I collapsed to my knees as Cory’s body went up in flames. This wasn’t right. I had done this, I had told Cory we should confront our fathers and now I had to stop but he wasn’t listening to me. I was scared for Cory, scared for his parents. But my head was killing me. I wanted it to stop, I wanted to stop Cory.
A flash of images. My father, Connor, my friends, my mother and a man made of pure black.
“I need you no more,” I heard inside my head.
I felt light headed and almost passed out but I knew I couldn’t. I had to get up. I needed help.
“Cassie!” I called out telepathically.
“You’re a mutant!” Cory’s father stumbled backwards.
I slowly got up, my head pounding. “Cory!” I somehow knew what was going on. Maybe it was some residual telepathic type thing but I knew what had happened to me, who had influenced me and was still influencing Cory. “Cory!”
“Leave me alone Lily,” Cory looked back at me.
“You’re possessed Cory,” I screamed backing away from the flames.
“I don’t care!” Cory looked at me, “I’ve never felt so good in my life. I’m happy to finally tell my parents how I feel about them!”
“You’re going to kill them!” I screamed, “If you want to tell how you feel use words not flames jackass.”
“No,” Cory shook his head, “They’ll see me for who I really am. They’ll see what I can really do!”
I covered my eyes and stepped back as a wall of flames erupted from the floor blocking me from running over to Cory.
“Cory please!” I cried, “Just listen to me!”
I could barely make out his figure through the flames. I watched closely as he turned to his parents and the flames blocking Cory and I grew larger, blocking him completely from my view.
I needed Lily out of the way. I needed to talk to my parents alone.
I looked to my father, “Are you surprised?”
My father’s looked answered that question as yes.
“Are you scared?”
Again his look answered yes.
I looked to my mother, “She knew all this time. When she was pregnant with me she had powers. Did you know that dad?”
My dad shook his head as my mother began to cry.
“Do you know how it’s been like living with you people,” I looked to parents, “Do you know how small and unimportant you’ve made me feel over the years. All because I lived and Donnie died!”
The walls of my house caught on fire.
“Cory please!” I heard Lily cry.
“Cory,” my dad said without even looking at me, “Don’t do this we’re your parents.”
“Only when it’s convenient,” I glared at him, “You’ve never been a father to me, never!” I turned to my mother, “And you’ve never been a mother to me. I’ve been alone in this house for eight years.”
“You’re wrong,” my father finally looked at me, his face dripping in sweat, “We’ve feed and clothed you for sixteen years.”
“That doesn’t mean anything!’ I screamed and the stairs caught on fire, “Being a parent means more than that!”
“We did all we could!” my father screamed.
“Stop it!” my mother screamed, tears falling from her eyes, “Please let us go!”
“Cory please listen to me!” I heard Lily cry out again.
“You did nothing for me!” I screamed as the flames around my body turned blue, “You never supported me, you never cared about, you never loved me. You can’t even look at me! Once Donnie died, I was basically dead to you people”
A sudden realization seemed to strike my father.
“Did you do it?” my father said slowly. “Did you kill your brother?”
The fire in me seemed to explode and the roof my house caught on fire with blue flames. I put out a hand and blue electricity shot out from my hands and hit my father square in the stomach. My mom screamed as my dad flew backwards, crashing onto the floor inches from the flames.
“Oh my God!” she screamed running over to my him and kneeling by his body.
I looked at the two of them, not a tinge of regret. He deserved that. He deserved it for what he did too me, how he treated.
At that moment, things went black.
I couldn’t see anything. The flames were too much. I was getting dizzy and my powers were acting funky. I had to get through the flames, I had to find a way to stop Cory, to help him. My eyes were burning and watering, my vision was beginning to blur.
“Cory!” I yelled but nothing.
And just like that I heard a crash from behind me as the windows suddenly shattered open and Josh flew into the room, going right threw the flames. A second later he was thrown back as large pillar of electricity propelled him back. He crashed onto the floor hard as the Cassie, Megan and Ororo teleported into the living room.
“Lily,” Cassie walked forward.
“Where is Cory!?” Ororo called out.
