"The Sensational Night Shadow in… Adara's Deception"

Chapter 8

Created by The Spectacular SpiderDom

Suggested Music:

(1) Final Antasma Battle – Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

(2) Goodbye Sadness – Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

(3) Combat 8 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows OST

(4) Miss You – Sonic And The Secret Rings OST


While The Seattle Strikers were busy fighting against Turbine, their three teammates have been stuck inside of a dark mini-golf course that only had blue lights illuminating the darkness. (1Start) But thanks to Sagittarius and Valentine's Bionic abilities, they were able to able to navigate their way through. Unfortunately, they weren't in a peaceful environment as they'd been battling Saber-Lynx the entire time.

Speaking of which, the brown and orange woman screamed so loud, multiple waves of energy escaped from her mouth and blew loose debris and equipment all over the place. The Dope Squad ran around in separate directions, shifting her focus from one person to another. The bumblebee-colored archer reached for his quiver and pulled out a few Boxing Glove Arrows. Like clockwork, he shot them rapidly and watched one land in the woman's mouth.

She spat it out and watched as the archer appeared right in front of her thanks to his Teleportation. He performed a few volley kicks with his horse hooves before he fell on the ground. She tried to slam her electric fists on top of him, he teleported behind her and kicked her in the back. She rolled forward before she stopped and rolled back, launching a kick that he evaded easily.

Saber-Lynx latched herself onto the wall and fired two lasers from her eyes. Sagittarius screamed in terror and ran away from them.

While she was distracted with him, Poncho Mom morphed herself into a ball and bounced right into the woman's stomach, bashing her through a wall and into another room. The room was space-themed and some of the courses had 3D models of rockets, aliens, and other supernatural creatures. Poncho Mom reverted back to normal and clenched her fists, waiting for Saber-Lynx to get back up.

"You can torture me all you want, I'm not going to let you hurt my best friend!" the elastic woman grunted, throwing multiple large-handed punches on Saber-Lynx. She brutally beat the woman before she grabbed her and threw her into the rocket model, watching it topple over.

Saber-Lynx felt more pain roam around her body before she teleported and blasted Poncho Mom from behind. "For someone with a ridiculous name like Poncho Mom, you fight well. But I've had enough of your nonsense!"

"Then why don't you get some of my nonsense!" Sagittarius smirked, pointing to himself. He then stroked his chin and shook his head. "That… sounded better in my head."

Saber-Lynx lunged towards him, but he vanished and appeared behind her. She threw a back-handed punch, but he repeated his trick and kicked her. The two teleporters looked each other in the eyes before they vanished and appeared throughout the entire course. Poncho Mom and Valentine reunited and watched them pop up in random places. Every time they'd show, they were always in a full-on brawl; they landed nothing but blows onto each other and Sagittarius used his bow like a sword, preventing her claws from scratching him.

Both heroines stood there, struggling to predict where they will go next.

"T-they just keep moving!" Poncho Mom gasped. "How do we stop her!?"

"Hold on…" Valentine said with a calm breath. "Listen…"

She closed her eyes and tuned out the sounds around her, trying to focus on what was important. Sagittarius' powers made a cartoonish whooshing sound whereas Saber-Lynx created the same sound, but a lower octave. The empath pressed her hands together, listening to both sounds clash together. Poncho Mom simply stood there, curious by her friend's calm nature. Valentine listened carefully for a few moments before she heard a low-toned sound pop up behind her and her teammate.

"Behind!" she shouted.

Poncho Mom backflipped and reached her leg out.

Saber-Lynx appeared with Sagittarius in her clutch, only to be kicked by an elastic boot.

The archer was set free, and he winked to both women. "Thank you, ladies."

His girlfriend and best friend smiled before they ran towards him.

Saber-Lynx quickly recovered and flexed her muscles.

Just before she could make a move, a suspicious device landed on the floor. It was white and covered in black outlines.

The Dope Squad recognized it and immediately ran back.

Saber-Lynx looked down and broadened her eyes.

BOOM!

A wave of blue electricity struck her body and she screamed in agony. Bright streaks roamed around her arms and legs, causing her glowing red eyes to go back to normal. Her claws retracted and her teleporting started glitching.

This lasted for seven seconds before she fell on her stomach, feeling steam rise from her back.

