Guardians, Episode 2: Blood//Water

[[Scene 1]] [[The Pier]]

[Narrator:]    The gentle cry of a seagull mingles with the crashing of the waves near the boardwalk at Emerald Beach, just north of the pier. Emerald beach is one of the middle-grade beaches in the area. It was better than Pilgrim Beach, the municipal park-turned-beach south of the harbor, but it’s not as good as Salem beach, located on the North Side. The Emerald Boardwalk is a favorite place for lovers to stroll, look out at the waves. On this quiet and slow night, Carter Holloway and Bryce Johnson sat on the edge of the pier, legs dangling over the side. They were holding hands, their fingers intertwined. Bryce had his head on Carter’s shoulder, and Bryce had his arm around Carter. They were a portrait of young love.

[Bryce:]    The sea is so beautiful at night, when the lights from the city bounce off the black waves.

[Carter:]    The way the lights reflect of the water, it looks like the ocean is full of stars.

[Bryce:]    You’re the only shining star I see, Carter. I’m so happy when I’m with you.

[Carter:]    I love you, Bryce.

[Bryce:]    I love you too, babe.

[Narrator:]    The couple kissed. They were so entranced in one another, that they didn’t notice a pale skinned figure with long bedraggled chestnut colored hair rising from the sea and floating before them above the water. Carter noticed it first: the strong smell of putrefying fish flesh. He turned to look towards the water, and screamed, catching sight of the figure.

[Eliza:]    You… You are both fools… Happiness does not exist. How dare you speak of happiness in the place where I died...

[Narrator:]    The figure’s hands extended toward Carter and Bryce. The boys began to choke. They coughed up water as much as they could, until they couldn’t fight it anymore. Both boys fell backwards still holding hands, no longer looking like two young men. Instead, they looked like dried out husks of people, looking just like ancient mummies that shopped at Banana republic. They were dead. the young woman floated down and landed in between them. She clutched the crucifix on her neck, pulling it off and laying it in between the two boys. Then, on shaky legs, she took a few basic steps, finally clear after the last 6 months of madness. She was walking slowly but surely to revenge, leaving wet footprints wherever she stepped. She vanished into the night.

[[Scene 2]] [[The pier]]

[Narrator:]    Nothing quite ruins the morning like getting a call that says there are 2 recently deceased mummified corpses on the pier. I got the call while I was just settling in with a cup of coffee at the newly renamed Raven Detective Agency. Dean called me and told me to get over there quickly. I got out of the Lyft, smoothed out my detective’s trench before putting my hands in my pockets, where I began to put on gloves. Dean instinctively turned when I approached, as though he could sense my presence whenever I entered the room. Even under these grizzly circumstances, he still gave me his award winning grin, and came over to give me a kiss.

[Dean:]    Hey, beautiful.

[Jordan:]    Hey, future hubby. [kiss sound.] So what’ve we got here?

[Dean:]    It’s… not a pretty sight.

[Jordan:]    When is the scene of a crime ever pretty?

[Dean:]    The “Snow White” crime scene from the Storybook Killer case.

[Jordan:]    .... Okay, name two?

[Dean:]    I could if you wanted me to.

[Jordan:]    I absolutely don’t. Anyway, let’s look at the vics. Can you take notes for me?

[Dean:]    Um, I’m not your secretary.

[Narrator:]    He pulled out his notepad anyway. He knew how this worked best. We’d trade off if needed, but it was almost guaranteed that I’ll notice more things. And his handwriting is neater than mine. I knelt down to get a closer look at the body.

[Jordan:]    Hmmm… Okay… Both corpses are boys. Based on the hands, I’d say they were lovers. Based on the clothing and general body size, I put them between ages 16 and 19. Not that it matters, but one was Caucasian, the other was of African descent. Judging by the leather texture of the skin, and it’s brittleness… I think it’s safe, but very weird to be able to say, these boys died from rapid-onset terminal dehydration. 65% of their body literally evaporated. Let the record show I am seeing a wallet on the Caucasian kid, and I’m pulling it out… Okay, from his driver’s license, this boy’s name was Carter Holloway, age 16, from the Falcon Village, neighborhood. Goddamn… that’s tragic.

[Dean:]    I’ll radio that in to the station. We’ll send Officer June to notify the family of both the decedents.

[Jordan:]    Hold off on naming who he was with. Have June ask if he was seeing someone, male, female, or other. Even if the boys are dead, I don’t wish to out them.