“Can it be?” Cory’s voice called out from beneath behind the flames. It sounded a bit deeper, more menacing than it normal did. I turned to the flames as Cory in flesh formed walked through the flames. I gasped slightly noticing that Cory’s eyes were completely black. “Is that my white haired princess, my most precious thief?”
“Cory…” I said softly to myself and then quickly turned to Megan, “Megan, you have to get Cory’s parents, they’re on the other side of the flames. Find them and get them out quick. Bring them to the warehouse.”
She nodded at me and disappeared in a cloud of white smoke.
“Back away,” Ororo stepped in front of me and pushed me back as it suddenly began to as a hard rain came over the room.
“No hello my beautiful Goddess,” Cory smiled a tooth grin showing all his teeth.
“Damn that burnt,” Josh walked between Cassie and I rubbing his chest. He looked to Cory and grimaced.
“We’re too late,” Cassie said in an almost lifeless tone.
Cory…the Shadow King, turned to us, “Children-”
“Do not speak to them!” Ororo screamed and the rain grew stronger, the fire was slowly dying out. I could hear sirens in the distance.
“After all I did for you I am still so hurt by the way you treat me,” The Shadow King put a hand over Cory’s heart.
“I will ask you one last time,” Ororo’s eyes sparkled with electricity as she put up her hand, “Leave the boy’s body at once.”
“He does not want me to leave him,” The Shadow King put a hand up and the rain around him started to twist above him He put up a hand and the water started to come down in a funnel like shape. It started to drip down in a long line to the middle of his hand where it formed into a ball, “I give him power, I give him pleasure.”
“Well that sounded wrong,” Josh said stepping forward and going to Ororo’s side, “How about you leave my friend’s body before this gets even more homoerotic.”
Megan teleported back into the room and by my side, “Cory’s parents are at the warehouse. They’re both okay…ish.”
The fire around us was not completely out. The rain had stopped as I nodded at Megan and looked back to the Shadow King as he began to talk.
“I knew Cory would be the easiest to influence, so I choose him to turn my full attention too,” As he spoke, his lips curled into a devious smile. the ball of water started to sparkle with electricity, “It would have preferred you boy, as you are the most powerful. But it was Cory who had the anger, who had the desire to give into the darkness. The girls were nothing but a play thing for me, Cassandra was too strong to take over and young Lily to emotionally fragile-”.
I gasped. “Hey!”
The Shadow King ignored, “They were a distraction while I brought Cory deeper and deeper under my control, you see Cassandra prevented me from fully taking over each of you at once. Oh how unstoppable I would have been but no bother,” The Shadow King moved his hand to his chest as he did the ball of sparking water multiplied four times, “This boy has so much untapped potential.”
“Finally,” Josh said getting in position, “I thought that evil monologue would never end.”
The Shadow King pointed forward and all five balls shot out.
“Move!” Ororo screamed dodging out of the way of one of the balls. I quickly flipped to my right, barely dodging the attack.
Josh flew into the air to dodge his attack and Cassie put up a telekinetic shield. The ball hit the shield and Cassie fell backwards onto the floor, but got up slowly shortly after. Megan just barely teleported out of the way of her attack. The five balls all continued to fly into the air. One ball stopped right in front of the broken window and then the remaining four balls collided into it.
There was a large flash as a wave of electricity was released into the room. All five of us were hit by it. I crashed into a charred couch and Cassie fell by my side.
“Ow,” I said touching the side of my face which was burning.
“Come on up,” I heard the Shadow King say as flames started to shoot out from the floor. Cassie put up a hand up to create a telekinetic shield as flames began to circle around the couch, “The fun has just begun.”
I hit the floor but quickly got to my feet. I put out my hand and immediately fired a blast of kinetic energy at the Shadow King. He leaned of it’s way without even flinching.
“Careful Josh,” Ororo said holding up a hand, “That is still Cory.” Ororo looked to Cassie who nodded at, “We need to distract him.”
I looked back to Megan as she slowly got up and then back to the broken window. Firefighters and cops were filling the streets.
“This isn’t good,” I muttered as I grabbed my phone. “Costumes everyone.” I pressed the button and the holographic image of my black costume; skull mask, full body suit and all.
