Alternate ATF Universe: Pantheon
Character Focus: Vin
Disclaimer: Don’t own any of them, written purely for enjoyment. Mog created the ATF universe.
Beta by Kalde.
Summary: An old foe returns, with the Silver Archer as her target.
Please note: Text within '#' indicate that the words are being spoken by the Silver Archer using a voice modulator.
That Scintillation Shock was waiting for them when they arrived at the base was not unusual, the expression on his face was though.
"What's the problem?" Dark Thunder demanded.
Scintillation Shock sighed and looked at the Silver Archer before speaking softly, "Phantom Memories has escaped."
The silver clad hero froze at the pronouncement, a myriad of emotions running through his mind. A supportive pressure in his mind came from Dark Thunder but instead of accepting the reassurance it offered he withdrew into the depths of his own mind.
Dark Thunder easily gained entry through the shields he'd thrown up.
'Don't be stupid, hot shot, you're not alone in this and we won't let her get you.'
The Silver Archer took a shaky breath. 'Thanks.'
"Do you have any plans for the recapture of that vile villainess?" Shadow Mirage asked, aware of the silent discussion taking place between the two.
"Not yet. We'll probably have to wait until she strikes again and hope we can get there fast enough," Scintillation Shock sighed.
#I might be the only one she'll let close,# The Silver Archer commented softly. #She may even think I'm still under her control.#
His teammates all looked at him.
"You sure you want to face her again like that?" Ajax asked cautiously. He did not want to sound like he doubted his friend, but he wasn't sure the other hero was ready to face her again, even after nearly a year.
#I gotta do this.#
"Ok, but not alone," Dark Thunder declared.
#Just remember your promise.#
"What promise?" Aerotik asked.
"Better you don't know," Ajax said softly, putting a strong hand on the young speedster's shoulder.
Chapter 1: Preparations
The Silver Archer didn't react as Ajax came into the room behind him. He was looking over a map, trying to work out where he needed to go that night to stand the greatest chance of catching the woman he was beginning to think of as his nemesis.
#How did you know?#
Ajax smiled, the man didn't need to look around to know who was around him.
"Because I know you. I would have been surprised if you hadn't."
"Wouldn't be much of a profiler, would I, if I couldn't figure that out."
The lean man chuckled.
He fell silent for a few moments before speaking again, #Ya think I can do this?#
"Alone or with us?"
The Silver Archer looked up at him and he could feel the anguish of the gaze even through the lenses covering the other man's eyes.
"I think that with the rest of us there's nothing you can't do."
A faint smile flitted across the hero's face.
Dark Thunder appeared in the doorway. "You ready?"
#As I'll ever be.#
The black clad hero nodded. "I'll keep in contact with you. When contact is made with her, Shadow Mirage will transport us nearby ready to back you up."
#And close enough to keep your promise.#
"I don't think it'll come to that, but yes."
With a deep breath the Silver Archer nodded and headed for the exit to the streets of Denver.
Chapter 2: Show Down
"It is unknown at this time why the Silver Archer is out on his own or where the rest of the Denver Protectors are," Mary said into her microphone, struggling to remain impartial for her audience even though she was furious that the hero was out on his own while the woman who had near finished him was on the loose.
She felt her breath catch as the lean hero paused then turned to face someone approaching, a someone none other than Phantom Memories.
As Mary watched in fear from a safe distance she had no idea that the hero she was watching felt worse fear.
Calm as he looked the Silver Archer fought to keep from panicking as he felt her powers reaching out to him again.
Instantly his link with Dark Thunder strengthened, stabbing down into the lower recesses of his mind and allowing him to retain control even as she thought she had him.
Behind his lenses he blinked, he hadn't noticed the commands last time.
'Play along.' Dark Thunder advised.
He moved closer to her.
~You don't need the bow.~
He hoped she didn't notice his hesitation before discarding the weapon and also hoping the command didn't mean she suspected he could now resist her.
"Damn it! We gotta get down there!" Aerotik exclaimed.
Dark Thunder put a restraining hand on the younger hero's arm, "Wait. He's in control."
~You are mine again.~ She stepped forward to claim him, reaching up to draw him into a kiss.
"Where are his teammates? Why aren't they doing something?" Mary exclaimed, uncaring that she sounded much like a panicked woman right then and on live TV to boot.
The Silver Archer's hand closed on a shock arrow as she came closer then brought it around and shoved it into her.
#Never again.# He stated with finality to her shocked expression before she collapsed.
Taking a steadying breath, he flipped her onto her stomach and efficiently restrained her before sending the summon signal to Special Force.
He looked up at his teammates as they joined him on the rooftop.
"Good one," Dark Thunder stated, clapping him on the back.
Both of them could feel her powers fading from his system; apparently they were only persistent if her victim fell under her control.
"Should have known," Mary mumbled to herself, though the mike picked it up regardless.
On the rooftop, Scintillation Shock appeared and hurried over to the small gathering. Reaching them, he pulled the young hero he thought of as a son into a fierce embrace. And for once the Silver Archer didn't try to wiggle out of it.
Mary took a steadying breath before addressing her audience again. "The Denver Protectors have been known to lay traps for villains before and obviously that is what they did tonight."
A slight tilt of Dark Thunder's head had the heroes stepping together as Special Force carted Phantom Memories off, and moments later Shadow Mirage whisked them away.
"How are you going, cowboy?"
Vin looked up at his best friend. "Getting there. Brought up a lot of memories."
"If you need to talk..." the blond left the sentence hanging, the meaning understood.
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