*********

Clarice, Alani and Abby had gone outside. The temperature was just above freezing, and all of a sudden Clarice didn’t mind having to wrap herself in clothing that much anymore. Abby also wore a winter coat, but Alani was quite unprepared for the winter. Her summer-clothing and thin jacket were inadequate for the purpose of staying warm, but being true to her nature she didn’t seem to care.

“So what happens now?” Abby asked the others.

“Now, Rachel and professor Kitty are having a bonding moment” Alani said.

“What do you mean?” Abby asked.

“They, you know, talk it over” Alani simply said.

“And then?” Abby asked.

“Then professor Kitty realizes she was wrong, and we make up” Alani answered.

“Just like that?” Abby asked.

“Just like that” Alani said, acting like se had already forgotten about the whole situation.

“Hmm… Well, there is still the matter of you having to spy on us” Clarice put in.

“There’s that. That has to blow” Alani said.

“Yeah… Yeah, it does. I thought it would be okay, for the cause and everything. I just found out I couldn’t do it” Abby said.

“Why not?” Clarice asked, “There is an insane level of cool in the whole secret mission thing,” Clarice said.

“Not so much when you get to know the people you spy on,” Abby said.

“Maybe… Why spy on us at all?” Clarice asked.

“I really don’t know. I only have to sent daily reports on whet you guys are up to the central leadership of The Initiative” Abby answered.

“What’s that like, being an Avenger?” Alani asked.

“Great! Well, at first it was great. But do you know how it eels when you’re really good at something but you don’t ant to do it?” Abby asked.

“I can surf really good” Alani said.

“Yeah, but you like that, you know? Anyway, I’m really good at shooting” Abby said.

“I thought you were an Avenger?” Clarice asked, “Aren’t they more like superhero’s?”

“The Initiative is a little bit of an army, too. Before I even completed basic, I learned that I am a great shot. So, that’s what they wanted me to do. Me, I just wanted to fly.” Abby said.

“So you had to become an Avenger… That’s strange… I don’t claim to be an expert or something. Hell, on my homeworld we didn’t even have Avengers. It’s just that in every other reality I ever visited that did have Avengers, they were never an army” Clarice said.

“They’re… We’re not an army, but we are like an army…. I don’t know… I’m just not as happy flying as I used to be… This mission was a nice way out, a way to get away from killing… I just don’t think I’m cut out for this life” Abby replied sadly.

“I’m cold” Alani said.

“No, really?” Clarice said sarcastically, “Why don’t we get on a train… or street-train-thing… and go downtown to get you a coat?”

Alani nodded, shivering by now, and the three women waited by a tram-stop. After a few minutes a train showed up, and all three got on it, sitting down in the back of the car. The train was quite full, and as the vehicle drove of, they all kept quiet. The train moved along slowly, until after about twenty minutes it suddenly stopped. Clarice looked up to see why the train had come to a sudden halt, and noticed that the doors had opened in the middle of the street, and that all the passengers were getting of, some of them in a panic.

“Something’s up. Let’s have a look!” Clarice said, and all three got out of the train. They hurried to get of the road, when shots were fired. They weren’t normal gunshots, but rather energy blasts. People were screaming all around them, pushing and shoving to get as far away from the train and the noise as possible. Clarice, Abby and Alani stood on the sidewalk and looked for the source of the blasts. They saw a group of individuals standing in front of the tram. The rail had been pulled of the street and bended, and there were four strange beings scanning the crowd as if they were looking for something.

“What are these guys?” Abby asked.

“How the hell should I know?” Clarice asked.

“Not good” Alani said softly.

The creatures in the street looked very dangerous indeed. One of them was a green skinned man with fangs and an artificial eye, armed to the teeth with all kinds of big guns and weaponry. The second one was a giant of a man, fitted with hardware and goggles, and wearing a Mohawk. The third was a normal looking young woman with long blond hair and glasses, standing over an unconscious man with a glowing red hand. The fourth was completely inhuman, looking like a scaly red demon with claws, fangs and a tail, wearing his spine on the outside.

