24 End of an Empire [part 2]

Time seemed to freeze as everyone took in the circumstances of the situation. The boys of the FF were worried and wanting to rush over but the pistol sized blaster pointed at the back of Sue's head stopped them dead in their tracks. Devin started rolling through the options and trying to quickly make a plan as Tyrannus stood up again. As Tyrannus approached Devin stealthily stowed his gun and left his sword drawn. Tyrannus knocked Devin's blade from his hand and as it spun a half dozen feet out of reach Devin felt a prick at his throat as the tip of the arrogant bastard was leveled at him.

"See? You can't hope to defeat me. I am destined to rule once more, both as The King of the Underworld and The Emperor of the Overworld! Hahaha!" Tyrannus ranted before throwing his head back and laughing like a mad man. Devin took the opportunity to look over his shoulder at the others and his eyes connected with Sue's. He saw embarrassment from getting caught and hidden deep was a spark of determination. For a moment Devin and Sue looked at one another and both knew what needed to happen. Sue gave a barely perceptible nod at Devin, which he then returned. Devin turned back just as Tyrannus finished laughing and glared for a brief moment before a grin rose on his countenance. This confused and angered Tyrannus as he wanted to see despair on his enemies' face before he died. Finally he asked with irritation clear in his voice.

"Why are you smiling?! Even the bravest of men wont laugh at their of funeral." Tyrannus spoke as he drew a bit more blood from Devin's neck by pressing slightly harder on his neck with the tip of his blade.

"I'm not smiling because of that. I'm smiling because of you." Devin said as he looked Tyrannus in the eye and could see the confusion and frustration mount even higher.

"Oh? And why, pray tell, are you smiling because of me?!" Tyrannus said between clenched teeth.

"Because even though the situation that we are in is rather unfavorable, you are making one big mistake." Devin said as he readied the Iron Knuckle gloves and one of his pistols in his inventory and hoped that Sue was ready as well.

"And what might that be?" Tyrannus asked as he readied to thrust his sword through Devin's neck and end the insufferable fool.

"Our determination. Now!" Devin screamed as he swatted the blade away from his neck with the metal knuckels cover his gloves before bringing his gun up and squeezing the trigger. In that half second, quite a few things happened. The first was the actions that Devin enacted. The second was the sound of a blaster going off and a feminine grunt sounding from over his shoulder. The third was the combined shouts of the three boys towards Sue, which Devin prayed was from her surviving her end. As Devin let loose the the trigger of his gun, he could see a black hole in the forehead of Tyrannus and debris that was the contents of his skull fly out the back of his head. Devin pulled the trigger once more and this time put a round into the despot's chest where his heart should be before turning around.

Devin took all of the scene in in less than a millisecond. Reed and Ben had subdued Kala, while Johnny cradled Sue in his arms. The scene of Sue on the ground caused Devin's heart to stop for a moment and his stomach to drop. It took a further second to realize that Sue was still alive and that her shoulder and part of her upper arm was burned and bleeding severely. Devin ran over and knelt next to the siblings as he assessed her wounds. They weren't fatal, but definitely severe enough that he worried that she could have some permanent damage. He waved his hand behind his back to summon his last remaining Healing Fog and uncorked it. The blue mist then erupted out and settled on Sue like a shroud before absorbing into her skin. As the two watched the wounds on her shoulder stopped bleeding before closing up and finally disappearing all together. The only evidence of the wound being the blood that still coated her skin and uniform.

"What was that?!" Johnny asked in surprise as he saw that his sister was fully healed now.

"Trade secret." Devin threw out as he helped Sue stand up.

"Thanks, where's Tyrannus?" Sue asked as she spied Ben wrapping Kala in a bear hug to keep her from trying anything else.

"Dead." Devin said as he glanced at the Moloids that were left. The majority of them had fled after Tyrannus' death and the handful remaining looked ready to piss themselves in fear. A sigh was all the answer Devin needed to know what Sue thought, but what caught him of guard was the comment after that.

"I guess it was for the best." Sue said as she looked at the corpse some feet away from where they stood.

"Huh?" Devin uttered in shock as Johnny looked at his sister like as if she had a second head.