Her eyes closed and she fell unconscious. (1Stop)

The Dope Squad, who hid behind the front desk, peeped their heads out and admired their wounded villain.

"Who the…?" Poncho Mom asked.

Valentine looked over and saw none other than Bertram Van Cyrus with another one of those devices in hand.

"Uncle Bert!" she said relieved. She rushed over and embraced him warmly; she gave him a hug. "I was so worried! Where were you?"

"And why didn't you do that sooner?" the archer puffed, wiping his sweaty forehead.

"Sorry about that," Bertram chuckled. "Had to fetch one of these EMP Grenades from my truck. I was outside getting some air when I saw a stranger walking on the rooftop. I tried to stop her, but she leaped down and knocked me out. She locked the door, so I had to find another way in."

He stopped, looked at his adoptive niece, and placed a hand on her shoulder. "I heard shouting from the Strikers and Turbine. Is everything okay?" (2Start)

The young trio shared a somber glance.

"No…" Valentine lowered her head in shame. "It's not… it's all my fault."

"No, it isn't!" Poncho Mom retorted, pulling her best friend into a one-armed shoulder hug. "You didn't start this at all! Turbine did! He's an asshole!"

"Wait… what's going on here?" Bertram inquired.

"Turbine set this whole thing up," Sagittarius replied, coldly pointing at the unconscious assassin. "Saber-Lynx wasn't some assassin for hire, she'd been working with Turbine the whole time. This has all been a ploy to draw the three of us out."

"That doesn't make any sense, why would he do that?"

"Because he knows about my past," Valentine replied. "He thinks all three of us work for Edwin Alonzo."

Bertram's eyes widened and he gritted his teeth. "That son of a-… he lied to everyone and tried to hurt you!? If he were here right now, I'd give him a piece of my mind!"

The bald scientist calmed down and gently facepalmed. "I… I can't imagine how Pyro Lad and the others feel right now."

"Oh, believe me… they're pretty pissed," Poncho Mom said.

Speaking of the devil, the four elementals and Gavroche ran into the scene.

They took one glance at the wounded supervillain and approached the group.

"Who did that?" Night Shadow chuckled, pointing at Saber-Lynx.

"He did," Sagittarius playfully nudged Bertram. "Gotta love EMP Grenades… well, I don't like them because they short out my bionics, but you know."

"Nice work, Doc," Night Shadow winked and gave a thumbs up.

"Ha-ha, it was nothing," Bertram smiled. He looked at Pyro Lad and patted his shoulders. "I'm… sorry, Pyro Lad. I know you wanted him to change, and… I wish things could be different."

"Me too," he nodded.

"I'm also sorry," Valentine said, wiping a tear from her eyes. "I should have been more careful about revealing my past… if I had just kept my mouth shut, you and Turbine could have reconnected and-"

"You have nothing to apologize for," the yellow Firestarter said, rubbing her shoulders. "You did the right thing by being honest with us, there's no shame in that. Besides, he tried to hurt the three of you, that's something I can't sympathize with."

"You… care about us?" Sagittarius asked. "N-not that I believed you didn't, but… I always thought you saw us as unprofessional. When we first met, we made a complete mess out of Ketchup King and Mustard Queen's attack. That… could have gone a lot better than what we'd hoped."

"You three have a lot to learn… but you're on our side, that's all that matters," Pyro Lad smiled, gazing at all three of them. They smiled back and nodded. Removing his hands from his student's shoulders, he stroked his chin and sighed. "So, Saber-Lynx is down but Turbine's trapped, yet I have a feeling this battle isn't over yet."

"I agree," Monsoon Gal nodded. "Bertram, take The Dope Squad and get out of here. The rest of us can handle Turbine and Saber-Lynx."

"N-no!" Valentine retorted. "Let us help. It's us that he wants, right?"

"Yeah, we'll show that straw-hatted creep who's boss," Sagittarius cracked his knuckles.

"Any chance I get to kick ass with Night Shadow is always worth taking," Poncho Mom beamed from ear to ear, wrapping her arm around her crush.

But her idol gently pushed her aside and approached Valentine with concern. "Valentine, I love how you and I share the same level of optimism, but even I have to admit, Turbine's pretty strong. He attacks with brute force. He won't go easy on you guys."