[Dean:]    Roger that. I’ll go do that now. You keep looking.

[Narrator:]    Dean walked away. I carefully picked up the crucifix that had been placed between them. I stared at it and let it twirl around before my eyes. That’s when I saw that there was a strand of hair attached to the necklace, and that the back of the crucifix had the letter “E” on the back of it. I took note of a wet patch of water near the body, shaped oddly like footprints. I touched it, and it was wet. The fact it hadn’t yet evaporated was strange, and I could see why they called me in. This was most likely another metahuman. As I straightened up, bagging the hair and crucifix for evidence and placing them in my pocket, I heard a voice that I super didn’t want to hear that day.

[Kit:]    Well, well, well, the city’s finest detective, hard at work.

[Jordan:]    Ugh…. (sigh) Kit, what are you doing here? This is an active crime scene.

[Kit:]    Oh… OH GOD. Oh god, I shouldn’t have looked. Ugh, there goes my appetite. But tell me Jordan, why do these bodies look like fruit leather?

[Jordan:]    I’m going to assume that wasn’t a gay slur you blended with that tasteless joke. And You know I cannot discuss details of an active case. Also, if you post that photo, you will be charged with violating privacy laws. And if that doesn’t change your mind, let me appeal to your heart. We have not as of yet identified these boys or notified their respective families. You have millions of followers. Imagine if their little brother or sister sees a corpse wearing their big brother’s clothes.

[Kit:]    Relax, I’ll delete them, I’m not a monster. But seriously, off the record, what can you tell me? This is clearly not a natural death.

[Jordan:]    I can’t tell you anything technically. But when last I checked, bodies don’t just do this overnight.

[Kit:]    Hmmm. Fair enough. Now, I have an unrelated question for a different piece.

[Jordan:]    (sigh) Go ahead, then. Shoot.

[Kit:]    (clicks pen) So, word on the street is, Interim Mayor Barbie, aka Fayth Flaherty will be running unopposed for the mayors spot. How do you feel about that? Are you, as a council member, throwing your support behind her?

[Narrator:]    I paused. I hadn’t honestly thought about that. Here’s the thing: I have no real reason to not support Fayth and her campaign for Mayor. I don’t even remember why I dislike her as much as I do. But I definitely don’t trust her. Kit doesn’t like Fayth either, which I think is mutual, because they dragged her pretty hard the last time she tried to run for Mayor a few years ago. That was a low blow, and they are never exactly subtle, but what can you do? And then a thought came to me. I smiled to Kit.

[Jordan:]    Kit… how would you like an exclusive, breaking news story?

[Kit:]    (quickly) Absolutely yes, please.

[Jordan:]    Alright. Meet me outside the Estate tonight at 8pm. There will be a small soiree. You won’t be disappointed. And also, dress… fancy.

[Kit:]    I guess I’ll have to break out my heels.

[Narrator:]    Kit sauntered away at a speed that said, ‘i’m not running, I’m just awkwardly power walking.’ Kinda looked like the little run you do when you trip over part of the pavement, and you’re trying to hide it from people. This was… not a great idea. I knew it wasn’t. But to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about what I was going to do, but thinking about who would be there. I sent a text that went to all of the Founding Family Council, explaining that there was a meeting at 7:30 PM and that I would be hosting at the Estate. I got some confirmation from folks. I called to hire a bartender and servers and hors d'oeuvres to be ready 10 hours from that moment. Normally that would be a lot to ask, but I know a guy. This would be a great chance to see William O’Hea and the Brennans in person, and perhaps discreetly question them. But first, to identify the hair from the necklace, I ran over to the newly rebuilt Blackburn Laboratories

[[Scene 3]] [[Blackburn Labs]]

[Narrator:]    Johanna was sitting at her desk, starring pointedly at a diagram of a pancreas, a chemical compound figure of insulin, and the DNA of a diabetic and that of a regular person. It looked as though she was trying to interrogate the diagrams with her mind, even though Scarlett is the telepathic one in their relationship. I knew this look, I knew it quite well. This was the, “This problem is so closed to solved” look. This was the look that allowed me to, as owner of the Lab, to suggest to the board that she become the CEO. She was staring, and I noticed tiny sparks of electricity hoping from finger to finger. Johanna didn’t notice that she was doing that until I gentle closed her door. She jumped a little, until she saw it was me.

[Jordan:]    Hey, Jo.