I didn’t even notice the bolt of blue electricity until it hit me right in the chest. I flew backwards at incredibly speed going right through broken window and crashing into the top of a cop car.
I heard the clicks of about thirty guns as I slowly got up, my back aching. “Wait,” I put up my hands, “I’m a good guy. I’m dealing with-” And with that I flew back into the house at top speed. I didn’t really think talking to them would have done much.
I landed back on the floor, my foot going in about two feet of water. Ororo had made it rain again and this time it was a downpour. I looked down at the water and to Ororo, “I’m not sure how safe this is.” I whispered to her.
Lily had jumped at the Shadow King, aiming a kick right for his upper chest. He blocked her attack and grabbed her hand, ready to shock her. She was quick. She kicked him hard in the face and he stumbled back as Ororo put her hand. Water surrounded the Shadow King as he started to spin around in a twister created by Ororo.
“I’m sorry Cory,” she waved her hand and the Shadow King was flung backwards into the wall. I heard it crack as the Shadow King slouched over slightly, rubbing his back.
Megan appeared before him in a cloud of smoke and prepared to kick. I saw the smile cross the Shadow King’s face. He grabbed Megan by the foot and threw her like a rag doll into the same wall he had just hit. She collapsed to a sitting position against the wall, half her body disappearing in the water.
“Coward!” Ororo screamed at him, “You hid behind a child, you hurt another. What kind of man are you?”
“Enough talk.” Shadow King smirked, a danger glint appearing in his eyes.
I noticed what was happening before he even turned. I flew forward at top speed, knowing full well I might hurt Cory. I crashed into the Shadow King and the moment he lifted from the ground he turned to electricity which sparked slightly at his feet. I felt the electricity burn my skin as I crashed into the wall. I only let go of him once we collided into the ground of Cory’s kitchen which only had a small coat of water on it.
“Off me boy!” The Shadow King screamed throwing a burst of both electricity and fire in my face. I screamed and withered in pain as I fell back on the ground. My whole face felt like it was on fire, I could feel that my skin that had been burnt badly, some parts even to a black crisp.
“You underestimated this boy’s power,” I heard the Shadow King say over me, “What a foolish mistake.”
As Josh crashed into the wall with the Shadow King I heard a loud explosion from outside and looked back to see the cop’s all pointing upwards. I could sense their panic and fear. Something was happening outside.
“Let’s go,” Ororo screamed running to the kitchen.
Shaking my head I followed Ororo into the kitchen as I heard the Shadow King say.
“What a foolish mistake.”
At that moment Ororo put up her hand a and strong wind blew the Shadow King back.
“Josh,” Lily kneeled by his side.
Slowly he removed his hands from his face. His skin was healing fast, I could see the black on the side of his cheek turn completely back to flesh. He touched his face and sighed in relief.
“Get ready,” Ororo said stepping forward as The Shadow King got back up.
“Do you realize what this boy can do?” The Shadow King made a fist as he looked to Ororo, “Because I do.”
With that his fist seemed to expand to about four times it size and without warning Cory’s arms stretched beyond across the room. The fist hit Ororo right in the chest and then he grabbed her and threw her into the wall.
“I can do things with this body the boy will never be capable of,” The Shadow King said as the walls around us turned to ice as vines shot out from the ground, “I understand the true nature of his powers.” The walls light on fire, “They are a waste in such a feeble mind. All your powers are a waste. To understand the true nature of your powers you have to let it all go, lose all inhibitions. Lives lost, humanity lost, none of it matters, only you and your powers.”
“Well you’re all kinds of insane aren’t you,” Josh clenched his fist and they glowed with blue energy.
“I understand your powers,” he looked to me and then Lily, “I could do things you’d never believe you could do.”
“I’m happy where I am,” Lily replied.
“I know the truth,” he looked to Josh, “I know the prophecy.”
“I don’t care what you know,” Josh lifted his hand up, “Get the hell out of my friend’s body.”
“So young,” he looked to us and I felt a rush heat hit my body. Josh and Lily must have felt it too as they both were sweating and breathing heavy. It was getting harder and harder to breathe myself as I felt my body temperature rise. “So naïve.” He was turning up our body heat with Cory’s powers. “I can do so much too you.” Josh was lifted into the air, “I control your insides boy and now you will burn.” He pointed at Josh and Josh let out a bone chilling scream as his whole body caught on fire.
