The market place bustled with activity and loud noises of exotic birds. Joseph rubbed the back of his head, watching as Sparrow walked in front of him, looking at the shops. They had only spent a couple of days in Egypt, and Joseph felt bad for keeping her locked up in the hotel room. Amensas had gone ahead, searching for anything he might want from the shops, giving the couple a few hours to themselves.
The pair came upon a certain stand with jewelry. As they looked through the Egyptian mans wears, Joseph became disappointed. He quickly noted that all of the jewels were fakes. In a panic, the man quickly led the two behind a blanket. He pulled a box out, opening it up to reveal a glowing blue gem. Joseph picked it up, still having his arm wrapped around Sparrow.
Joseph held it in his hand, spinning it slowly so he could get a careful look at it. It pulsated in his hand, energy flowing from the gem itself. “Where’d you get this,” he questioned, looking at the man.
“I-I found it. Inside the Tomb of Kings,” the man stuttered, glancing around nervously.
“Where exactly did you find this,” Joseph asked. A more serious tone had taken over.
“W-well, when I pushed open a coffin, there was a staircase below. I went down it and found a door. It was inside that door. I didn’t dare open it. Please, I’m sorry! You can take it and return it! All it’s done is given me bad fortune,” the man yelled nervously. Joseph nodded, putting it into his pocket. The couple walked out of the blanket covering, and back into the main street.
Immediately, Sparrow looked up at him. “You sure we should keep that thing? I mean, he did say that it gave him bad fortune.”
Joseph looked down at her, quickly kissing her forehead. “Well, he found it in the tomb where Quantum was hiding. So, it must be something Quantum uses.”
“Yeah, well, I’m still not sure about this,” she stated, scratching her cheek. Joseph rubbed her back as they walked, continuing down their path. A few minutes later, the pair could hear behind them, a man yelling at someone to stop. A quick second later, a man shoved past Joseph, holding a weapon, only to be followed by a man in yellow armor. Joseph immediately knew that the man in yellow was Amensas. He chuckled, looking down at Sparrow, before continuing on their way.
Meanwhile, Amensas rushed through the crowd of people, holding a purple shotgun and chasing the man. The man pushed people aside, constantly looking back to see if the man in yellow was still chasing him. As Amensas drew closer, he let go of the shotgun, letting it fade as he ran, tackling the running man. The man flipped over, looking at Amensas dead in his eyes, grabbing onto his helmet. The man’s eyes began to glow purple as he attempted to get into Amensas’s head. Laughing, Amensas formed a pistol using his psychic energy, putting it to the man’s head and firing.
Although it did not kill the man, it immediately knocked him unconscious, blood running from his nose. Amensas stood, looking out to the crowd, waving a hand before dragging the man off.
Another day passed before the group headed off to Rome, Italy. The entire trip there, Joseph did not sleep. Instead, he studied the glowing crystal, spinning it in his hand. Sparrow leaned her head on his shoulder, asleep, every so often. He’d just smile, looking down at her before going back to the crystal. When the group landed, it was entering dusk. They headed off to their hotel, checking in and unpacking.
Joseph finished cleaning out his suit case, setting it on the bed next to him, watching Sparrow finish hers. He looked out the window, watching the sun set and the moon rise. He stood, stretching his arms over his head and looking over. “I think I’m going for a walk. Wanna come,” he questioned, grabbing his key card.
Sparrow looked up, smiling and nodding. “Sure, why not,” she stated, wrapping her arm around Joseph’s before walking out of the room.
As they walked out of their room, heading towards the elevator, a familiar voice called out to them. Looking over their shoulders, Amensas followed them. He was still wearing his sunglasses even in the dark night. Finally catching up to them, he spread his arms out.
“What’s this? Going on a little date, are we,” he questioned, grinning and letting his arms drop, slapping them against his legs.
Joseph smiled, shaking his head, “Not really, no. Just going out for a walk, is all.” The elevator dinged, opening the door. Both Joseph and Sparrow walked in, turning to face Amensas as he sat there, a blank expression on his face.
“Well then. Try not to get too drunk. Wouldn’t want her mom hunting you down,” he blurted, walking back to his room.
Sparrow turned a bright red, hiding her face in Joseph’s side. Joseph just shook his head, pressing the button to the first floor. As they stepped out of the elevator, the lights in the lobby of the hotel flickered for a quick second. The crowd of people in the lobby looked up and around, including Joseph and Sparrow, wondering what exactly had gone on. Thinking nothing of it, the couple walked out of the lobby.