[Johanna:]    (distracted) Oh, Hey, Jordan.

[Jordan:]    Just dropping off a hair that I need sequenced. I left it with your assistant.

[Johanna:]    (distracted) uh-huh. okay, sounds good.

[Jordan:]    And I bought you a pet dragon named puppy.

[Johanna:]    (distracted) Alrighty.

[Jordan:]    Um, Jo, Puppy isn’t real. What’s going on?

[Johanna:]    (sigh) I promised the board a functioning prototype. If the premise here is that we want a way to re-engage the pancreas and get it producing insulin again correctly, as well as provide a giving you an accurate read on your levels, without mass producing a bunch of synthetic pancreases… pancre-eye? Whatever. Then I don’t know what i’m supposed to do. It has to be able to be powered by the body itself to do all of this.

[Jordan:]    Correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t we have that figured out? R&D made that battery years ago.

[Johanna:]    Yeah, but we don’t know how long it lasts for. And I’m not willing to not have a built in system to notify us when the battery is dying.

[Jordan:]    Hmm…. doesn’t the body contain a small amount of electricity at all times? It’s that how the entire nervous system works?

[Johanna:]    yeah, but how can we even tap into that? Without rerouting a pre-existing nerve ending which the brain can’t even support.

[Jordan:]    I have no idea… (sigh) but what I do know, is that if anyone can solve this… it’s you. But pace yourself. If you need an extension, you can have it. You’re literally curing an incurable disease, so take all the time you need.

[Johanna:]    Okay… Okay, you’re right. Thanks, J. Also, got your text about tonight. What are you planning?

[Jordan:]    I’m trying to draw out those 2 families, and learn what I can learn from them about the disappearance of Ms. Brennan. Based on what Ember had said about her father’s assistant/hired muscle, I think something shady is going on between the Brennan’s and the O’Hea’s.

[Johanna:]    Good thinking.

[Jordan:]    They are confirmed to be there. Hey, if you get a chance, can you run a search for the cases involving that lawyer, Charles Brigham, especially any that involved for William O’Hea. Maybe we can find a connection there. Hopefully we get answers. And speaking of needing answers, I need to get going. I am meeting with Dean’s parents across the way in a few minutes.

[Johanna:]    Has Scarlett come up with anything yet, about whatever that whole thing was?

[Jordan:]    No, she hasn’t. Were you able to do a scan and see if there were any DNA matches?

[Johanna:]    Turned up nothing. No match in any database that came close.

[Jordan:]    Well then… wish me luck on this. I have a feeling this is going to be more of a headache than I thought.

[Johanna:]    Have you told him?

[Jordan:]    About what happened? No… No. He’s apprehensive enough as it is. I don’t want anything to cause him additional stress.

[Johanna:]    I’m not in favor of lying to him… but I understand, J. Just be careful. I’ll see you at the Estate later. Scarlett’s my date, obviously.

[Jordan:]    Oh of course. Alright. Love you, Jo.

[Narrator:]    Almost as soon as I shut the door, Johanna looked up at the model of the pancreas, and gasped.

[Johanna:]    Oh my god… I’ve got it…. I’ve GOT IT!

[[Scene 4]] [[Raven Detective Agency]]

[Narrator:]    30 minutes later, I was sitting at my desk looking across at Dean’s 2 brilliant mothers. Anna-Macrae’s frame has always looked lean but sturdy. She has the body of a ballerina in her 20’s, which given that she was in her mid to late 50s was extraordinarily impressive. I suppose that’s what comes from years of acrobatics, trapeze, aerial silks, parkour, and a daily yoga routine that most people could never handle. Her dark brown hair was pulled back into a bun, and she was wearing leggings and Wicked sweatshirt. She was a huge fan of musicals. Mz Emma, which I still call her out of habit, was not as slim as her wife. Her frame was more pear-shaped, with strong arms that were more muscular than mine. She preferred to spend the gym time, which the wives did together daily, lifting weights. Her hair was halfway between a pompadour and a masculine combover, a classic style that has always been a signal that meant ‘I am a very, VERY proud lesbian’. She was dressed like a librarian, which trust me is a compliment. She had a light blue button down shirt with a dark green plaid bow tie, the shirt was tucked into a matching green plaid pencil skirt. This, or a variation of this, is what she wore for every year that she was a teacher. Classic, put together, stylish. Both their skin was smooth with practically no signs of their ages, though I did see a couple streaks of grey peeking out for Mz Emma. Knowing what I do about them, they would display those signs proudly and confidently. Honestly, fashion-wise and as life partners, these two women have always been killing it. They were 2 of my personal heroes, and had been since I first announced to the world that I was gay. Queer role models are always important.

