Nightmare walked Canton’s dark streets. He loved the dark. It was his favorite time. Nighttime. Everything was quiet. Everything was so calm. It was so perfect.
Arctica’s boots pounded on the pavement. She dodged the bullet and trashcans that were flying towards her. She stopped. Why was she chasing this guy when she could’ve stopped him an hour ago? She rolled her eyes. Seriously. She’d hadn’t been paying attention a lot this week. Arctica froze the man’s feet in place. She teleported in front of the guy, surprising him. She kicked the gun out of his hand and then took her sword, pointing it at his throat.
“Next time, think twice before you try to rob house and shoot someone,” Arctica said. The police finally arrived, late as usual. Arctica grinned at her favorite officer, Stephan Davis. Stephan was her contact in the police force and the father of one of her best friends. He was also one of the only adults that knew her real identity
“Late...again. How many is that for me, Stephan?” she asked. Stephan shook his head, but he was grinning.
“What do you want this time?” he asked. It was a game between them. Arctica would catch as many criminals as she could, before the police intervened and Stephan would pretend to give her a pay. He never did.
“How about you take me out to breakfast tomorrow?” she said. Stephan laughed.
“I’m sure Mila would love that.” Mila was Stephan’s wife.
“I’m serious. There are some things that I need to talk to you about,” Arctica whispered.
“What time should I pick you up?” He asked, his face serious.
“Six would be okay. I have to be at school after that.”
Nightmare watched Arctica, annoyed. It wasn’t fair. People were just trying to make living. So what if people got hurt in the process? They never should’ve been in the way. Nightmare followed Jayla to the jail. Maybe she wasn’t as different from him as he thought. Nightmare narrowed his eyes. He couldn’t think like that. He was in a war. He would kill every hero in Canton in their sleep. Nightmare watched Arctica disappear and went home. He did have a date tonight....
It was a normal night. As usual, she was so tired. It was too bad she wasn’t going to get any sleep tonight, though. She had a history test to study for and anatomy homework to finish. And Ms. Doms would’ve told her that she should’ve done it before. Arctica sat at her desk. A knock sounded on her door and Jayla walked over, unlocking it.
“Shane! What are you doing here?” Arctica asked, smiling. She was glad to see him. He was a nice kid, even if he didn’t talk a whole lot.
“I was home by myself. My mom’s working a double shift tonight. So I wanted to see if I could hang out with you.”
“Sure. Why don’t you come in? Do you want a drink or something?”
“Nah. I’m fine. You ready for the test tomorrow?”
“Not even close. You?”
“Yeah, pretty much. So...I heard that you and Kade broke up.”Arctica sighed.
“Yeah, we did. I think it was a mutual decision though. And it wasn’t really a break-up. It was more like we’d not date for now and get back together when we both have a game plan. It’s complicated...”
“Aren’t all relationships?”
“What time is your Mom getting home?” Arctica asked. Her cellphone buzzed and she looked at it, instantly alert.
“Uh, Shane? I have to go...There’s an emergency with...I’ll see you tomorrow.” Arctica practically shoved him out of the door and she teleported when he was out.
“Genesis! What happened?!” she asked. Genesis looked at her.
“We just came here tonight, and we found the treehouse blown up...and...and...what’s worse is that Wolf and Blast were still in there.”
Arctica looked at the treehouse again....or what was left of it. The Misfits had built their base in a tree house in Wolf’s backyard....and now it was just a smoldering heap of ash and rubble.
“Wolf...and Blast? They didn’t get out?”
“I don’t think so.” Arctica blinked and ran to the treehouse, picking up all the debris. She started screaming Blast and Wolf’s names, over and over and over again.
Nightmare watched her scream, laughing to himself. The best part about it was she didn't even know that she was dreaming. He wished he could stay here and watch the drama unfold, but he had somewhere else to be. To check up on his next hero.
Genesis looked at Wolf who was watching Arctica closely.
"She's forgotten, Wolfie. She thinks that its real." Wolf closed his eyes. It had been a dumb decision. He should've never let her do it but he'd convinced him that she been strong enough to handle him. He should've known better. Now he was going to lose her.
16 hours earlier...
"...It started yesterday. Now three of Canton's hospitals are overflowing with thousands of people that have come down with this strange sickness. Hospital staff are overwhelmed by the amount of patients that they must take care of and are also trying to find a cure but so far have not been able to. But some of the staff have also fallen to this strange epidemic themselves. Crime is rampant in Canton's streets as the police department is stretched thin...."
Wolf picked up the remote and clicked of the television. They already knew about this. Arctica looked at him, her eyes darkening even more.
"How many is that now, Wolf?" she asked. Wolf heard a hint of anger in her voice and he looked at her. Looked at his team. She had a right to be angry. Some of her friends were in the hospital.
"That's not important right now. We need to figure out what's causing this," he answered. Not caring if the rest of the Misfits saw him, Wolf walked over to her. He went to give her a hug, but she pushed him away
"We have work to do. Vi, Reni. Go to the hospital and get as much information that you can. See if anything like this has happened before."