"Titanium Rabbit and the Money Dawgs didn't go easy on us, and we made it out together," the empath smiled back. "Any challenge we face can be resolved with us working as a team. That's why Monsoon Gal wanted us to join in the first place, right? To fight the battles, we cannot solve individually?"

The Seattle Strikers shared a few glances before they smiled.

"That's right," the hydrokinetic leader nodded, patting the empath's shoulder. "We're going to need all of the help we can get. Bertram, why don't you head back to your laboratory. We don't want to risk putting your life in jeopardy."

"You got it," Bertram nodded. "Let me know if you need anything. Hannah will make sure to assist in any way she can."

With a quick wave, he ran back the way he came.

A moment of silence occurred before the heroes resumed their plan.

"Now then, how do the rest of us deal with Turbine and Saber-Lynx?" Frosty Beetle asked. "We can hit them for days, but they'd still get back up as if we were nothing."

"Then we'll have to lose them," Gavroche said, attracting everyone's attention. "During my mission, my partner and I ran into Sparrow Huffleklaw and his kids. There was a moment where we got stuck in one of his buildings and we were surrounded by the police."

Sagittarius looked to the left when he heard Sparrow's name followed by the word siblings

"I remember that!" Monsoon Gal's eyes broadened. "That was you?"

"Yes… sorry about that."

"Why didn't you just tell the police who you and the others were? Pyro Lad, Frosty Beetle, and I were there as well. We would have let you go."

"I wish we could have done that, but the police would've arrested us. Long story short, we found out a few soldiers working for The Goldsmith posed as cops. We followed them into the building, and we fought them in combat. One of the fake cops called for backup and branded us as criminals. By the time reinforcements arrived, they were armed and ready. We had to find another way to escape."

"Jesus… I'm sorry. We would've helped you."

"I'm sure you would have, but it's in the past now."

"Wait… when did this happen?" Night Shadow rubbed his head.

"It happened when you and Jerry were fighting those robots in Bertram's lab," Gavroche answered. "I know this because I spoke with Jerry shortly after. I helped him gain the confidence to help you out."

Night Shadow was surprised by that response, which made him curious about the vigilante's identity.

"We're getting sidetracked," Pyro Lad butted in. "What's your plan, Gavroche?"

"I'm getting to that," he cleared his throat. "When Ace, Kate, Bridget, and Orion; those are the names of Huffleklaw's children, were stuck in that base… Bridget and Orion told me every one of Huffleklaw's buildings is connected to a series of tunnels that led to an underground subway system. The tunnels are huge and designed like a maze. If we lure Turbine and Saber-Lynx in there, we can lose them. Once we're out, we'll call the police and have them arrested."

"Do you think that can work?" Night Shadow asked.

"I'm praying for it."

"Since this mall's owned by Sparrow, that must mean there's a tunnel around here," Monsoon Gal said. "Where could it be?"

"Down this way," Sagittarius pointed to the right. "There's a secret entrance in one of the stores across the hall."

"How is it that you know?" Frosty Beetle asked.

The archer shrugged. "…call it a hunch."

Without hesitation, everyone followed Sagittarius and Gavroche as they ran out of the golf course and across the hall. Turbine saw them and was tempted to fight back; however, he stopped because he realized Saber-Lynx didn't chase after them. Concerned for her, he leaped down and entered the store, where he found her slowly getting up. With a slight gasp, he rushed over and helped her up.

"Are you okay, Emilia?" he asked.

She coughed and replied with, "I-I'm fine, Billy. I've been hit with worse… actually, scratch that. That's the worst thing I've been hit with."

"I don't follow."

"The scientist threw an EMP Grenade, it shorted out my Bionics."

"Shit… can you still fight?"

"Probably. It'll just take a while for them to reset."

"Do you know where they're going? I saw them run to the other store."

"I couldn't hear much, but the green one said something about a tunnel. They're planning to escape."

"Not on my watch," Turbine flexed his arm muscles. He started walking towards the exit. "Let's go-"

"Aspettare," Saber-Lynx placed her hand on his shoulder, halting his progression. ("Wait,")

He stopped and tilted towards her.

She deeply sighed and said, "I know you're on a quest to stop all of Night Shadow's enemies from wreaking more havoc, but are you sure this is the best way to go about it? You're fighting your own friends and you threatened to kill a couple of kids. Don't you think you should change your approach?"

