Issue 21: Destiny Deferred

Screw Destiny!


  • Brain Child is alerted by Victoria Langley about an temporal anomaly detected by NOOTUN. She rushes to her counterparts lab to find that NOOTUN had pulled Schism from an alternate dimension. NOONTUN reports that this alternate earth is specified Earth 71, somewhere outside the 52. Schizm claims to be from a dimension where Earth has been ravaged. it’s rumored to have been ravaged by creatures he calls Caltrips, creatures that eat the dead, preferring the dead parts of matter, be it inanimate, organic, or souls. He also claims to be possessed by one of these creatures. Though weary of the newcomer, they offer him sanctuary until they are able to return him home.
  • Hybrid & Teen Lantern are brought up to speed with the goings on since they were captured as The Kinetic Kid infodumps the newcomer about the reality he’s currently in.
  • Days pass until the time for the arranged meeting with the mysterious ‘They’ at Gotham Century Tower arrives, Tom Albertson orders The Red Shirts to send a squad of twenty men in plain clothes out to patrol the area around the tower and Pastor Ted Haas orders a small group of plain clothed police officers to back them up. Victoria Langely tags along this time for reasons of her own.
  • They arrive at the tower and enter the basement. Inside, they find a smug young man, who looks around 15-16 years of age, waiting for them. He introduces himself as Geass and bids them follow him down into the depths below the tower.
  • Inside, they find a room with twenty one thrones, each numbered with a roman numeral. The Kinetic Kid looks over the room to see his mentor and step-father Captain Kinetic as well as his mother Friction among those seated in the thrones. Hybrid notices a teenage boy about his age laughing at him from one of the thrones.
  • Geass introduces the group as The 21. A group gathered by ‘The Hermit’ who sat in seat nine who will play a large part in the future to come. He claimed his lord has seen the destiny of the world where the 52 come together as one once again. In this future, The 21 shape and bring forth ‘The Hermits’ grand vision. He ‘offers’ the Zeros their seats among The 21.
  • Brain Child asks nervously about the whereabouts of Alexander Proditor as well as Christine Whaller & Joe Webb. Geass declares that Joe Webb is here, but unharmed. He orders him given over to the Zeros. He does express his condolences about not having Christine or Dr. Proditor. Proditor had taken Christine to “take back the company that he built.” Brain Child is alarmed at this, though doesn’t make a move to act.
  • The Kinetic Kid asks about Conundrum as he had been on one of the tarot cards they had retrieved from Proditor. Geass smiles and said he is here or he could not be here. Rather than being banished from our reality like was thought, Conundrum had actually taken refuge inside either Joe Webb or Christine, merging his existence with one of theirs.
  • Tom Albertson balks at all this talk about seeing the future and demands proof as well as the identity of ‘The Hermit’. Geass begins to dismiss Tom outright when ‘The Hermit’ himself stands and lowers his hood. Only a skull existed behind the hood. The Kinetic Kid immediately recognizes him as Dr. Destiny though quite changed since the last time Captain Kinetic and he had encountered him.
  • Destiny declares that Tom will betray the Zeros or that he shall be the martyr that bring The 21 together. Both outcomes he had seen. He urges the Zeros to join The 21 to take the benefits of the throne and help him usher in the future that he has foreseen.
  • The Zeros turn down his offer, but Geass glances at them and each feels compelled in varying degrees to join. Most shake off the influence, but Hybrid falls under his sway and offers to join.
  • As he ascends to take the thirteenth throne (Death), the teenage boy from earlier comes over to him, introducing himself as his brother. Hybrid balks at the idea, but has his identity confirmed by Victoria Langley. This takes Hybrid aback, but his new-found brother embraces him warmly.
  • Tom Albertson, not liking the situation at all, acts on his own. He fires a teleportation bullet at Hybrid sending him outside and into the waiting arms of the assembled Red Shirts. Hybrid quickly changes into were-chameleon form and escapes from his would-be captures.
  • Unable to bear the hunger anymore and on the teams urging, Schizm begins to feed on the hate, darkness, and death that had been shrouding the throne room. Captain Kinetic rushes forth to stop him, but The Kinetic Kid intercepts him, taking the shot from his mentor and father figure.