As the doorman opened the door for them, wind blew into their faces. Quickly, Joseph wrapped his arm around Sparrow as best he could, attempting to warm the both of them up. Sparrow wrapped her own arm around Joseph, starting their walk into the night.
The night air was windy, blowing leaves through the streets. The old fashioned street lamps lit the street up. Off in the distance, the Roman Coliseum was visible. It’s ancient walls taking a massive toll throughout the years.
As they walked, very few people were on the streets, as well. Along with only a few cars parked alongside the road. It was a calming mood, peaceful almost. The stars were clearly visible, no clouds blocking their view. The coliseum grew closer and closer with each step.
“So, y’know, we’ve already been gone for at least a whole week,” Joseph stated, keeping the both of them warm while looking over to Sparrow.
She nodded, smiling. “Yeah, I know. It’s been nice, though. And no sign of that Quantum guy for a while,” she said, seeming almost relieved.
He nodded in agreement, looking up towards the sky, clearing his throat, “Mhmm. It’s good, I suppose. I would rather just get this all over with and get home, y’know?”
“Yeah, I get it. We’ve seen some really cool places, though. And it’s been nice being with you,” she said, looking up at him and grinning.
He looked down, smiling and stopping to give her a quick kiss. As they began walking again, Sparrow was pushed to the ground. She pushed herself up, rubbing her head and looking around for Joseph. She furrowed her brow, an angered expression taking over her. Looking around, Joseph was nowhere to be seen.
“Damn it, Joseph! What the hell was that for?” She yelled, looking around. After a moment of no response, she crossed her arms over her chest, grabbing onto her upper arms to keep warm as the wind blew over her. “This isn’t funny, Joseph,” she pouted, walking forward a bit.
As she took a few more steps forward, a pair of, what sounded like high-heels, came from behind. She looked behind her shoulder, seeing a woman in blue tights, frost covering her entire body, some falling off onto the ground and melting. A blue mask covered her face. A blue and white scarf wrapped around her neck, covering her mouth and trailing behind her.
“So, this is Joseph’s little whore,” she questioned, laughing as she walked forward, her voice muffled by the scarf. “I expected you to be a mutant or something. Never took him to date normal humans.”
“Who are you,” Sparrow asked sheepishly, shivering slightly.
“That hurts, right here,” she pointed to where her heart would be, pouting her head. “I figured you would have been told. Oh wait, he didn’t get the chance, did he? I guess kicking him at the coliseum was a bad idea. Anyway, I’m Christine,” she stated, offering her hand.
Sparrow quickly slapped it away. “You’re the one who took Joseph’s arm,” she blurted, putting her hands to her side.
“Well that’s mean. You aren’t very nice, are you? And yes, I took his arm from you. You miss it,” she asked, pulling her scarf down to speak more clear.
Sparrow nodded, pulling the ring with the blue crystal off, holding it in her fist. “What do you want? Didn’t you get what you wanted when you mercilessly beat him the first time?”
Christine shook her head, “Oh, no no no no. You see, I want Joseph back, and I do plan on getting what I want. There are two ways we could do this.”
“And what’s the first way,” Sparrow asked, tightening her fist on the ring.
“You simply let him go, telling him to come back to me,” she said, giving a wicked grin.
Sparrow shook her head strongly, “And the second one?”
Christine grinned even wider, “I kill you, and take him for myself. Now, I’ll give you a minute to think about it.” She pulled her wrist up, looking at a watch that wasn’t there.
Immediately, Sparrow put her ring on her right hand, a silver sludge covering her body and quickly forming into a suit of armor. “How about I give you a third option,” she asked, her right fist glowing a bright blue.
Christine looked up, raising a brow at the now armored girl. “Oh? What’s this? Joseph really did decide to ask out a meta-human,” she said, grinning wickedly and dropping her arm to her side. “It’ll be a shame to have to kill you. I don’t even want to hear your other option,” she paused, her body being covered in thick ice.
“The other option, whether you want to hear it or not, is that you run away. Tail between your legs and everything,” Sparrow said, spreading her feet slightly to gain more stability as she charged her right fist, a golden energy forming around it, as she does.
“You don’t get it, do you? Joseph should’ve died, and I’ll make sure to fix it if you continue your idiocy,” she smirked, lunging forward.
Sparrow released the charged energy, rolling out of the way as Christine came lunging in with her fist. Christine slammed her fist into the ground, forming a small crater where Sparrow once stood. Sparrow’s fists glowed with the same golden energy as she jumped up, slamming down on Christine’s head with an axe chop.