"And go soft? No way. These three recluses know something… and I'll go through anyone who's trying to get in my way."

"I'm getting in your way right now? Are you going to hurt me?"

Turbine froze when she asked that. "I… well, no… you're technically not…"

He frowned and closed his eyes. "Okay, I'll admit… my interrogation wasn't helpful, but that Valentine girl still needs to be held accountable for her actions. Instead of standing up for herself, she chose to do what she was instructed… that's not going to go unpunished."

"I get that," Saber-Lynx replied. "But promise me you won't kill anyone."

"Have I ever?"

"Well, you never know. From the way you fight, I'm thinking tonight might be a first."

His heart jumped a little upon hearing that. "You have my word… I'm not going to kill anybody."

"You better not… because if you do, we're done. Understand?"

"Loud and clear."

Both vigilantes exchanged a nod before they raced after the others. (2Stop)


~Down Below The Huffleklaw Mall…

The Seattle Strikers, The Dope Squad, and Gavroche were surprised that the tunnels were as bright as they were. LED lights attached to the ceilings lit up their path and the walls were made out of a freshly cleaned red brick. Despite not being chased by anyone yet, they still ran as fast as they could. Monsoon Gal stayed behind the pack to make sure no one tripped and/or got left behind. Sagittarius and Gavroche led the group in front. As they made a sharp right turn, the dark-skinned archer looked at his green colleague and mustered up the courage to ask…

"Hey… you said you worked with Sparrow Huffleklaw's kids, right? How is it that you know them? Actually, let me rephrase that, how did you meet them?"

"One of Sparrow's warehouses was being robbed and they tried to stop it; however, they kept arguing with each other, letting the robbers escape."

"Typical… I'd expect nothing more from them," Sagittarius rolled his eyes. "What about my da-I mean, Sparrow himself?"

"One of them dropped their belt buckle and my partner traced its signal to the other ones. We followed it to The Huffleklaw Mansion, and we snuck inside. After a brief ruckus, Sparrow came out and asked what we were there for. I told him everything that happened before, and he reluctantly agreed to help us."

"Keyword, reluctantly," the archer mimicked his previous motion. "I'll never understand him. He boasts about how smart and kind he is, yet whenever you ask him for help, he'll tell you to go pound sand."

Gavroche slowly looked at the young kid as everyone turned to the left.

Sagittarius noticed his stare and acted nervously. "N-not that I would know or anything."

"You don't have to hide your secrets from me. I know who are."

The archer was caught off-guard. "You… you do?"

"Yeah… Bridget says hi."

From that alone, the archer looked to the left with an unhealthy conscience.

While Sagittarius pondered his past decisions, Night Shadow turned to see Monsoon Gal and Pyro Lad running all the way in the back. He stepped backward until he was right next to them. He forced a smile and shared it with the duo.

"Hey, guys," he said softly.

"Hey," the water bender greeted.

"What's up?" the pyrokinetic asked.

"Nothing much," the shadowy hero shrugged. "Wish I was in bed cuddling with Sydney right now, but I won't complain too much."

Even both of them chuckled despite the negative vibes.

He was happy to hear short laughter from them before he asked, "Jokes aside… how are you two?"

"Frazzled," the blue leader said, rubbing her hazel eyes. "But we're holding it together."

"I'm sorry I got you guys into this mess," the fire bender frowned, adjusting his orange sleeves. "If I hadn't been so naïve, I would've seen through Billy's lies."

"It's not your fault," his crush replied. "We allowed him to play us all for fools. It was our mistake, but we're going to fix it… together."

Frosty Beetle, hearing the conversation, joined in and patted her friend's back. "We've been through thick and thin, my friend. Any mess you get yourself into, we'll be there to help bail you out. Just like you've done for us, right?"

Pyro Lad smiled softly. "Right."

"Could you two give us a minute?" Monsoon Gal asked her teammates.

They nodded and ran ahead.

She and her partner stayed back and followed them down a tight corner.

"Listen…" she began. "What I said way before… about locking Billy up in Sector Nine… I didn't mean it. I was angry, but that's no excuse to say something rash like that, especially since I decided something without anyone else's input. That's not the kind of leader I want to be… I'm sorry, Pyro Lad."

"Apology accepted," he nodded. "But don't worry about that any more... we're going with your decision."

