The Gateway Arch
The heroes clashed in the fight of their lives. The man had charged them but a second before he had hit them, he simply vanished a wisp of black smoke and appeared behind them.
He raised his arms and shouted, “nellaf eht fo senob esir!” Immediately undead skeletons clawed their way in from the roof and dropped in a circle around the heroes.
“ If we’re going down, we’ll go down fighting,” George commanded the others. They all nodded in agreement and charged as one. The man’s robes were set on fire by Connor. Jackson used some of the water he stored up and blasted the nearest skeleton into the lava where it slowly burned. Luke slashed down monster left and right and then throwing their bones into the fire. Phoebe slipped a knife out of her utility belt and stabbed one of the skeletons, however it did no damage.
“ My knives don’t work,” Phoebe shouted as she scampered away. But, despite her attempt to run away she struck in the back of the head by a rib thrown by the skeleton. She simply lay their, still and unmoving.
“ I’ll help her. You guys focus on killing those beasts and the demon behind them.” Malcolm exclaimed, “ Jackson! Need some water here!”
“ On it,” Jackson screamed back. He then sent some water over to Malcolm. Malcolm quickly morphed it into water vapor, then a hurricane. He sent it in front of him, battering away the skeletons and clearing a path to Phoebe. Once he reached her, he ordered it to surround them to keep them from being attacked. He then felt for her pulse and found it to be a soft beat but it was still there.
“ She’s still alive!” Malcolm shouted with joy. This filled the whole team with renewed energy. Malcolm and Martha worked together to create a fiery whirlwind which they sent blazing around the room, incinerating the skeletons on the spot. Soon after, all the skeletons were burned to a crisp. The only one left standing was the demon himself.
“ We killed all your minions, and know we’re going to kill you as well,” snarled Jackson.
“ Bravo,” the man said with a exasperated sigh. “ You defeated those weaklings. I’ll grace with my presence in battle because you’re starting to bore me.”
“Oh no! She’s going to die. What will we do,” he said in a perfect mimic of Malcolm, “ Do you know how boring that gets after hearing the same thing for thousands of years? It’s nothing more than a soap opera.”
The team looked at each other and nodded in agreement. They were going to crush this man like a gnat. Malcolm laid Phoebe down on the floor gently, careful to avoid the flowing lava. They thrust out their hands and summoned all of their strength, and readied it. On George’s command, they each released their powers in the most devastating way and directed it at the monster. A mixture of fire, water and earth all streaked toward the demon, yet it did no damage. He simply opened his robes and the elements were sucked into it. What they saw represented a black hole. The inside of the cape was a swirling black mass with purple specks.
“ This,” he said pointing at his cloak in dramatic fashion, “ My friends, is the cloak of Tratustan, the glorious city of demons. It absorbs all elements that can come it’s way,” the demon responded. Despite this development, instead of giving up, the heroes gained hope because they realized that they had learned something. Maybe elements couldn’t hurt him, but weapons could. Malcolm secretly picked up Phoebe’s knife and hurled it at the demon with all of his might. It was headed straight at the head of the beast, but inches from the beast’s face the knife suddenly froze.
“ Did you really think a parlor trick like that could kill me. I’m an all-powerful demon from the depths of the pits of Mother Motu. And you thought that a simple knife could kill me,” he said after a slight pause, “ You humans are even lower of a species than I could have thought of. How low you have fallen in the last thousand years. If you are the earth’s greatest heroes, you have no chance.”
“ Oh, shut up. We’re more than a match for you,” Luke replied while pointing his sword at the demon.
Phoebe roused a little and Malcolm saw her and went to her side.
“You have to learn his name and banish him,” she silently whispered into Malcolm’s ear.
“ Hey demon, how do we know how powerful you are. We don’t even know your name,” Malcolm called out.
“ Up to your tricks again. I know the banishing spell you are trying to cast. You need my name and you I’ll never find out,” the fiend replied.
“ Well then, looks like we’ll have to kill you the old fashioned way,” George snarled.
He grabbed the dagger out of the air and swung at the demon. At that moment all chaos broke loose. Luke advanced toward the demon with sword swinging and eyes blazing. Meanwhile, George was pulling up pillars to trap the demon. Martha combined powers with Malcolm again and sent it spinning around behind the demon. Connor tried to set the cloak on fire, but to no avail. Jackson blasted the walls above the beast to make it collapse on him. The battle raged on for a few minutes. It ended with the demon’s cloak in tatters and the heroes still standing.
“ It’s time to end this, once and for all,” George exclaimed. Once again, they each released their powers and directed it at the demon. His screams shook the earth and the ceiling threatened to collapse.
“ We have to leave now,” Martha shouted, “ Malcolm! Get Phoebe.” Malcolm picked up Phoebe and all them ran for the gate. When they reached the gate a swirling white portal opened and they entered through. They seemed to be spinning for a few moments until they finally were released. They landed on hard ground and were astounded by what they had found.
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