"Don't get me wrong, it's still wrong to kill, but under the circumstances this was probably the best option that we could have had." Sue said as she crossed her arms and winced as she could feel the odd sensation of the now dying blood on her skin move with her arm. Reminding her of what had almost happened.

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"Yeah, now what do we do with the little goblin dudes and that bitch over there?" Devin asked as they turned and made their way over to Reed and Ben. Reed had pulled some kind of metallic tape out of who knows where and had safely secured Kala so that Ben could have his arms back.

"Sue are you ok?" Reed ased as he looked her shoulder over and seeing nothing wrong except for the blood.

"Yeah, thanks to Devin." Sue said as she hugged Reed.

"That was a gutsy move there kid." Ben said as he clapped Devin on the shoulder with his massive stone hands. Surprisingly Devin barely moved which cause Ben to raise an eyebrow.

"Some times you have to take a risk and hope for the best though Sue also had a hand in it as well. How did you destroy that blaster Sue?" Devin asked as he saw the blaster scattered everywhere on the ground.

"Oh, I encased the tip of the gun in a barrier and the expansion of the energy caused the it to backfire and explod. Unfortunately, it happened to be right behind my arm and shoulder when it did." Sue explained with a wince at the pain from before.

"Ah, well, good job!" Devin said.

"No, thank you, Mr. Price. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't be in the situation that we are in right now." Reed said as he stepped over and offered his hand to Devin.

"No problem and please, call me Devin." Devin said as he took Reed's hand and shook it firmly. It wasn't till Reed's hand came away looking like a crushed cartoon hand that Devin realized that he had shook too firmly.

"Sorry, don't know my own strength. Now what are we going to do about the, Moloids wasn't it, and that one over there?" Devin said to change the topic. Reed shook his hand to get it back to normal before looking at Kala and answering.

"We'll take her top side and hand her over to Nick Fury. As for the Moloids, they will stay here as this is their natural habitat and now that they don't have a leader they should be rather harmless." Reed said as he turned from Kala to the Moloids.

"Sounds good. Now let's get the cure and get our of here. I think I hear a shower calling my name." Devin said as Johnny, Reed, Sue, and Devin turned to the massive mushroom.

***

It took them roughly five minutes to collect all the samples they needed for the cure. Unfortunately, it took them another 2 hours before they managed to find the separated Fantasticar pods and when they did they found them in working order, but apparently the Moloids had found them too and had put some good sized dents and scratches in the paint which infuriated Ben since he was the one that had painted it and took care of it in the hanger. As they all settled into a pod, with Reed and Sue sharing a pod so that Devin could ride along to collect the one that was left in the main shaft and Ben grumbling under his breathe about "No good, stinking runts", all five soon were on their way home. Kala had been stuffed in a baggage compartment by Ben after a short round of cursing.

It wasn't till they had arrived at the main shaft and collected the last pod that Devin realized that there was an elephant in the room that he needed to address concerning his abilities.

"Hey guys, I need to talk to all of you." Devin said over the comms. Sue knew that this had to be something about his powers.

"I need you guys to keep what happened with me and my abilities a secret please." Devin asked as they flew.

"Why? You were so awesome down there! All 'slash' and 'bang' and 'Now you die asshole!'" Johnny said as he made chopping motions with his hands.

"It's because I know who is waiting up top and I also valued my privacy and don't want the 'One-Eyed Wonder' putting his nose in my business." Devin said as Reed and Sue knew exactly what Devin meant as Fury had also tried to get them to work under him in the past.

"Fine we won't tell Fury about you and will even help cover you, but in exchange you have to answer some questions when we get back to the Baxter Building." Sue said before anyone else could. Devin frowned as apparently she hadn't learned her lesson that well back in the underground, but knew that answering a few questions was the lesser of two evils rather than dealing with Nick Fury and SHIELD yet.

"Fine, but I reserve the right to veto certain questions." Devin said as they could finally see daylight ahead.

"That's fine." Sue chirped. Devin sighed as he knew that his hot shower was to be delayed even longer now, but finally they were free and headed back home.

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