"Really?" she asked with surprise. "Are you sure that's what you want?"

"If everyone else is cool with it… it's fine by me. He's lost my respect. You've been encouraging me to get over his departure… it's time I start taking that to heart."

Monsoon Gal felt happy to know that, but at the same time, she couldn't help but feel bad for him.

Everyone ran across the trail before they reached a door at the end. Sagittarius and Gavroche opened it up and went inside. Monsoon Gal and Pyro Lad allowed everyone else to enter first before they closed it from behind, unaware the noise made a slight echo, which altered a certain duo.

Now, they were in a spacious area with only a few lights on top. Most of the environment was black and Night Shadow stepped down off the ledge.

"Ah, finally," he said with relief, stretching his legs. "More space to stretch my jambes."

"Careful, these subways are active," Gavroche warned. "A train could pass any minute."

"Where to next?" Monsoon Gal inquired.

"This way," Sagittarius pointed forward. "A subway terminal's not too far from here. It's our only way-"

The door opened during his last word and Turbine stepped out.

"-lookout!" (3Start)

Pyro Lad noticed his brother and slammed the door against his body.

But Turbine blasted his brother and the door off against the wall, where they fell on the ground.

"Pyro Lad!" Monsoon Gal shouted in concern before she held her staff and watched everyone else get ready for another match. "God damn it!"

Turbine and Saber-Lynx entered the subway and cracked their fingers.

"Nice move hiding out in the tunnels, but I'm not leaving until I find what I came for," the former snarled, clapping his knuckles. "You may have disabled my partner's Bionics, but my powers are a little stronger than that… n-no offense, Emilia."

"Gee, thanks… prick," Saber-Lynx rolled her eyes.

"Hey! I said I was sorry!"

"So, that's Emilia Estevez, huh?" Pyro Lad coughed, standing up on his feet. "Guess I shouldn't be surprised you lied about her too… any other lies you care to share?"

"Yeah… you're going to lose."

"I said tell a lie… not the truth."

The Firestarter's hands ignited with flames as he somersaulted forward and tackled his brother. They tumbled across the ground before Seattle's toughest hero chucked his brother against the wall. Before he could get up, Turbine watched his brother use Fire Teleportation to appear in front of him. He lowered his hands before he raised them up and leaped vertically, summoning a wave of flames from below that pushed Turbine upward. With pure rage, Pyro Lad landed multiple punches and kicks on his brother before he landed an uppercut and a low right-hand jab.

Turbine fell against the concrete platform, feeling like his back was broken by a massive muscle man. But he quickly jumped upward, pulled out his weapons, and launched streaks of air at his brother. Pyro Lad deflected some of the hits before he jumped forward and kicked Turbine across the jaw.

As Monsoon Gal, Frosty Beetle, Valentine, and Sagittarius chased after the siblings, everyone else was left with Saber-Lynx. She extended her claws and clenched her fists, feeling tiny sparks of electricity roam across her fingers.

"Your powers are still disabled, huh?" Night Shadow smirked. "Sucks for you."

"They'll come back," Saber-Lynx replied, cracking her neck. "Trust me."

"Little hard to do that when you work for someone like Turbine."

Tired of his sarcastic remarks, she charged forward and screamed to the highest pitch. Night Shadow, Gavroche, and Poncho Mom evaded her and attacked one-by-one. Poncho Mom wrapped her giant hands around her body, yanked her towards her, and slammed her giant boot against her neck. Saber-Lynx faceplanted into the ground and was picked up by Night Shadow, who held his Sai by their blades so that the ends stuck out.

Saber-Lynx jumped up and leaped over the elastic woman before she could make another move. She wrapped her purple poncho over her face and fired two kicks, sending her flying backward. Night Shadow caught his obsessed fan and gently set her down, rushing in for a close encounter. He leaped into battle and fired multiple jabs, observing Saber-Lynx's counters. She pressed her arms close to her head, blocking every blow the superhero shot at her. She kicked him a few times, but he grabbed her leg and socked her across the jaw. Saber-Lynx was quick to fling the other foot towards him, only to fall on her rear because he teleported out of the way.

A puff of black smoke disappeared and Gavroche launched himself forward with his extended wolf claws.

Saber-Lynx's brown eyes widened, and she shielded herself.

"Copying my gimmick, huh?" she inquired with a snarl.