“Hi there!” Alani called, and at once, the four creatures attacked. The green one fired his guns at the X-Women while the big guy waved his hand and a small tornado appeared. The woman fired a blast from her glowing hand, and the demonic creature leaped for Alani but stopped in mid-jump to avoid her. Abby created a small cloud to jump on and fly out of the way and Blink jumped out of the way in the old fashioned way. Alani was frozen to the ground it appeared as the demonic creature stood before her on all fours and cast his gaze on her.

“Alani! Move!!!” Clarice shouted, but Alani didn’t react. Hastily Clarice pulled a short Javelin from her boot, and threw it at Alani just as the demonic creature lunged at her with its claws. Alani was teleported to Clarice’s side, still not responding. Clarice pulled her out of the way of energy-blasts from the green creature, as Abby went on the offensive. She created another cloud out of thin air and sent it towards the green creature, filling his lungs and nostrils with the substance. The green creature dropped down coughing and gasping for air.

“Gauntlet!” the woman with the glowing hands called at the green creature, and Abby figured that was its name. She flew at the woman, but got caught in the big guy’s mini-tornado.

“Storms chase cloud’s away every time, girl, and baby, I’m a Hurricane!” the big guy shouted. Abby was spun around at great speeds, and was finally thrown from her cloud, out of the tornado as it dissolved. She slammed against the tram, and landed on her head.

The Demonic creature was now coming at Clarice, who was still ducking blasts from the woman. When the woman’s hand stopped glowing, she stopped firing. Clarice had only seconds to recover before the demonic creature was upon her.

“Want to play with Spyne?” the creature hissed at Clarice, as it jumped her. Clarice had no chance to get out of the way, and all she could do was brace for impact and fend of its claws as best she could.

“Alani! Snap out of it, girl!” Clarice shouted, but Alani was still on the ground, seemingly terrified. Clarice tried teleporting, but the tenacious Spyne held on and went with her. Alani was now unprotected as the woman approached her.

“Is the little girl afraid of Lifeforce?” the woman taunted Alani as she stood over her. Alani gave no reaction, and then the woman grabbed her by the head with both hands, pulling her up. Alani finally became aware of her surroundings again, and the woman smiled at her.

“I’ll just take some Lifeforce of yours. Your not using it anyway!” the woman said, and with that both Alani and the woman started to glow red.

“No” Alani said, and became intangible. The woman let go of Alani and screamed. Her hands were completely bloody, as the skin was literally dripping of in small drops of goo.

“This is not me!” Alani shouted as she jumped on the woman and started to pummel her with lefts and rights. The woman called Lifeforce was in such pain from having her hands partially disintegrated, that she did nothing to defend herself.

The big guy called Hurricane approached Abby, still lying on the ground by the tram. It looked like she had been knocked unconscious, and Hurricane smiled at that.

“Move away, Hurricane. She’s mine!” the green man called Gauntlet said. He stood over her and put his huge gun to Abby’s head.

“So unworthy” Gauntlet said, and smiled as he prepared to blast Abby’s head of.

“So are you!” Abby said suddenly and grabbed the gun, pulling it away from her head. Gauntlet fired anyway, and blasted Hurricane’s leg. The big guy collapsed, howling in pain as he grabbed the stump that used to be his leg. Abby got up to take advantage of Gauntlet’s distraction, and punched him hard in the jaw. It was like punching a brick wall, and Abby recoiled in pain.

Clarice meanwhile had attempted multiple teleports, but the creature called Spyne held on, if not with his claws than with his bony tail, that he had wrapped around one of Clarice’s legs. From the corner of her eye, Clarice saw that Abby was still in trouble, and decided to try and kill two birds with one stone. She teleported herself and Spyne in between Abby and Gauntlet.

“Give me one of those choking clouds!” Clarice yelled, still struggling two avoid Spyne’s claws and fangs. Abby didn’t hesitate and covered Gauntlet, Spyne and Clarice in the choking clouds. Choking, Spyne finally let go of Clarice, allowing her to jump free.

