The other heroes convened to try again. A shockwave of force threw them all backwards. Kyte crashed to the ground and lay unconscious. Dreamseer lay on the convulsing Earth as well and didn’t get back up. Electrode was first back to his feet with an idea. In his fight with the Deformer, he used a turbine attack. Maybe such an attack would short out the energy of the gem? Electrode raced in circles around Michael, building up nuclear electric power as he went. As Electrode reached top speeds, Sandstorm could feel the strain give way ever so slightly.
Sandstorm could feel changes in the power aura but the strain was so great, he couldn’t cry out to warn his partner. Electrode let loose a tremendous surge of force into the center at Michael with explosive results. Atomizer and Redeagle had already thrown themselves into a shaking ditch for cover; right after they dragged their unconscious friends there.
“I’m going to lose my lunch!” Atomizer shouted over the loud rumbling.
“I didn’t even eat any lunch!” Redeagle shouted back.
The blast blinded them all and made their ears ring. As Atomizer and Redeagle fought to stand up, they heard Michael laughing. Electrode and Sandstorm were on the ground. The explosion was a wave of power feedback that knocked them both out. The red aura shined as bright and powerful as ever. The shaking amplified, making the two friends stagger to stay on their feet.
“I’m going to rule the world!” Micheal laughed in madness.
“There isn’t going to be a world, you idiot!” Atomizer shouted.
Redeagle grabbed his partner by the arm. “Listen, this is on you now. You have to stop that guy!”
“How? My power won’t work on the gem or living tissue!”
“You have to come up with something, Jason! You have to do this!”
“What if my power reacts with that energy field and I blow us all up?” Atomizer remembered when he used his power on an alien weapon. The results were a blast he couldn’t control. He never wanted to see anything like that again.
Redeagle grabbed Atomizer by the front of his jacket and nearly shook him. “Either way, we’d be dead! Come on! I know you can do this!”
“All right, all right! Easy on the jacket, partner!” Atomizer turned to the maniacal laughing Michael and fixed his eyes on the gem.
The earthquake was already claiming lives in towns a hundred miles in every direction. Every minute the influence of the gem spread another 20 miles. Atomizer studied his target hard and finally, in those dread moments, saw something he could latch onto. It was something that couldn’t resist him and looked to be the perfect sized. As he stared at that target, he could see its molecular makeup as if zooming in with a microscope. He saw past fibers, past strands, to the point where its atomic structure shined. The rest of the world tuned out as he focused all his concentration on his target. As Atomizer blinked, he activated his power by mental command.
Atomizer also dropped to his knees in exhaustion as a portal opened a few feet away. Dr. Vampire and the rest of their friends were with them. Nyhtwulf stopped Michael’s bleeding as the rest saw to fallen friends. Before Dreamseer fell, she sent a telepathic distress call. As soon as they were done with the TANK, Dr. Vampire had Traveler send his half of the team to South Dakota.
Michael saw the healing power of Nyhtwulf while crying over his lost hand. “Can you put it back on?”
Nyhtwulf shook his lupine head, “No, there is too much damage.”
Anubis watched the exchange and said nothing. This man almost destroyed the world. Maybe he deserved to lose a hand?
In the following moments, friends were healed of minor injuries and both teams of heroes were back at full strength. Doctor Vampire carefully nudged the gem into a containment bag meant for holding such dangerous items.
“Now that we have that, we can send Michael and his hand to a hospital,” Dr. Vampire said.
“I’ll take care of that,” Anubis volunteered. “Nightfall, will you knock him out please? That way he’s not screaming in agony all the way there.”
“Sure.” Nightfall touched Michael on his cheek and he fell unconscious. “Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. I just want to get this lunatic out of our way.” Anubis grabbed up Michael and flew him away to a hospital.
“I’m glad we’re all together,” Dr. Vampire said. “I think the last artifact is going to need all of us. It’s far more dangerous than anything we’ve faced so far.”
“Worse than that gem?” Sandstorm asked. “I couldn’t stop that thing.” It was a feeling Sandstorm wasn’t accustomed too. Nothing of this Earth had ever stopped him before.
“Yes. But all of us together should be able to get it. I just hope who ever has it, doesn’t know how to use it.”
“Are you going to tell us what it is, or do we guess?” Electrode said.
“It’s the Hourglass of Time.”