"Trust me, I've had these long before you did," he replied.

Gavroche and Saber-Lynx found themselves in a bladed brawl, slashing and hacking each other's claws like they were wolverines caught in a brutal fight. For the most part, they were evenly matched but as the battle went on, Saber-Lynx felt what she thought was a pinch throughout her body. She then heard a few beeps, and she was greeted by something shocking.

She blasted Gavroche with an electric streak and she teleported behind Night Shadow, where she shot him with her laser eyes and made a loud sonic scream. Poncho Mom also screamed but it was one of terror. She dove to the left and the shockwave blew up the wall beside her, revealing another subway tunnel.

She rolled into a ball and bounced towards Saber-Lynx, but she reverted back to normal when another set of lasers came flying towards her. Poncho Mom swirled around them before she tackled Saber-Lynx and punched her rapidly.

Saber-Lynx teleported, appeared behind her, grabbed her, and flipped her over.

Night Shadow and Gavroche fired a powerful uppercut that sent the woman flying.

Both of them stood together as they watched the woman get up and ignite her claws.

The three stood there for a few seconds before both former friends exchanged a nod. Gavroche held his scythe tight, and Night Shadow spun his Sai, holding them by their grips this time. Together, he and Gavroche ran forward and improvised a plan of attack.

Saber-Lynx pulled her arm back, but Night Shadow stopped and leaned downward, allowing Gavroche to roll over his back and kick Saber-Lynx in the chest. The woman stumbled backward as the green brawler swung his weapon and performed a roundhouse kick, to which Saber-Lynx dodged. Night Shadow stopped her from punching his ally and he kicked her in the stomach.

It was at that moment he and Gavroche took turns exchanging punches, kicks, jabs, and other fast-paced moves that prevented her from countering back. She was overwhelmed by their teamwork and couldn't focus on her powers. Every time her eyes shined red, Night Shadow and Gavroche would stop her by continuing their momentum.

At the very end, Night Shadow slammed her knee against her chest and Gavroche knocked her down with an elbow to the face.

Allowing her time to catch her breath, they picked her up and chucked her in the air.

From there, Poncho Mom ascended vertically, did a side flip, and bashed her knee against Saber-Lynx's chest.

Saber-Lynx fell against her stomach and leaned on her side, astonished by the strength of her opponents. She slammed her fist against the ground and her whole body lit up with electric sparks. After a few seconds, she growled and raced forward.

On the other side, Sagittarius grabbed a few arrows and leaned them towards both Monsoon Gal and Frosty Beetle. The heroines charged his arrows up with their powers and he pulled them against his bowstring. Squinting one eye, he fired both projectiles.

Pyro Lad and Valentine, who were fighting Turbine, looked back at the arrows and moved to the sides. Both arrows dug themselves into Turbine's shoulders and he cringed in pain. Both arrows exploded into an icy-watery explosion, which covered him in wet, mushy snow. Feeling the cold burn against his shoulders, he wiped his eyes and opened them up.

Valentine punched him in the face.

Turbine stumbled back a few steps before he growled and summoned a ball of air shaped like a fist.

He marched forward, ready to attack the empath.

"Look out!" Pyro Lad shouted, pushing his student behind him.

WHACK!

The air bender smacked his younger brother through a wall, and he landed on a railroad track on the other side. Valentine tackled Turbine and they fell towards her professor. Monsoon Gal and Frosty Beetle leaped forward and pounced on Turbine, surrounding him with their Elemental powers.

Valentine helped her professor up on his feet and the two were suddenly shined by a bright yellow light.

CHOO! CHOO!

Uh oh…

Both of them turned around and saw a silver train speeding right towards him.

"EVERYONE, MOVE!" they both shouted.

Monsoon Gal and Frosty Beetle didn't bother looking at the vehicle and they jumped to the right. Turbine was about to move, but once he saw Valentine and Pyro Lad rushing to the left. He cut them off and grabbed the empath by her neck. Just before he could knock her down, Pyro Lad pulled him away from her and he did something no one would've expected him to do.

He leaped onto the wall and blasted through the train's window.