“Quick! We have to go! We’re not beating them!” Clarice said, as a strong gust of wind blew the clouds away from Gauntlet and Spyne.

“You’ll all die for this!” Hurricane shouted, still clutching his stump of a leg, and a hurricane-force wind came forth from his arms. Clarice grabbed Abby and pulled Alani from the bloody pulp that used to be Lifeforce. Then she teleported them all away from the scene.

********

A thin man with long gray hair sat in a bar in the Russian city of Volgograd. He was drinking Vodka mixed with orange juice, and had his back to the wall, his eyes fixed on the bars entrance. He wore a cheap-looking gray suit with a black tie and odd purple sunglasses. Although he looked like just another poor Russian whiling away his time, he was none of that. His name was Modred, called The Mystic, and he was a sorcerer of tremendous power and knowledge. Born in the 6th century AD. He had awakened in modern times to continue his work. Often in the past his work had involved the Darkhold, the ancient tome of darkest magic and his bondage to the Elder God Chthon. These days, however, Modred worked his magic’s for whoever could afford them. He had recently completed an assignment in Berlin (see Agency X # 8), which had been highly profitable for him. In fact, it had been a very good year for Modred. He had decided to leave the world of magicians and demons behind for a time, focusing on approaching his own goals. Modred had been very active as magical mercenary, and today marked the day that he would make a start with his most ambitious project ever. He served nobody today, neither man nor demon nor Chthon.

The contact Modred was awaiting here in Volgorad was a dangerous one. The woman had the ability to make herself look like anyone and was a dangerous, ruthless killer on top of that. Many considered her the most dangerous woman on the planet, and in a world filled with magic and miracles, Modred considered that an achievement in itself. With any new arrival at the bar, male or female, Modred studied the individual intently through his purple colored glasses. It took some concentration to keep them activated, so he did not use them constantly, only activating them to make sure his contact had not arrived yet with every new patron coming in.

After a few hours, Modred began to consider that his contact would not show up. He was surprised when a waitress, who had served him several drinks, walked up to him and all of a sudden pulled of his glasses. Modred was stunned with surprise, and within seconds the waitress had changed from a middle-aged Russian woman into a young beauty with raven-black hair and expensive clothes.

“Always check the merchandise before the deal,” the woman said as she tried on the glasses. She concentrated, looking at Modred, and then took them of, putting the glasses down in front of her at the table.

“Milady, I assure you thou needst not fear treachery from me” Modred said, recovering his formal act.

“I do not fear, Magician, I merely question” the woman answered.

“A prudent custom, Milady. Now, shall we get down to the purpose of our meeting?” Modred asked.

“Let’s. I hate to spent anymore time in this place than is absolutely required” the woman answered, and took a small package from her purse, the size of a book.

“Yes, I imagine thou doth not have many fond memories of thine earlier visit to this place. From what I understood, thou barely escapeth with thine life, is it not so?”

“What do you mean?” the woman asked, dropping her confident façade.

“Ah, yes. Thou hath no recollection of events here. Yet in the book thou art now trading with me over, thou didst read what hath occurred here these many years ago, and thou must have wondered about the mentioning of a blue lady with red hair and yellow eyes, true?” Modred said.

“If you already know what is in it, why do you want this book? It’s nothing but the final ravings of a madman who knew he was defeated,” the woman asked.

“It is what it has become. But it is also an account of happenings in this very city that none now remember. When science and magic clash, the world is changed,” Modred said mysteriously.

“Keep your secrets then, the book is worthless to me. I am willing to trade the book for the glasses if you are” the woman said angrily.

“Oh, I am most willing indeed, Milady” Modred answered.

The woman and Modred exchanged their items, the woman taking the glasses and putting them in her purse, Modred taking the package. As soon as the exchange had been made, the woman stood up.

“Enjoy your book, Magician. But keep in mind, the next time we meet, you die. I do not tolerate being toyed with” the woman spoke.

“I can assure thee, we will never met again, Milady. My destiny no longer involves thee” Modred said smiling, as he put on another pair of glasses he took from his coat and studied the woman intensively.