[Anna:]    So Jordan, you sounded concerned on the phone is everything alright? Was it the cake? I told Dean that was a bad idea.

[Emma:]    I don’t know, I thought it seemed kind of fun. A little unconventional never hurt anybody.

[Jordan:]    I Nope. I absolutely won’t do a red-velvet cake and green frosting. But no, that’s not what I called you about. It is wedding related though. [beat] This is awkward for me to ask. I don’t want to be intrusive, or stir up anything negative. I know this kind of thing is sensitive…

[Emma:]    Jordan, you know you can ask us anything.

[Anna:]    Exactly right. We trust you.

[Jordan:]    Okay… okay. [sigh] alright. So, the other day, Dean and I were… working out and trying to work through a case, and I asked him if he knew anything about his dad, and he said he didn’t, but then he got really quiet, and seemed a little bit sad. I wanted to ask you two if you could tell me anything about the man who helped create Dean. It feels strange to call him father, since you both raised him, but calling him a sperm donor feels weird to say to your future mothers in law.

[Narrator:]    That little joke got a little laugh from Anna, and I smiled. I didn’t want to lie to them, but they don’t know I’m RedWing, and they don’t know about Dean’s powers. I noticed Emma had an eyebrow raised at me, and shot a look over at Anna, who nodded at her.

[Anna:]    We… We never told Dean about his biological father. We do know who he is, but to be quite honest, we aren’t sure where he is in the world right now.

[Emma:]    I think he was last somewhere near Norway, but that was like… 4 years ago, I think?

[Anna:]    Something like that. We didn’t tell Dean because it didn’t seem important. Dean asked a couple times when he was a kid, and I think that may have contributed to him feeling angry. You know he had that aggression problem right on up until he met you. And after that, he just didn’t ask anymore.

[Jordan:]    Was he a stranger? A friend?

[Emma:]    Umm… he was… uh… hmm. It’s hard to say.

[Anna:]    He was an acquaintance, but not quite a stranger or a friend really. He, uh… travels a lot. He’s a bit of a…

[Emma:]    Cultural Anthropologist? Yeah, yeah that’s right. I met him volunteering at the museum and he was giving a lecture.

[Jordan:]    If I may ask… why did you select him as a donor? I can’t imagine asking someone I barely know for that.

[Emma:]    [slightly peeved] Why not? Straight people get pregnant without so much as asking a name.

[Jordan:]    Oh, no, I know, I didn’t mean to offend. I don’t presume to know how that all works.

[Anna:]    Well, quite frankly, I decided I wanted to carry the baby to term, and he looked like he had… well, just the best genetics. He was tall, sturdy, bright green eyes and red hair.

[Jordan:]    Just like Dean.

[Emma:]    Dean has grown up to look an awful lot like him. I guess it’s that strong Irish heritage.

[Anna:]    Indeed.

[Jordan:]    Now… I want to keep this between us. I don’t want to push this one Dean at all, and I can assure you I’m not going to contact him. I just want to know... What is his name?

[Narrator:]    The couple looked at each other for a moment, seeming to have a full conversation with each other with just their eyebrows, which were impeccable by the way. After about half a minute or so, Anna turned to back to me with a smile.

[Anna:]    Like I said, we trust you, Jordan. His name is Cedric Morrighan.

[Jordan:]    Same last name? Was he related to you?

[Anna:]    No… No, I changed my name when Em and I got married. It was his literally his only request of us. And he was giving us so much.

[Jordan:]    Ahh, Okay. I understand. Now, I have one final follow-up question.

[Narrator:]    I slid the paper across the table to Emma specifically. It was a drawing of the marking that appeared on Dean during the fit.

[Jordan:]    Does this or the words: “Crow of War” mean anything to you? Have you seen it anywhere before on any artifacts?

[Emma:]    Oh my god… Where did you get this?!

[Narrator:]    She sounded tense, like she was angry and about to shout at me. I had hit a nerve, I think.

[Jordan:]    I… um…

[Emma:]    When did this appear around Dean?! Was it on his skin?!

[Jordan:]    About 5 days ago, but how did you…?

[Anna:]    It can’t be… it’s time? Already?