Civilians that were doing their business widened their eyes and screamed in horror, afraid something was coming in to attack them. Instead, they saw Pyro Lad fall on top of his brother as he slammed his head against the ground. Both combatants got up and continued their fight, not caring that people were whipping out their phones to record. Most of the passengers documented the fight with hopes they'll get millions of views whereas others jumped out of their seats and ran to the next section in fear. Turbine punched Pyro Lad twice, slammed his head against his knee, and shot his stomach with a blast of wind.

Everyone gasped as Pyro Lad flew over their heads and recoiled when they saw him hit the wall, knocking down the exit sign. (3Stop)

After seeing that, some people placed their phones away and ran around him, crowding up the next train car behind them.

As for those that remained, they all scooched the left so that they were all close together, hoping to get a better view.

Thanks to Sagittarius, the other heroes teleported inside and stood behind their best friend.

Civilians gasped upon their arrival.

A moment of silent tension struck the area – the only noise present was the turning gears of the train.

Turbine, with a bruised face and a semi-bloody costume, stood his ground and glared at his erstwhile partners.

They did the same thing.

Pedestrians waited for more excitement.

"MG… get everyone else out of here," Pyro Lad said.

"What about you?" she asked.

"…I have a score to settle."

"Mind if I stay with you?" Valentine asked. "He's going to come after my friends and I anyway… I'd rather keep him here."

"Are you sure?" her professor asked.

"Yes," she nodded.

And he did the same in approvement. "I'll keep you safe."

"…likewise."

Turbine allowed Frosty Beetle and Monsoon Gal to pass him as they regrouped with the civilians and got them up on their feet.

"All right, people. No more being internet famous, let's get your asses up and move along!" the light-blue cryokinetic yelled, motioning everyone to move in a single-filed line. "Come on, single file! Social distance if you want to, I don't care. Let's go, everyone! Nothing to see here!"

"But there's a fight going on!" one female replied. "We wanna see it!"

"Do you want to possibly get hit?" Frosty Beetle asked.

"Well, getting smacked in the face by Pyro Lad would definitely be something to share with the kids."

No one knew how to respond to that.

"Keep moving, people!" Monsoon Gal announced. "Come on!"

Turbine, Pyro Lad, and Valentine moved to the side and watched everyone pass by. They all moved into another train car and Monsoon Gal closed the door. Before she did so, she looked at her crush with worried eyes and she shut them tight; she prayed for his safety as she helped organize everyone else.

Another moment of quietness occurred.

"I'm surprised you let them pass," Pyro Lad said.

"Do you really think I'd kill innocent people?" Turbine asked, taking offense to that comment.

"Don't know… you could have been lying when you said you haven't killed anyone."

"I was telling the truth when I said that."

The fire bender scoffed. "Ha… yeah."

"I'm serious!" Turbine retorted. "I've never taken a human life!"

"Yet you're planning to take hers," Pyro Lad snarled, jerking his head to his student. "…nice one, Billy."

"I'm not going to-!" Turbine snarled before he caught himself. With a deep breath, he continued. "I'm not gonna kill… I just need her to tell me where Edwin Alonzo is."

"She already told you she doesn't talk to him anymore. She showed you everything!"

"Come on, bro. Do you really believe all of that bullshit?" Turbine shrugged.

"I do, actually."

"You don't even know her and her teammates. Not in the way you know me or the others."

"We all know about each other on a bit of a personal level. We chatted in the car when we were on our way to stop Technolocity and The Titanium Rabbit. It was nice… got a chance to know a little bit about one another… and we'll learn more as we continue to work as a team. You could've done the same thing had you not turned tail and ran off."

"I'm tired of you treating me like I'm the bad guy."

"You are the bad guy."

"Who's not to say she and her friends are the same way?" Turbine pointed at the empath again. "How do you know they're not going to stab you in the back as The Void League did to Night Shadow?" (4Start)

Pyro Lad registered that question and answered in a way that spooked Valentine.

He removed his goggles and then his scarf, revealing the face of…

Professor Adara? Valentine said to herself, widened her eyes.

Steven stood with a grim face and confidence in his eyes. "As I said… the four of us don't know them completely. But I know that when they step through my classroom doors, they're ready to learn whatever I have to teach them. They're always engaged in my lessons, they're always asking questions, and they're always looking for ways to improve their craft. Every Friday, I have some students go up and do skits that showcase their talents… Poncho Mom does voice acting, Valentine shows off her art, and Sagittarius cracks jokes and shares stories about his original characters."