“No!” The Shadow King screamed. No that wasn’t the Shadow King. The flames disappeared from Josh’s body as he collapsed to the ground, his body red and raw. His hair was missing in patches and he was breathing a heavy wheezing breathe. He closed his eyes and he began to heal, his skin slowly turning to flesh, his hair growing back.
“No,” The Shadow King touched his head as Josh’s wheezing stopped and was replaced with a low whimper as he continued to heal, “Quiet!” He looked to Lily and put out a hand. Electricity suddenly formed around Lily and it bent towards her never fully touching her. “Foolish boy do you know the truth!?” the Shadow King screamed, “Do you know what he did to you!?”
“Cassie!” Ororo lifted herself up slightly, “Do it now!”
I nodded and closed my eyes, reaching out my mind to Cory’s. We had a connection, the four of us did. It was incredibly strong and really it was what sort of got us into this mess. With the connection he was able to manipulate all four of our dreams. But it could be used for good too, it was used for good.
I felt Josh and Lily grab my hand as I fully connected with the Shadow King and Cory, bringing them back to my astral plane.
I opened my eyes. I was back in the field yet again. Dead grass, dead sky, dead willow tree.
“What is this place?” Josh asked staring upwards. He was completely healed here,
“My astral plane,” I told him.
“It’s very you,” Lily looked down at the dead grass.
“I will not let go!”
The three of turned to see the Shadow King, in his astral form. Black skin, long, narrow body sharp fingers, narrowed slated red eyes and large square white teeth. Cory was tied to the willow tree, his eyes fluttering open and shut.
“Clearly you have that problem,” Josh turned to him.
“Back,” I screamed stepping forward.
“You have no chance against me,” The Shadow King pointed to me, “With your precious Professor gone, I am the most powerful telepath in the world.”
“Maybe so,” I said, “But we’re three minds versus one.”
“Such strong minds,” the Shadow King laughed.
“You know what I’m thinking,” I asked the others.
“Oh God,” Lily frowned, “I do. I’ll have nightmares for years.”
The ground beneath me began to shake and put out my hand in an open palm. The others kept their hands on my shoulder. I felt the shaking beneath the ground move past my feet and into the open field. Pieces of rock began to fling from the earth as the ground began to rise into one gigantic wave.
The Shadow King waved and the sky turned blood red. The ground had grown to the size of a large wall and was quickly heading towards the Shadow King. It completely covered him. Hoping the attack would hit I waited. Large claws broke through the ground.
“The sky,” Josh pointed upwards.
I looked up and above us meteors were falling from the sky. I quickly brought my hands together and threw them down. A yellow dome appeared over as hundreds upon hundreds of meteors poured down.
“What are we going to do?” Lily looked up as the meteors continued to hit the dome which was growing weaker and weaker.
“Anything we put our mind too,” I said drily.
Josh frowned, “Really? That’s the line you’re going to use?”
I threw up my hand the yellow dome turned into a large yellow butterfly net which soured into the sky catching the remaining meteors. I threw the net with all might back at the Shadow King and the meteors flew back out. The Shadow King smirked and pointed at the sky. Each meteor evaporated in the sky.
“I know all your fears,” The Shadow King grinned.
“We’re in control,” I said gripping the other’s hands and making sure we were focused, “Not you.” As I said this the grass began to turn green and lilies spouted from the ground. Vines shot from the ground and reached towards the Shadow King, wrapping themselves around him. More and more vines shot out, each covering an inch of his body. Hundreds up thousands of vines shot from the Earth as the three of us concentrated as hard as possible. Soon enough all of the Shadow King was covered in vines.
“We have to be quick,” I said letting go of the others. I wasn’t a big fan of hand holding. I looked at the ropes around Cory and began to tug at them, but they wouldn’t even budge. Backing away slightly slashed my fingers in the air. Nothing happened. I slashed four more times and again nothing. Lily ran forward.