[Emma:]    Anna, come on, we must prepare. The fates have spoken, and the call is on the wind.

[Jordan:]    Wait, what call? The fates? What are you talking about.

[Narrator:]    They were up and almost out the door in seconds. I rose to follow them. Emma spun around and stopped me with her look. Her eyes looked more piercing and serious than I’d ever seen in my life.

[Emma:]    Do not speak a word about this to Dean, but keep a very close eye on him. Swear an oath to me that you won’t tell him about any of this. Do you swear?

[Jordan:]    I… I… Yes, okay, I swear. I won’t tell him.

[Narrator:]    They turned and the door closed sharply behind them. All I could think is, “what the hell just happened here?”

[Scene 5] [Redfield Wade Estate, ballroom]

[Narrator:]    I always preferred the great room for social gatherings. The Estate has 3 large spaces that would be suitable for entertaining, not including the C.O.R.V.U.S. Room located beneath the basement level. There was the Ballroom, which I had never actually seen used for anything in my 28 years on this planet. There was the Dining Room, but there was no real reason to use that space if I wasn’t serving a 4 course meal. And then there was the Great Entry Room, with it’s grand staircases and balcony. This room was a large square, but the staircases had an elegant rounded curve to them. I have a very strong memory of one Christmas party where my father descended from the left side of the balcony, wearing a red tuxedo and a red velvet side cape with white trim on the bottom. My mother was wearing a beautiful white princess-style dress, with ruffles and randomly placed green and red gems. She had fairy wings coming from the back of her dress that were made of actual silver. They had put me in a little green tuxedo, and honestly, that was the best they could do, because I was 5 and there was no way I was going to deal with anything fancy. Somewhere, there is a Christmas card photo of us in front of a tree in the very spot I found myself standing over 23 years later. Tonight, I was wearing a black tuxedo jacket, pants and tie, and a red shirt. I was holding my second glass of a particularly delicious Red Eiswein, sipping on it casually as I scanned the crowd. One thing that is always true about these functions is that the Founding Family Council members with children over age 13 always bring their children, in an effort to force them to socialize and make friends, which usually just ends with them being incredibly bored. I had no intention of keeping people their long. I spotted Fayth in a pink peplum dress, and was confused how she found out, and then I spotted Kit who winked at me. Of course, they brought her here. They wanted maximum drama. I began to walk towards the stairs, clocking Johanna, Dean, Scarlett, Keiran and Jared around the room. I jerked my head towards Dean and Johanna, who pulled away from their conversations to approach the stairs with me. Johanna whispered in my ear.

[Johanna:]    Quick update: that hair you dropped of? It belonged to Elizabeth Brennan. And I found that Charles Brigham, esquire, has represented William O’Hea in a dozen cases, mostly racketeering and money laundering, tax evasion, tenant complaints, suspicion of organized crime…. But there was one case in particular. Honestly it was hard to see, because the records were tampered with. The plaintiff’s name was redacted, which would only be that way if the plaintiff was underage. So basically, my professional opinion, fuck that guy, he’s a total creep.

[Jordan:]    Roger that.

[Narrator:]    When I was about a foot away from the steps, I turned slightly and saw William O’Hea, and I paused, putting on my most fake plastic smile.

[Jordan:]    Mister O’Hea, such a pleasure you could make it.

[Mr. O’Hea:]    Of course, Jordan.

[Jordan:]    It’s a shame your daughter couldn’t attend. How is she holding up?

[Mr. O’Hea:]    She’s still in the hospital, she’s in a coma. The doctors are hopeful though. Any day now.

[Jordan:]    Well, if there is anything I can do, you just let me know. [pause] God, you know, it’s just so strange how the children appear to be going missing.

[Mr. O’Hea:]    Indeed, it is a stran-

[Jordan:]    What did you do to Elizabeth Brennan, Mister O’Hea?

[Mr. O’Hea:]    Excuse me?

[Jordan:]    Just listen for a moment. I’m on a time crunch and have an announcement to make. I have it on good authority that you were involved in the disappearance of Elizabeth Brennan. Oh, and if you try to leave, I will take that as an admission of guilt. So, ‘sir’, don’t get too comfortable. These young women will have justice. I will see to that.

[Narrator:]    I turned and walked up the stairs to stand on the balcony. I clinked a pen that I had on the inside of my tuxedo jacket against the wine glass. All eyes turned to me.

