anything. She passed Roxanne and left her behind. Her partner can fend for herself, she always does.

Roxanne was hit in the head by a quick dropping panel and fell to the ground. Everything went dark for a minute, her eyes shut. Her fingers tingled and skin folded over the wound. Her eyes popped open and she was on her feet again and dashing towards the yellow light of the street.

Everything stopped for a moment. And Roxanne stopped, stock still. A low rumble growled from the beginning of the tunnel behind her and rapidly grew louder. Roxanne turned. Her stomach flip-flopped and heart wheezed. A crack split through the concrete and came rushing towards her, sucking in everything in its path. She willed her legs to move and raced towards the exit, pumping her arms and yelling to relieve the pressure from her lungs.

She reached the street as it crept up to her heels. Flinging herself to the left, she messily rolled away from it. It continued to snap the ground and rip up the pavement for another block before stopping. Roxanne strained her neck to look at it, wincing at a piece of debris lodged deep into her shoulder blade. Her skinned elbows and knees healed and she stood.

Everything was wrecked. The noses and rear ends of cars were crippled and people screamed and groaned at the pain. Roxanne looked all around her, turning in a circle. Her heart raced and broke into pieces at the ruins. Then her breath caught in her throat and she started running.


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