"Blast and Genesis, get into police computers and see if any big name criminals have escaped," Wolf said, taking over.
"Got it, Wolfie," Genesis answered, with a grin.
"Mist. Can you go over to Rachel Norman's apartment and check up on her please? She's my neighbor and I'm worried about her."
"Don't call me Wolfie. Got it?"
"Yeah, Wolfie. What are you guys going to do?" Arctica smiled, sitting down.
"Well, I'm the boss. So I get to make sure that you guys do your jobs."
"Actually, I'm the boss. And that's my seat." Arctic looked at him, getting up. Her eyes sparkled.
"Mrs. Norman?" Misty knocked on the door, waiting for an answer. Rachel Norman opened it.
"Not Mrs. just Ms. Is there something that I can help you with?"
"Jayla Carr sent me. She wanted me to check up on you. To see if you were okay." Rachel smiled.
"Such a sweet girl. No wonder Shane likes her so much. I know that he wouldn't want me to say that but...Oh, I'm sorry. Did you want to come in? No, no. I insist."
"Uh...thank you." Misty sat on the couch, looking at the pictures that were everywhere.
"I'm sorry about the mess. I'm making a scrapbook for Shane."
"He's my son." Misty nodded. Something caught her eye on the floor and she got up. She picked it up, reading it.
"Mrs. Norman, do you mind if I borrow this? I'll give it back I promise."
Reni and Vi returned. Nothing like this has ever happened before. At least not in Canton.
"We're sorry, Wolf. It seems that all the patients fell asleep and then they just start screaming. When their families try to wake them, they can't. Doctors say that they have an influx of patients at around 10 at night."
Wolf sighed rubbing his face.They weren't any closer to finding out the source of the problem. And he could see that they were all getting tired.
"Its okay. Why don't you guys go home, okay?" Reni and Vi nodded, leaving.
"Wolf. We'll figure this out, okay?"
"It's not okay. We have so many people counting on us..." He needed sleep, but there was no way that he was going to get it. Not at this point in time.
"We got Misty on the phone. She says that she has something that might help."
"Wolf. Okay. I went to Rachel Norman's apartment and she's fine. But she was talking to me about Shane, her son." Arctic moved closer to the screen.
"I know Shane. He's a good kid, most of the time. A bit shy, but he and I hang out when his mom is working."
"Yeah, well. It seems that he's has a darker side to him than you would think."
"What do you mean?"
"John Dee, also known as the villain Dr. Destiny, is Shane's father. Ms. Norman left his birth certificate out and I saw it."
"You think that he could've inherited his father's abilities?"
"I know he did. Dee's been in prison since Shane's birth and Ms. Norman said that he's done some things that are not like him at all."
"Thanks, Misty. If you can, get in touch with Vi and Reni. Tell them all that you know and keep yourself awake. Meet back here and we'll come up with a plan."
"Sure thing. I'll talk to you later." Arctic felt like she'd been hit in the stomach five times over. Shane? She closed her eyes, clenching her fists.
"So...what's the plan?"
"Blast. Look up everything that the League has John Dee. See if there's something that we can use against Shane."
"Okay. John Dee. Has the power of ESP, reality-warping, and inception. It says that he isn't really strong out of the dreamworld."
"So if he's not strong in reality, he has to find a place, where no one would be able to touch him. Someplace that he's always felt safe in. We'll have to stop him in this world. To get the people out we have to break his hold in the dreamworld, too," Genesis said.
"Okay. Arctica, you know Shane. Where do you think that he would feel safe in?"
"He wouldn't be at home. That1s the first place that people would look for him. So it would either my apartment or..."
"You're apartment? Why?" Arctica looked at him, taking in the note of jealousy.
"He trusts me...Wolf send me in. Maybe, I can talk to him. Get him to stop this."
"I don't think that's a good idea."
"He trusts me. I'm one of the only people he trusts."
"And what if he goes on haywire on you? What if you get sucked in and we can't bring you out? No, I'm not letting you do this."
"You're not my boss."
"You're right. I'm not, but I'm also not going to let you get yourself killed." He was just the guy that would be traumatized if anything happened to her. He would also get his butt kicked by several people.
"Heroes make sacrifices all the time."
"Yes. I know. You're just the sacrifice that I don't want to make." Pause. " Okay. Fine. But the moment that you start panicking, I'm waking you up. Genesis, take Arctica to medical bay. Get some sleep, Arctic. Blast, can you and Gen monitor her? Wake her up if anything, I mean ANYTHING, seems off. Got it?
"No problem, Wolf."
"I'm going to take the girls to Arctic's apartment. See if we can find him there." Gen came back from medical bay and nodded to Wolf.
"She's all set." Wolf felt a little panicked as he walked to the medical bay...but he quickly stuffed it down. Going into Arctic's room, he walked over to her bed. Her eyes were closed, already and he knew that she was asleep. How much sleep had she been getting?
"I love you, Jayla."