“Lily wait!” I screamed but it was too late. The vines collapsed to the ground and the Shadow King appeared from no where grabbing Lily by the throat and lifting her to the ground.
In the blink of an eye the Shadow King had transformed into Lily’s mother, “Hello my sweetheart.”
“Oh shut up,” Lily said aimed a kick for the Shadow King’s face, trying to get free. Josh ran forward but the Shadow King’s arm stretched out about a foot and grabbed him by the throat too.
“You see child,” The Shadow King lifted both my friends as the sky turned black and the once green grass withered away and was replaced with dry mud. “I control this world.”
I quickly turned around.
“Jean!” I screamed happily.
Jean Grey stood about a foot away from me. Her red hair was styled in a wild look and she wore a long green dress with a slit going down its leg. I noticed she was wearing a necklace with a golden phoenix pendant that seemed to glow.
“You,” the Shadow King dropped Josh and Lily as he backed away.
“You shouldn’t have come back,” Jean shook her head.
“I’ve grown even more powerful wench,” he snarled at her, “You do not scare me.”
“But Charles did,” Jean glared at him, “And he taught me how to handle you if you would return.”
“Ah the student replaces the teacher,” The Shadow King smirked. “Tell me girl, do you still dream of that other uncontrollable girl who lived free and wild? Do you dream of the full potential of your powers? Do you still dream of being the Phoenix?”
“No Amahal,” Jean shook her head, “As you can see,” she held up her pendant, “I’ve embraced that part of my life. I’m not divided anymore, I’m not scared. I accept both parts of me and there is nothing you can do or show me that will stop that.”
The Shadow King seemed to know this was true as he stepped backwards. He looked to Cory and then Josh and smirked crossed his face, “Have you accepted what you’ve done to them? I don’t believe you did. How could you?”
“Goodbye Amahal,” Jean put up her hand.
The Shadow King quickly went to grab Josh and Lily but they disappeared. Cory had disappeared too. Jean had freed them.
“Let go Cassie,” Jean looked to me, “I’ll handle him.”
“No,” I shook my head, “I’m staying.”
“Brave girl,” The Shadow King smirked, “Too bad I still have her.”
The other me, my subconscious who had been masquerading as Emma appeared out of thin air.
“Jean Grey knew the whole time who she was,” The Shadow King said, “Another lie.”
Jean held out her hand, “Grab my hand Cassie.”
I did as Jean said, ignoring the Shadow King’s words. The other me disappeared and the Shadow King’s red eyes narrowed. The ground beneath us began to shake and lava began shoot out of it and arc towards us. Jean put up a hand up and the lava turned to stone.
“Enough!” she screamed and she lifted from the ground. Her wild hair blew into the wind as she put out her hands. A fiery bird shaped symbol of pure telepathic energy appeared behind Jean. The Shadow King also rose into the air, his body began to glow with energy.
The Phoenix and the Shadow King collided. The sky light with orange and black energy and I looked to Jean as she held out her hands, her forehead glowing with power. I could see the tension in her face, the struggle she was going through. I closed my eyes and concentrate on Jean, concentrated on giving her my strength.
I heard the beautiful cry of the Phoenix and looked up. It had grown even larger and had over taken of the Shadow King. I heard the Shadow King scream as the flames of the Phoenix started to pour into body which was slowly being torn apart into tiny little pieces. With one last scream the Shadow King was once again returned to be scattered into a million little pieces.
Moments later Jean landed by my side. She looked down at me with a smile.
“Thank you,” she smiled at me.
“Hey I didn’t even have to hold your hand,” I smirked at her, “So thank you.”
With a flash of bright, comforting light I was back in Cory’s house. Only seconds had passed since we had last been here. Jean wasn’t here, she most have used Cerebro to contact us. I was still standing, my eyes gripping the others who were in a daze.
“Cory,” Lily running forward.
Cory was sprawled out on the ground, his eyes closed.
“He’s okay,” I said going next to her, “He’s just going to be out of it for a couple of hours.”
She shook her head and looked up to Josh was looking down at Cory concerned, “Go get Megan we need to teleport out of here.”
“You go with Megan and Cory,” Josh looked to Lily and you, “We’ll go deal with the cops.”