[Jordan:]    Ladies, gentlemen and gentry, I would like to welcome you to this FFC soiree. Thank you for coming tonight. It truly does mean a great deal to me. As you all know, currently, Fayth Flaherty is running for election in the coming months. I must say that I believe that Fayth has done some good in the office. She has mended many of the parts of our fair city that had been either harmed or neglected by the previous mayor. She has been quite competent in her official capacity. This is in part a celebration of her success. Let us raise a glass to her.

[Narrator:]    The crowd obliged. I looked at Fayth, who looked confused and was blushing. I gave her a winning smile. I don’t like her, but credit where it is due, she has done a decent job. I pressed on with my speech, finally getting.  However, today we are celebrating something else. [pause] I am pleased to announce that I will also be running for mayor of our fair city. {Everyone gasps}{Murmurs} I have experience as a humanitarian, I have worked with the police, I have built the things that serve the community. I will continue to do these things, but what I’m pledging to do as mayor is simple. If there are so many issues happening all the time, that speaks to a structural issue. I want to find that structural issue, and I want to mend it. And please listen to this: I think Fayth is a wonderful politician, but I have the correct amount of resources, some of which might come handy. I am not asking any of you to decide right now about how you might vote, I’m simply here to tell you that there is more than one candidate now. I see New Ark City, and what I see is a city of kind and resilient people. They deserve a candidate who you can trust. And that candidate will be…

[Narrator:]    I didn’t finish my speech. The front doors were shoved open so hard that they sounded like they would break. The crowd spun around and I knew things had just taken a turn for the worse. It was Elizabeth Brennan, and she looked… well, she looked terrible quite frankly. Her hair was wet and matted, her nightgown was wet and torn in places, she was barefoot. I saw that on her right ankle were the remnants of rope and chain. It all began to click into place. Her skin was pale with a tinge of blue on her lips. She didn’t seem to walk, but float toward the crowd at a tired zombie’s pace. The crowd was shocked into silence.

[Elizabeth:]    [sarcastic] Oh, I’m so sorry, am I interrupting something? I’m not here to make waves. Please continue, don’t let me rain on your parade.

[Narrator:]    Are all of them going to insist on power-related puns?

[Jordan:]    Elizabeth? Where have you been?

[Elizabeth:]    I’ve been looking for someone. Three someone’s in fact. Three some ones who need to answer for what they did to me. Three some ones who are in this room… right now...

[Narrator:]    She scanned the crowd and spotted the people she was looking for. She saw them, and grinned a wicked grin.

[Elizabeth:]    Ahh, yes [dark malicious chuckle] here you are. Come now, kneel before me and all your friends, I’ve got a story to tell them. Come… come to me.

[Narrator:]    No one moved.

[Elizabeth:]    I said… COME. TO. ME. {power sound + 3 agonizing scream}

[Narrator:]    She raised her hand and there were 3 screams. 3 people staggered forward through the crowd. William O’Hea and Mr & Mrs Brennan fell to their knees facing the onlooking crowd, still moaning in abject agony. Elizabeth rolled her eyes at their cries of pain.

[Elizabeth:]    Oh, just cut that out. Here’s, why don’t you choke on this.

[Narrator:]    She pointed at them and pinched her fingers together. All three of the adults stopped speaking, and grasped at their throats, making choking noises. It sounded like they were drowning and their lips were starting to turn blue. Elizabeth unpinched her fingers and they stopped choking, now gasping for air on their hands and knees. Elizabeth addressed the crowd.

[Elizabeth:]    [loudly] You all know these people. You know my mother and my father, and you know William O’Hea here. But what you don’t know is that my mother and father have been broke for years. Their savings dried up, because mother here had a spending problem, and daddy just loved to drink and gamble. And you know who swooped in to save us by buying my parent’s house in secret and letting them live their rent free? You guessed it… William O’Hea. I bet you all think William O’Hea is a nice man, don’t you? I bet you all think he did a great thing, helping my family in a pinch. Well, that is where you are wrong.

[Mrs. Brennan:]    Elizabeth, darling… I…. [gasp, and start choking.]