Christine stumbled back, grabbing onto Sparrow’s hair as she did, grabbing a footing and spinning to send her flying. Sparrow flew in the air, flying into the coliseum’s wall, going through it and landing in the middle of the coliseum. Looking over, Joseph lay next to her, seemingly unconscious. Sparrow pushed herself up, a golden light running along her back, as Christine came flying in, landing softly in the sand a few yards in front of the pair.
“He’s right there. You could even finish him, if you wanted to. He’s just like the rest of them; ignorant, selfish, wanting only one thing,” she took a step forward, pointing down at the limp body of Joseph. “Do you want me to tell you what he plans on doing?”
Sparrow looked at her for a moment, judging what to say next. She couldn’t find any words, though, instead taking the opportunity to begin charging a golden bolt, aiming at Christine. Christine smirked, taking another step forward. “You want to know, don’t you? I can tell. You just don’t want to admit it.”
“That’s not true,” Sparrow yelled, firing off the bolt. It hit, sending a chunk of ice flying off of Christine's own armor.
“But it is! You want to know! And I’ll tell you,” she gave a wicked grin. Unfettered, she forced the ice to heal over the spot that was hit. “First, let’s start out with how you two first met. It was with a cigarette, right?” Sparrow nodded, her fist glowing with the golden energy. “And he was a changed man? A reformed Hellion, as it would be?” Sparrow nodded, again, firing off several small bolts of energy, chipping off pieces of ice. “Do you honestly think his whole goal was to have a proper girlfriend,” she asked, taking another step toward Joseph as her armor repaired itself, completely ignoring Sparrow at this point.
Quickly, Sparrow replied in an angered tone, “I know that’s what he wanted. He truly is a changed man.” She began charging a bolt.
“Oh, really now? He’s just like every other guy. All he wanted was to get in your pants. That’s it,” she smirked, kneeling down and cradling Joseph’s head.
“You’re full of lies. He said he would never do anything like that,” she yelled, aiming her fist at Christine's head, continuing to charge her bolt.
Quickly, Christine stood, holding Joseph by his neck with a single arm wrapped around it. After a second, Joseph awoke with a sudden jolt, grabbing at the arm around his neck. With her free hand, she petted Joseph’s head, “There, there. It’ll all be over in a couple more seconds.”
Immediately, Sparrow fired off her charged shot. Quickly, Christine pulled Joseph in front of her, blocking the shot from herself, only to put Joseph in harms way. “Awww, tsk tsk. You hurt your own boyfriend. What a great girlfriend. But, I will say that if you do shoot again, not only will you hit him, but I will snap his neck. Pick wisely,” she spoke, continuing to choke the air out of him, slowly.
“Let him go,” screamed Sparrow.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that,” Christine spoke, turning Joseph around and kissing him quickly before wrapping her arms around his head, grabbing both sides. Sparrow charged another shot, shooting it off as a loud crack was heard, Joseph falling limp on the ground. Sparrow’s shot glanced off of Christine’s head, chipping off a large piece of ice as it did.
Tears began to roll down Sparrow’s face at seeing the limp body of Joseph fall to the floor, his eyes still wide open, staring into nothing. The flames that were his iris no longer moved, and in fact, no longer existed. Only blackness stood in their place. As she fell to her knees, Christine stepped forward to Joseph’s body.
“Poor girl, it was for the best, I promise you,” she gave a grin, kneeling down and ripping off the dog tags around Joseph’s neck. She threw them in front of Sparrow, partially burying them in the sand.
Sparrow looked down, picking the tags up and holding them to her chest. “I know he changed. You didn’t have to do this,” she said, sobbing and tears rolling down her cheeks and being soaked up by the cloth covering her face at an increased speed.
“One way or another he was going to die. You really think you three could take on Quantum by yourselves,” Christine asked, circling the poor girl. “Not even Joseph and four others could take him down. What makes you think that you could do better?” Sparrow sat there, holding the dog tags tightly to her chest, her head hanging. Christine continued to circle her, tapping her fingers on the sides of her thighs. Immediately, Sparrow stood, slamming a glowing fist into the side of Christine's face. She followed up with another, and another, and another. Tears continued to fall out of her eyes. Christine stumbled back, smirking and looking down at Joseph, “I can bring him back, you know.”
Sparrow began charging another bolt. Tears poured out of her eyes, being soaked up by the cloth, “Then bring him back, now!”
Christine laughed, reforming the ice around her head. “Oh, you see, I’m afraid I don’t really care to. I said I could, not that I would,” she stated, pulling her scarf up and forming a sword out of her ice. “You want to be with him forever, huh? Well, I’m sure that could be arranged.” She lunged at Sparrow, swinging her sword. Sparrow quickly jumped back, charging a golden energy bolt and firing it off at Christine. The bolt hit, ripping off a large chunk of ice.