  • Friction steps down from her throne and begins to talk toward Tom Albertson. However, before anyone can act further, Hybrid busts into the room. He marches up to Destiny and Geass and demands his benefit from taking the throne. He wants the Zeros to be allowed to leave. The benefit is granted. Captain Kinetic steps down and Friction stops in her tracks.
  • The Zeros urge Schizm to keep ingesting as they try to stall a little longer. When Destiny notices this, he urges Friction and Captain Kinetic to take down Schizm, under the loophole that he wasn’t a Zero.
  • Meanwhile, Pastor Ted Haas has noticed the presence of Harvey Dent down below in the dungeons of the complex. He dashes off to rescue him. Brain Child, on the other hand, looks around for Teen Lantern worried about where he could be at a time like this. Her glance manages to find him in a dark corner, shivering and mumbling to himself. He is alternatively flashing between yellow and green as he attempts to control his powers. Though unsure why he was freaking out, though suspecting it had something to do with Destiny and the things Teen Lantern had been forced to see during his battle with Terrorlax in the Sea of Time, she knew quite well how destructive his powers could be if uncontrolled.
  • She tries to warn everyone when Teen Lantern’s tentative grasp on his powers loosens and everything and everyone is covered in yellow light. All but Schizm, Pastor Ted Haas, Hybrid’s brother, Friction, and Geass are affected. Yellow apparitions fill the throne room as each affect person begins to relive their greatest fears. Brain Child burns over and over again in yellow flame. Victoria Langley collapses and she’s overrun by a multitude of copies of herself. The Kinetic Kid is berated by images of his mother and step-father berating him. Hybrid is forced to be encased in a iron maiden made of silver. Captain Kinetic sees the grave of his step-son and falls to the ground weeping. Destiny is covered in a mass of transparent yellow flesh that melted from his bones over and over again.
  • The others suffered, but Tom Albertson suffered the most. Wrapped in yellow cocoon, he was forced to relive his personal traumas that turned him into what he was today over and over again, for what seemed like eternity. Knowing what was going to happen, but forced to watch anyway.
  • Unaffected, Schizm notices Friction heading toward him despite the chaos going on around them. He quickly turns his hunger on her. Eating the rotting and dead parts of her soul.
  • At the same moment, Pastor Ted Haas pauses at the entrance to the dungeons when sees the yellow light. He gives a quick glance back and notices Friction’s advance. He gives her a mindblast and she falls unconscious, at the feet of Schizm.
  • The Kinetic Kid finally comes back to his senses. Shaking off the affects of the apparitions and the fear, he sees his mother down lifeless in front of Schizm who was continuing to ingest the dead parts of her soul. Enraged and blaming Destiny for this, he races off to where Destiny sat in his throne screaming. He delivers a full powered double axe-handle
    blow directly to the skull of Destiny.
  • The frail skull cracks from the blow and Destiny screams louder and shriller than before. His body turns to dust leaving behind only his robe.
  • All those that had been under the full ‘contract’ of The 21 collapse into unconsciousness, Victoria Langley and Joe Webb included. Teen Lantern also collapses.
  • The Zeros begin to return to their senses when the fear effect was cleared away and begin to take note of what was going on. Pastor Ted Haas returns with Harvey Dent, having rescued him from his cell.
  • The Zeros stare at Geass, who just shugs and snaps his fingers. Any lingering compulsions they made have still had from unfinished ‘contracts’ were dissipated. Geass begins to leave from the front entrance as the Zeros watch him leave, wondering if they should attempt to cease him. Thinking better of it, they round up their casualties.
  • While the rest of the Zeros handle the clean-up, Tom Albertson calls Proditor on his private line. He is uncertain if he’ll answer or if the number would still even works. Proditor does answer and Tom demands to speak with Christine. Proditor is silent for a moment and informs Tom that she is dead. Not giving him a chance to explain, Tom shoot himself with a teleportation bullet and vanishes, leaving the rest of the team even more confused than before.
  • Upon their return to ProtoCorp HQ, they check-in with security to find that an attack had been staged against the building, but had been held off. Brain Child has the unconscious placed in medical with a 24-hour watch on them as well as a 24-hour watch on Tom Albertson’s apartment.

To Be Continued in ‘Less Than Zero’.


TheMainEvent si0nex

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