Tales of Justice

North by North Korea 12.5: Feral
Just because a villain told you it was true, that does not make it true.

Everyone started to disappear as the wormhole machine powered down. Ignoring the persistent heroes, Feral drank in all the people from all the other realities who had come running when she roared.

That was not her David. She knew that before she saw his tail, or felt his generally chirpy outlook: he had no empathic sense to meld with hers, no implanted psychic ability at all. Besides, he did not hate her. Puma hated her, at least a little, even on days when tolerance and amusement were strong enough to create affection. This must be a David Ironhorse that I never betrayed, she guessed. Feral studied his cheerful face as his universe separated from hers.

Her own hostile eyes stared back at Feral, a silent warning that these are mine and you SHALL NOT touch them. Feral looked past her doppelganger at the light wolf and the dark, at the bat, at the creepy gray-skinned Indian woman, at the barest hint of a swordsman in black leather. A happy life with friends and love and snowball fights and good-natured ribbing — what a miracle, what a precious bejeweled soap bubble that was! Feral would never try to take that away from her other self. She watched them fade until they might as well have never been there.

She’d been happy, once. Family and friends and the occasional snowball fight. Feral balled her paws at her sides so she would not look at Mister Sinister. This moment was not about him, not yet.

A blue-skinned man with purple eyes glanced around, confused. He had not really come to her call for aid, he had followed the energy of the crowd. Feral was not sure if he had looked directly at her, even once. He thought he recognized someone – not a feline person – and stepped forward, teleporting, and never appeared again. Feral glanced toward his probable destination: a silver-skinned man, a winged woman, and another Jarissa, familiar and not at all touch-averse. The one with the wings was checking her Alpha for hidden injuries.

Lady Jessica, Feral’s clone who had been rescued by some European team of animal-men, stepped up to Feral’s side suddenly. “Everything really is all right, dear sister!” The woman sounded distressed. She sounds like Princess Adora of Eternos, Feral thought, annoyed. But she was going to let it be until Jessica threw her arms around Feral in a supposedly reassuring embrace. Without thinking, without taking her eyes off the vanishing people, Feral twisted the clone’s arm for leverage and then threw her sideways, into the wall. She heard Jessica yipe in startled pain. Ask before touching, Feral thought angrily, I paid in blood and screaming for that lesson and you should damned well know better.

Blue eyes flashed up from that trio to check on the pain sound. They faded away as he satisfied himself that the other cat needed no rescue. His gaze had no time to turn to Feral. She was not sure if she would have wanted it to.

Feral rotated a little. She was not putting her back to Jessica, she was getting a better view of Timber Wolf. This one might be the one she knew. She did not remember him looking so much like his namesake, but the way he moved was right. His hooded eyes were right. You abandoned us, she thought at him, and then you did it again. You went off to find your own happy life. Good for you. I hope it worked. Now you are going to abandon me yet again. One last time. The fact that you came at all is more than I ever expected. He looked so uncomfortable around all these other people, his nose twitching and his shoulders hunched. Feral saw the start of relief in John’s body language as, from his point of view, everyone else disappeared into the thinning fog.

Somewhere she noticed that Doctor Reynolds was calling out to his father, upset and urgent. Maybe he would follow that one into the mist, disappear too. Feral never had much chance to get to know Steven but he was a pleasant man, he deserved that connection with his own family. She was sure Steven could go where his father led, in these few seconds, if he willed it hard enough. It meant abandoning his team. If they were anything like her Wyldfire had been, the people Sinister had murdered, they would understand. They would wish him well.

There was only one multi-universal fragment left, from all the happy alternate lives she might have led. Feral let her gaze settle straight on the Silverwing who looked so much like her own Thomas. Maybe they are from the closest parallel world. Is he in love with Shadowstar or Plastique? Feral could so easily believe this was the one she knew, her best friend, the one who had followed her and found her many times. The one who had only walked away once, for three years, but decided he was happier with her friendship than without it. The one who knew her, almost as well as her husband; who never flinched when she snarled, who witnessed her capacity to murder but still felt completely safe in her worst moods. The one she was designed and programmed to protect. The one for whom she gave up killing, learned to create safety without lethal defenses. The one who heard what she said without her voice.

The one she had told, so hoarse with weakness that most humans would not have understood the words, that she would not survive watching him walk out of her life a second time.

The one Mister Sinister murdered in a missile barrage.

He put her in a cage and made her watch on his monitors while he adjusted the missiles’ trajectories. He kept firing until the lowest sublevel was exposed, on fire, no current of wind moving against the weather pattern to hint at a superspeedster’s passage, no energy beams smashing the nose cone so it would explode too soon, no shimmering bubble of telekinetic wall to deflect the rubble. At the end of it, when all was quiet, when the bodies were smoldering and still, Sinister turned to glance at her coolly and said, “I still have two missiles left.” He was pleased that his calculations worked better than required to wipe off the planet that entire school and everyone inside it.

