“Well, any fool can be dangerous with a gun,” Atomizer said.
“They’re usually more dangerous because they’re unpredictable,” Redeagle added.
“So where is it?” Sandstorm asked impatiently.
“A theme park in California,” Dr. Vampire said.
“Then let’s go.”
Doctor Vampire turned to one of his teammates, “Traveler, we don’t want to land too close to the signal. Surprise is going to be our best ally.”
Traveler nodded and gestured with her staff. A portal of light manifested, hovering in the air. One by one, the heroes stepped through with a solemn prayer to finish the mission quickly and without casualty. The portal placed them behind a line of concessions buildings, well hidden from sight. Even Traveler didn’t know how she could place her portals with such accuracy. She never sent anyone over a cliff that wasn’t specifically intended. For a large crew of heroes, behind buildings seemed like a perfect start.
Even from their position, they could tell that the theme park was active, even though no people roamed the fairways. Lights flashed, music played and they could see the tall Ferris wheel turning. Doctor Vampire traced his finger across the screen of the indicator he carried.
“It’s about a hundred yards across from us, toward the middle of the park. We need to split up and come in from all sides. Dreamseer can coordinate us telepathically so we can all home in on the mark. Dreamseer, that means you move in last. Look, all of you, as soon as you see this person, don’t give them any reaction time. Move fast. You won’t like the results if you don’t.”
Over on the main fairway, Sylvia enjoyed the lights of the theme park and the sounds of music. She adjusted her purple beret as it sat on her blue and white hair and tapped her feet to the rhythms of the bouncy tunes. She had an outlandish look to her with the knee high boots, short jeans shorts and leather tank top. She never cared what others thought of her. She lived to make her own statements. This day was particularly exciting. Her life until now had been petty crimes and shoplifting to get by. This was a chance beyond chances. Sylvia looked to make a big name for herself. She could see the fame clearly in her mind, just as the man in the top hat had shown her.
Sandstorm, being the second fastest of the group, was next to act. He tried to grasp Sylvia in a micro-whirlwind. Instead, he found himself back in human form and flying down the fairway, repelled by an invisible force.
Nyhtwulf, Kyte and Anubis all dove in from the darkness of the skies above at the same time. All three of them found themselves grasped in suspended animation, inches from their target. With a laugh from Sylvia, all three of their bodies were flung in separate directions. Anubis crashed into a gaming booth with stuffed animals. Kyte landed in the bumper cars. Nyhtwulf was forced to be solid and hit a fence.
Lonestar, the Starknight commanded his companion falcon to dive on Sylvia. As it did, the body of Doctor Vampire was yanked from the ground. He had been approaching intangibly with hope of surprising her from below. His body took the cosmic dive of the falcon squarely in the back. Both were deflected away with ridiculous ease. Lonestar threw his sword only to have the pommel hit him across his helm, knocking him to the ground.
Redeagle, Atomizer and Blacktide were next on the scene. Redeagle came silently across the rooftops, drew his .454 Casull and fired. The heavy caliber bullet made it halfway to its mark before being re-routed to Redeagle’s chest. Redeagle flew backwards and lay groaning on the rooftop of the concessions stand. Atomizer targeted a trashcan next to Sylvia, but one next to him and Blacktide exploded instead. Blacktide fell through a wall, disintegrating it as he went. Atomizer landed in a section of chairs and tables.
“Well?” Sylvia said to Traveler, Dreamseer and Nightfall, who all stood staring at her on the fairway. They stood spread out several feet from each other. None of them knew what to do after what they had seen.
Dreamseer suddenly cried out and dropped to her knees holding her forehead.
Sylvia held up the silver and gold hourglass. “This thing is so cool! Did you know that literally everything that can happen is an event in time? I feel them all. I can feel when a fly on the other side of this park twitches its wings! Even the use of your powers or your thoughts are events in time! I can stop them. Like your breathing, for example.”
Nightfall suddenly couldn’t breathe. She fell to the ground struggling to take in a breath.
“Stop!” Traveler shouted.
“You’re right. That’s no fun.” Sylvia released Nightfall who gasped and gulped for air.
“You didn’t just beat them all by denying events,” Traveler said, trying to stall.
“You knew we were coming.”
“Oh yeah! That guy in the old fashioned tuxedo said you’d be coming. He told me how to use the hourglass. All I have to do for this gift is kill you all. But I’m going to have some fun first. So come on. Get your friends up. We aren’t done yet.”