Christine jerked back, grabbing at her shoulder, looking at it. “You bitch! I’ll make sure you die painfully now,” she yelled, increasing the size of her sword, doing an overhead swing down at Sparrow. As the sword came down, a loud bang went off in the distance, half of the sword missing as it dug into the sand. Christine looked around, looking for where the sound came from. Taking the opportunity, Sparrow jumped up, her fists glew a bright blue, bringing them down onto Christine’s head.
She stumbled back, grabbing at her forehead. Another shot rang out, sand bursting up from behind Christine. Sparrow jumped back, charging another bolt and sending it flying. Christine stumbled back one again, as the bolt hit against her face, cracking her ice armor.
“Damn it. Two people against one lonely girl? That isn’t fair, now is it,” Christine smirked, jumping up and flying off towards the origin of the shots.
“Where do you think you’re going,” Sparrow screamed, charging another golden bolt and sending it flying at her. Christine lost control as the bolt hit her in the back, falling to the stands. Rock and dirt flew up as Christine slammed into them. She pushed herself up, climbing the stairs to the shots, as more of them sounded off, barely missing the iced girl.
As Christine neared the prone man, he looked up, letting his purple sniper rifle dissipate as he stood. “I don’t really care for letting people kill each other. But when you hurt a friend of mine, whether emotionally or physically, and in this case, you hurt two of my friends. Now, I’ll give you three seconds to bring him back, and fix all of this,” Amensas stated, forming a Spas-12 with his psychic energy. “Or, we can start planning your funeral.”
Christine smirked, grabbing Amensas by the throat with lightning speed, and slamming a frozen fist into his stomach. He jerked back, taking the blow, grabbing at the hand holding him. She punched him again, and again, finally throwing him into the middle of the coliseum, into the sand pit. He landed with a thud, coughing up a large amount of blood and grabbing at his stomach. Sparrow ran over to him, making sure he was ok.
Christine drifted down, landing softly on the sand in front of Sparrow. “It’s sad really. You are a beautiful girl. It’ll be a shame to have to kill you,” she said, forming a large sword of ice. Sparrow stood, her fists growing a bright blue, and then quickly turning golden. “You plan to fight back?”
“Of course I do. It’s the least I can do for Joseph,” she stated, leaning back and charging another bolt. Christine smirked, lunging forward and swinging her sword. Sparrow rolled, dodging the attack, continuing to charge. Christine came at her again, swinging wildly, catching Sparrow’s arm, ripping a hole into her armor. Still, Sparrow continued to evade and dodge, continuing to charge her bolt.
“Why aren’t you fighting back,” Christine yelled, continuing to swing her sword. A worried look, and tone, took over her calm expression. “Fight back, damn it! Fight back!” Sparrow continued to roll, the bolt’s size reaching that of a beach ball. Still, she continued to dodge Christine’s attacks as best she could, gathering cuts along all of her body, the sword cutting through her armor like butter. Christine drove her into a wall of the sand pit, trapping her against it. She smirked, “I guess this is it. It was nice meeting you.”
She lunged forward, driving her sword through flesh and bone, only to find that she had not gotten through Sparrow, but through Amensas. Blood drenched the area around the wound, turning his bleach white shirt red.
With a look of surprise, Sparrow continued to charge her bolt, anger taking over one last time as she stepped to the side, aiming at Christine. A look of great fear took over Christine as Sparrow let the shot go. The whole coliseum became covered in light as a ball, the size of an elephant, came charging at Christine, engulfing her in energy.
As the energy and light dissipated, Amensas and Christine lay there. Amensas continued to cough up blood, standing up and walking over to Joseph. Sparrow walked over to the barely conscious Christine, her fists glowing with the bright gold.
Christine looked up at her, struggling to pull her scarf down, “Go ahead. Kill me. I know you want to.” Sparrow shook her head, slamming a fist into the side of her face, knocking her unconscious. She then ran over to Joseph, tears beginning to fall down once again, as she cradled his head in her arms.
Both Amensas and Sparrow sat there for a moment before Amensas broke the silence, “I know someone who can help him. If what she said was right, then my friend should be able help. You have to trust me, though.”
Sparrow nodded, “Do it. I don’t care what you have to do. Just bring him back.” She pulled her ring off, placing it back on her left hand, the armor disappearing. She kissed Joseph one last time before Amensas picked him up, throwing him over his shoulder and lifting himself off of the ground.
Sparrow sat there for a moment, watching him go, before standing up and heading back to her hotel room. Once there, she found a note on the television stand, one ticket next to it for Paragon City, Rhode Island. The note read: Enjoy.