[Elizabeth:]    Mother… I don’t recall giving you permission to speak. {slap, fall} [Loud and authoritative] It is not your turn to speak. It is MY turn. So shut up, and look out at all of them as I tell them who you really are. [addressing the crowd] I know I said a moment ago that the terms were rent free, but that isn’t strictly true. See, Dad couldn’t pay off some shady bookies that worked for William O’Hea, and so to appease good old William, he offered him my mother’s body. Which you’d think he would’ve accepted. Well this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but they’d been having an affair for years. Why did you think he bought the house to help her in the first place? Well, Mr O’Hea rejected the offer. [big exhale] So my father AND my mother offered him me. [voice trembling, not with sorrow but with rage] And he accepted. Didn’t matter that I was underage, because as my dad said, the first night Mister O’Hea came to collect, “who would believe the word of a 15 year old girl anyway?” [full of rage] That went on TWO. FUCKING. YEARS. Every Month. Until something happened that none of these idiots planned on. I got pregnant.

[Narrator:]    And there it was it all clicked into place. The rapist and child molestor couldn’t have his daughter’s best friend be pregnant. And what does a shady rich rapist do when he encounters an issue? Simple. He pays to have it taken care of. Six months ago, the night of the shockwave, Elizabeth Brennan had been kidnapped and brought to the pier, with a cinder block tied to her ankle. As the water hit her lungs, as she was going under and losing consciousness, the shockwave hit her and activated her powers, bonding her to the water. Somehow, the water must have cocooned her in a coma-like state that must have released her when she sensed what happened to her friend. And now, she was here for revenge. And at that moment… I decided to let her have it. I looked to Keiran and Scarlett, both of whom looked shaken. Jared was nearby, his hand hovering over his pistol, before moving over to his stun gun. Smart planning, Pops. I tapped my head and Scarlett read my thoughts as I shook my head.

[Jordan:]    [thoughts] I need all of you to slip away and get into your suits. Wait for my signal to hit the lights.

[Narrator:]    Dean and Johanna turned and snuck into the hallway that led to the balcony. Elizabeth raised both of her hands in the air and the 3 adults rose into the air, above the crowd, at about eye level with me. I ducked behind the bannister and snuck backward into the hallway to get into my suit. I performed the spell, and I could still hear and see everything.

[Elizabeth:]    You know, there is a legend that stretches from the hills and lochs of Ireland to the озера [ozera] of Russia, to the Yoruban [Your-oo-bahn] shores. Even the indigenous people of this nation have this same legend. Every country has their mermaid myth and legend, but do you know what they all share? They all share a common origin. You see when an innocent girl is abused and abandoned to death by the very people she was supposed to be able to rely on, and she chooses to give her soul to the sea, she becomes a water spirit. She becomes a mermaid. And in Ireland these spirits are called the Merrow. The Irish… they have a more specific legend, that says those spirits remain to enact their revenge. They get their retribution, and the ocean helps them obtain it. Well, I am the Merrow, and it is time I get my revenge. Mother, for your sin of adultery and letting your boyfriend rape me for 2 years… Father, for your sin of greed and selling your daughter to save your own ass… and William O’Hea, for your sin of being a dirty disgusting bastard and trying to have me drowned… I, Merrow, sentence you to DEATH.

[Narrator:]    As she said this, it was like there was a sudden burst of swirling wind in the hall, as the 3 adults began to writhe in agony. Before our eyes, they began to dessicate, all of the water being extracted from every part of their body, which flowed out of them and formed two orbs hovering above Elizabeth’s hands. The corpses dropped from the sky and hit the ground, dead. I emerged back into the light, and looked on. And… I know this is wrong… but a part of me was cheering for her. A part of me was proud of her. But this was still wrong, and I knew it wouldn’t stop with just those 3, and that we had to stop her from harming anyone else. Elizabeth turned around and her eyes were the dark blue of an angry ocean.

[Elizabeth:]    Come On, folks! Who’s next?!

[RedWing:]    Stand down, Merrow. NOW!

[Narrator:]    Just as everybody was turning to look back at me, Johanna took out the lights. Which gave me time to hop down from the balcony, stopping just short of hitting the ground using my rope dart, which I had wrapped around one of the bannisters. I stood up, aware that Johanna, Dean, Kieran and Scarlett were behind me.

[RedWing:]    Everybody get out of here.

[Elizabeth:]    What even are you? [sarcastic laughter, shakes head] It’s like minnows fighting a grouper, truly.

[RedWing:]    Listen, if you wanna call yourself a fat stupid fish, just remember those were your words and not ours.

[Elizabeth:]    Excuse you?

[WhiteHawk:]    Hehe, Good one, Red.

[WarBird:]    She looks more like CatFish Carrie to me.

[Sparrow:]    Sick burn, WarBird.