He paused and a warm smile appeared on Valentine's face.

"I know that they're smart… funny… laid-back… charismatic… selfless… brave… and are always looking for ways to put smiles on someone's face," Steven continued, briefly looking at his student. "Both in and out of costume, they're the same. They don't let the fact they're labeled as vigilantes change who they are. Monsoon Gal picked them to join our team because she feels that if we all work together, we can fight the battles that we couldn't fight separately. We haven't been on a lot of missions as the seven of us. Excuse me, eight if we're counting Poncho Mom's little friend…"

That got a chuckle out of Valentine.

"Getting back on topic… we may not a lot about each other, but that'll change. The more time we spend together and the more time we learn about one another, the closer we'll all become. While Valentine, Sagittarius, and Poncho Mom may not be as experienced as the Strikers and I, I can look at them say…" He looked at the young woman and smiled, "Yeah… I know they've got my back."

Turbine was frozen solid, not knowing how to respond.

His heart sank as he heard the speech and he looked down at the ground, questioning his decisions.

Valentine locked eyes with her professor before she opened her arms and pulled herself into a warm hug. Steven, putting his scarf and goggle back on, wrapped one arm around her shoulder and returned her embrace. They let go of each other and looked at Turbine, who stood as still as a statue.

Monsoon Gal and Frosty Beetle, noticing the silence, opened the door and stood behind their friends. The latter pulled out her tonfa, but her leader lifted her arm in front of her. The icy heroine stopped and stared at her former ally.

Aella came out of her master's shoulder and chirped, feeling heart warmed by everything Steven said.

The purple-costumed man looked at his Elemental Demon before he stroked her, looking forward at the others.

Seeing Valentine's face once again reminded him of what he saw in her memories. Everything from her parents' deaths to Alonzo torturing her made his whole body flinch. It made him want to slit Alonzo's throat and hang his head on a pike, but he was still convinced that Valentine needed to pay for actions she had no choice but to do. However, hearing everything his brother just said warmed his cruel heart. His eyes were on the verge of tears as flashes of him fighting against his four partners replayed back and forth. (4Stop)

Just then, Night Shadow (alongside Gavroche and Poncho Mom) arrived and stood by their friends.

Saber-Lynx did the same thing and she appeared in front of Turbine.

As soon as she locked eyes with her opponents, she charged up her fists and raced forward.

However, Turbine raised his arm up and stopped her.

She halted and looked at her partner, raising both of her eyebrows. He slowly tilted his head towards her and shook it, keeping the same frown he's had this whole time. The look on his face said it all as she nodded and twisted her fingers, getting rid of the electricity.

It was at that moment Turbine glanced toward his former friends one last time before he raised his fingers.

"Wait!" Pyro Lad shouted.

SNAP!

Turbine snapped his fingers and he and his partner evaporated into thin air.

Pyro Lad swung his weapons at the last second, only to watch a puff of black smoke disappear by his very eyes.

Everyone froze, growing suspicious about the battle ending so quickly.

On one hand, they were glad the fighting was over, but they were wondering if something else was happening.

After a minute of standing around, the heroes concluded that Turbine and Saber-Lynx were gone.

The battle was over, but nobody felt victorious.

Especially Pyro Lad, who stored his weapons away and lowered his head in shame.

Monsoon Gal gently squeezed through her friends and approached her partner. She gently grabbed him by the shoulders and turned him around, where she noticed he was trying to hide away tears coming down his cheeks. She wiped them off of his face and looked at him with a warm expression as if to say she'd always be there by his side, even if everyone else was against him. Upon staring at her, Pyro Lad smiled underneath his scarf before he wiped his eyes once more.

Just before the two of them could share a tender embrace, the train honked its horn and the gears stopped turning; it was coming to a stop.

Night Shadow looked outside and saw the subway station from the side. The train halted its progression and the doors opened, allowing people on the other side to gawk and gasp at the heroes' arrival. Of course, they'd normally wave at everyone and greet them kindly, but they weren't in the mood, not even the most cheerful of the team: Frosty Beetle.

Speaking of which, she flapped her wings and soared out of the train with the others following close behind.

People whipped out their phones and flashed as many pictures as they could.

Within a quick second, all eight superheroes exited the station, ran up the side of a building, and took off into the shiny neon city.