Feral was going to kill Mister Sinister, oh yes; she would die in the attempt, he would kill her right back. That was the best part. Jarissa could have had all these different happy lives, but none of them were an option for her. Maybe God really did hate her as much as Granny said? Now she had seen most of her dead team one last time, in their alternate realities where they were safe and well and sometimes happy. She would watch this last one go away. She drank him in like a woman dying of thirst in a savanna mirage, knowing he was not real — or not her real anyway. Her real died while she did nothing to protect them. Sky-blue eyes came around to look at her, looking at him. She would not look away, would not blink, until the mirage left her.

And then … only then … once he was gone: she would murder Nathaniel Essex.

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North by North Korea, Part 12
In the Crosshairs!

Greetings True Believers!

When last we left our heroes, they had discovered the strange creatures around the meteorite were survivors of the doomed world of Krypton! With their help, our heroes sped along their quest to find Jarissa, and investigate Mr. Sinister’s plan.

This brought them to the heart of Sinister’s “Perfect London”, an exact duplicate of London in the 1880s! Except for the sole building in the middle of the city. The same building, that the Kryptonians took our heroes to!

And yes! They have found Jarissa, but Dr. Reynolds has also found his father, Amethyst has found Kryptonians that can possibly help explain his ring to him, and Kraven? He might have found his ultimate hunt! And they all have finally tracked down Mr. Sinister. But is he, in fact, the real one?

Unfortunately, True Believers, a diabolical version of their Dr. Victor Von Doom has found all of them!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 11
Expecting the Unexpected!

Greetings True Believers!

What happened, True Believers? Did you see? All I could see was that bright flash of light!

Mr. Sinister believes he will ‘save’ everyone by collapsing the dimensional barrier between the parallel Earths! And he might have the scientific know how to pull off this nefarious scheme.

But! Never fear! Our heroes are on the job, and they have Sinister and his foul plan right where they want him … or do they?

It’s a Crisis of Multiple Earths in this next part of “North by North Korea!”

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 10
Interrogation Scramble!

Greetings True Believers!

Welcome back, True Believers! I’ve arrived at many an airfield, but that was one warm welcome! Plant-people, COBRA? And what about those Dr. Essex look-alike soldiers guarding a mysterious door?

Well, our heroes have rescued prisoners, and taken several of their own. Maybe they’ll get some answers to what all is going on? Is Dr. Essex involved? Or is this something else?

As our heroes take charge of their captives at the plane or wherever they wish to keep them, lets listen in and find out!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 9
In case of emergency ...

Greetings True Believers!

Welcome back, True Believers! Can you believe what happened? Two Mechanons! Isn’t one bad enough? And will the one that didn’t go through the portal … will he help this world? Or was he just the lesser of two great evils? Only time will tell!

Now our heroes are speeding through the skies to the coordinates they found earlier … the mysterious land of Siberia! But, this is not the Siberia they know or read about. Here, it is not quite the same. It’s a forbidden land, rife with danger! And if they are to rescue their friend and teammate Jarissa, it’s where they have to go.

But first they have to figure out how to land the plane, now that it’s completely lost power!

Did anyone see where that blast of green energy came from?

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 8
Double Trouble in the Battle Royal!

Greetings True Believers!

Welcome back! I’m glad to see you made it! But I’m not sure our heroes are ok!

After all these countless months, it seems General Thunderbolt Ross has been part of a secret military operation! And who, or WHAT is Mechanon? Is Mechanon a friend, or a foe? And how will Ross react to this?

All because Penguin asked for a favor!

So hang in there, the answers to all those questions lie ahead, True Believer!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 7
A little favor

Greetings True Believers!

It looks like our heroes have smooth sailing with the help of the Penguin and his resources! But first, they have to do him one favor.

And it seems such a simple task. Go check out a set of warehouses along the Metropolis waterfront. How bad can it be?

I dunno about you, True Believers, but something sure smells fishy to me! Let’s check in on our heroes and find out how they’re doing!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 6
Stock, Trade and Death

Greetings True Believers!

With our heroes barely getting out without a scratch, I think they’ve discovered they aren’t in Kansas any more!

And now, after a strange trek through the ruins of Metropolis, they’re on their way to meet the Penguin! But this is no Oz, and he’s certainly no wizard.

He claims to have information that will help our heroes, but what does the Penguin want in return? And after the attack, what about Essex? Will he risk the fragile balance of power and attack our heroes again?

There might be a twister on the horizon from this one, True Believers! Hang onto your seats!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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North by North Korea, Part 5
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

Greetings True Believers!

Traveling is tough at the best of times. Now imagine a trip across dimensions! That is exactly where our heroes are, True Believers! Out of their Earth, onto another and into the domain of the nefarious Mr. Sinister!

They have seen the video footage of Jarissa locked in a high security cell. She is within their grasp. But, could this have been planned? Is it possible that all of this was a calculated move by Sinister to gain an upper hand against our heroes?

It’s a twisted path their on, True Believers! Grab a compass and map and lets see if they find a way out!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Martin Prinz, “Amethyst”
Sergei Kravenov, “Kraven the Hunter”
Dr. Steven Reynolds, “Medkit”
James Adison, “Monkey King”

Guest Starring
Lady Jessica

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