[Elizabeth:]    How DARE you.

[Cardinal:]    Boys, I think it’s time we focus.

[RedWing:]    Cardinal is right. Merrow, your vengeance streak ends now. Guardians, let’s dry up this mess.

[Narrator:]    Merrow launched water at me. I dove to the side, rolling into an attack position. I looked where I had been standing and saw that the water had left a dent in the linoleum. This bitch, does she even KNOW how expensive linoleum is to fix? I watched out of the corner of my eye as WarBird and WhiteHawk descending the stairs. I launched forward, lunging at the girl with my dart. The part of her I tried to slice dissolved into a fine mist and reformed. I was now slightly to her side. I felt her grab hold of the water in my body, lift me up and throw me across the room, where I hit a pillar with a crack. Fuck, that hurt. I crumbled and watched as WarBird was stopped dead in his tracks and raised in the air. He struggled against her control. I looked around to see how I could assist. I remembered WarBird had a taser on his utility belt, but I didn’t rightly know what would happen if Dean got electrocuted. Scarlett crouched down next to me, and I saw her readying some of her paper spells. I saw them and nodded at her. I put small force fields around her yellow birds, which came to life and flew toward Merrow. Merrow noticed them, and tried to wash them away. As soon as they were engulfed in the water connected to Merrow, Scarlett whispered the command, and 3 lightning bolts struck the girl. She screamed with rage, and went down. WarBird grabbed her, and held her down.

[RedWing:]    WarBird, did you get hit with that?

[WarBird:]    Tingled a bit, but I’ll be fine.

[RedWing:]    Good, you may have to taze her. Cardinal, I need you to do that spell. You know which one.

[Cardinal:]    Uh… I… I…

[RedWing:]    Cardinal, please, there is no time.

[Narrator:]    Scarlett was panicking. Johanna put a hand on her shoulder, and nodded. I tossed Scarlett a glass vial with a cork from my pocket.. Scarlett started chanting.

[Elizabeth:]    You cannot fight me. You cannot fight the tides. I am the… [shocked taser sounds]

[WhiteHawk:]    Quiet down, girly.

[Narrator:]    The powers began to flow out of her mouth. They were a bright blue color, and they flowed into the vial Scarlett held. When it was done, Scarlett put a stopper in the vial, and stood up. What Scarlett noticed upon standing up was that everything was silent and still. Nothing was moving at all. All her teammates remained rooted to the spot.

[Scarlett:]    What… What is thi-

[Rhys:]    Ahhh, isn’t this a lovely surprise.

[Scarlett:]    [gasp] Oh my goddess… It can’t be…

[Rhys:]    Oh my dear, but it can… [laugh]

[Scarlett:]    [terrified] What are you doing here? How did you find me?

[Rhys:]    Oh darling, I’m not here for you. I’m here for this vial.

[Scarlett:]    [gasping and crying] What? No, You can’t be… You were dead...

[Rhys:]    [snaps fingers, vial pops into his hand.] Oh I am very much alive, my love, indeed, I’ve never felt better. [smug chuckle] Well, I’m off not. Tell Jordan and the gang how much I appreciate your handiwork And I’ll be seeing you all again very… very… soon. Ta-ta, Scarlett Crescent, my little Red Moon Beam.

[Narrator:]    The Collector vanished and time began to flow properly again. Scarlett was inconsolable. I took one look at her, and noticed that the vial was gone.

[RedWing:]    The Collector… he paid us another visit.

[Scarlett:]    I… I know who he is… And I think I know why he’s here.

[Post credit Scene] [History Museum]

[Narrator:]    The Celtic wing of the History museum was dark at this time of night. The security never was very good in this facility. But then again, did it really have to be? With magical vigilantes fighting through this city, artifact thieves figured it was better to try places like New York City, or the Vatican. Weirdly, less risky. However, that night, two figures stood before an abnormally large stuffed raven. Next to the raven on either side were matching dark robes that resembled the dark part of a peacock's tail feather. This was strange, as it was after hours, but it was even more strange because the giant stuffed raven was speaking.

[Cedric:]    The time has come. We have all heard the call. And now we must answer it.

[Anna:]    Are you certain? Is he the only one?

[Emma:]    Are there truly no other heirs to the throne?

[Cedric:]    Do you doubt me?

[Emma:]    No… No, of course not.

[Cedric:]Fear not, for you have raised him well. Now he must rise and take his destiny… and become the King he was always meant to be.