Suddenly, the heroes found themselves all standing in different locations around Sylvia about 30 yards away. She laughed as they looked to each other in confusion.
“I said we weren’t done yet, but you guys are sooo slow! So I helped you out a bit! Cool huh?”
“I’ll show you slow,” Electrode murmured as he ran at her with fists clenched. He couldn’t be sure how he switched targets, but he couldn’t stop running in time to avoid hitting Traveler.
Traveler crashed to the ground as Electrode tumbled over her. His body crashed through the wooden side of a gaming booth. Electrode lay in a far corner where stuffed animal prizes fell over him. His body was on fire with pain from several broken bones. His friends heard him cry out and Nyhtwulf flew to help him.
“Oops! Looks like one of you had a little accident.” Sylvia smiled in cruel enjoyment.
Sandstorm glared and his body dissipated into the air. No one else moved in for fear of getting in the way. Dust and rocks flew to a gathering new form that reached out from the winds. I giant angry face could be seen and a great fist rose over Sylvia. In the face of that wind, Sylvia didn’t move. For that matter, not a hair on her head moved either. As the fist came down, it took on the material form of granite and smashed into place where Sylvia stood. It hit so hard that the asphalt sank in and the fist crumbled away. Sylvia wasn’t there.
Her laughter drew eyes to the roof of a concessions stand.
“That was just a time facsimile of me. I can pull myself out of a future point.”
“There could be lots of me,” another of her said from by the bumper cars.
“For that matter, there’s one of me for each of you.” Sylvia appeared a few feet away from all the remaining heroes. “Think you can fight me now?”
“Oh yes! Turn yourself into a big hurricane and blow us all away! Maybe I’ll shift you into a populated area and see how many people you kill?”
Sandstorm clenched his fists and grit his teeth. He could tell that she was right and he had no idea what to do about it. He dissipated into air and waited.
Nyhtwulf cleared away debris and stuffed animals from Electrode.
“I can heal you, but I’m afraid it will still be quite painful as I reset your broken bones.”
“Just do it,” Electrode winced.
Outside, Sylvia continued to taunt.
“So which one of me might be real?” said one nearest to Nightfall.
Nightfall delivered an expert spin kick that missed completely.
“Oops! Wrong one!” All of the Sylvias now spoke in unison.
“You all have life force and mental activity that some of us can detect. Very clever and almost perfect.” Doctor Vampire said to the one nearest him.
“Oh? Do you know which one I am?”
“It’s a matter of time.” Doctor Vampire reached out for her but she vanished.
“You’re right about that, Doctor Vampire. It really is a matter of time.”
“How do you know so much about us?” Doctor Vampire asked. “And how do you know so much about using the hourglass?”
“Oh that guy was totally awesome! He literally put all the information right into my head. It was like magic or something!”
“A man in a black top hat?” Doctor Vampire continued.
Anubis swung his staff at the one nearest him and she vanished like the others.
“Only a coward fights like this!” Anubis roared.
“Like I’m going to stand around let you hit me, Dog Boy.”
“Of course! Stoop to the dog jokes. Now you really are just like any other bad guy.”
Kyte surrounded a Sylvia with his shadow tendrils, but when he tried to move her, she was gone. Lonestar swung his sword at one with the same results.
“You’re just playing with us.” Doctor Vampire said. “You have to stop. The hourglass is corrupting you. It’s too powerful for any human to use.”
“You think you could use it, Vampire?” The remaining Sylvia’s said.
No one else made a move against Sylvia, waiting for a sign from Doctor Vampire or Sandstorm. They could see it was useless to try and hit her.
Back in the gaming booth, Electrode grit his teeth in agony as Nyhtwulf used healing and intangibility to reset broken bones. It wouldn’t be long, but it was excruciating.
“I think I’ll do whatever I please!”
“And the hourglass will prompt you to do more and more while you’re actually damaging time itself.”
“Oh, you are one big party pooper! I guess Vampires really are brooding creatures, aren’t they? Nothing like what I’ve seen in the movies recently.”
“You can be very certain we are nothing like that,” Doctor Vampire scowled.
As if that were a cue, sharp angles of rock thrust from the ground, skewering each Sylvia where she stood. All of them looked shocked and then crumbled away to dust. Sandstorm reformed himself and all of them looked around for the hourglass. It was nowhere to be seen. Laughter that now haunted them, drew their attention to the low point of a rollercoaster.
“Oh, that was a monumental effort, Sandstorm! You get a nice little golf clap!” Sylvia stood unhurt, holding the hourglass. “Let’s raise the stakes, shall we?” Sylvia jumped down and everyone’s vision suddenly felt awkward.
As Sandstorm looked around him, he saw more multiples of Sylvia. Worse yet, he saw multiples of everyone. All of them, except Sylvia, found themselves glancing in all directions, in confusion.
“Now, not only do you have to figure out what time frame I’m in; you have to figure out what time frame you’re in!” Sylvia laughed and no one could anything about it.