“See that we don’t” the woman said as she left the table and the bar.

“It hath been my pleasure doing business with thee, Mystique” Modred whispered, as e opened the package. In it was a book, the cover of which said “Private Journal of General Friedrich von Paulus”

*********

Hi, Kitty Pryde here. First, I’d like to say that I consider myself smart, strong-willed and a nice person. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I know I would like me a lot if I met myself. Compared to Storm or Emma, I still looked like chopped liver, but I’m happy about having grown into a strong independent woman.

Still, today I got my ass kicked verbally by a girl that I used to teach computer science to. Even more, I totally deserved it. I was taking out anger on a sweet girl, who got stuck with an assignment to spy on us by America’s very own Adolph, Mr. Tony Stark. I was totally obnoxious and self-righteous, and Alani called me on it. And that was that. I had nothing to say except to admit that I was wrong. Big old Professor Kitty (I swear I’ll strangle Alani one day if she continues calling me that!) was shut up by her own student. Once, another student got smart with me, and if the school still existed, he would still have been in detention. Alani drives me nuts with her short answers, seeming absent-mindedness and surfer-girl attitude. But I digress.

So anyway, Alani’s shutting me down forced me to look into myself and my anger-issues. I had a long talk with Rachel, and we talked about everything. Not just about being in a stupid giant bullet, but also how I got stuck in there in the first place, and that part of me was willing and even eager to die in a noble sacrifice. It wasn’t easy, but I think I may just have taken some important steps in getting back down to earth again. And all because I have a big mouth and horrible temper. Maybe I am a genius after all.

********

When Clarice, Alani and Abby came back to their new Amsterdam home, Rachel and Kitty were still talking. From the looks on their faces it was clear tears had been shed by both. The whole talk and the discussion that had started it were instantly forgotten however, when the three arrived. Alani was not so much wounded, but did act rather strange after the fight. Clarice on the other hand was pretty cut up by the creature Spyne. When she told Rachel and Kitty about what had happened, Rachel flew out right away, despite protests by Clarice and Kitty.  Alani got a first aid kit, and started cleaning and binding the cuts on Clarice’s body, as Kitty took Abby into the kitchen for an icepack to put on the huge lump she had on her head.

“Here, put this on that lump. It’ll keep the swelling down” Kitty said as she handed Abby a towel filled with ice-cubes.

“Thanks. It doesn’t hurt so much, really” Abby said, not thrilled about being alone with Kitty.

“Do it anyway. Trust me, you’ll be thankful for it. That lump is approaching egg-size” Kitty said.

“Yeah, I hit that train-car pretty hard”

“I can see that. So, listen… I.. I… I think I owe you an apology.” Kitty said.

Abby looked at Kitty incredulously.

“I’ll be honest here, I don’t like the Initiative. I don’t think it’s okay to force people to sign up for an army based on what they can do. I don’t like the idea of registration.”

“I know… You made that clear…” Abby said, her eyes cast down.

“Yeah, but I should not have taken that out on you. You helped me beat that scarecrow-guy on the plane, and he had me cold. I don’t think I would have been able to snap out of it without your help. Now, that whole spying thing is still not okay with me, but I should have heard you out, and given you the benefit of the doubt. So, I’m sorry…”

“I’m sorry, too, for spying on you” Abby said softly

“Well, you haven’t done much spying yet, have you? And it’s usually not in a spy’s best interest to tell the persons she’s spying on that she is in fact a spy. So far, as a spy, you suck”

Abby gave a little smile at Kitty’s remark.

“So, why did you have to spy on us, anyway?”

“I told the others already, I haven’t got a clue. Something about the X-Men just makes people nervous, I guess”

“Hm… We better find out, then, don’t you think so?”

“I… What do you mean?” Abby asked.

“You see, it’s like this. Me and the others, we came here for a reason. Now, if that reason is going to be stirring things up with the Initiative, or the Avengers, or SHIELD, I’d rather know beforehand. Besides, you’re involved now” Kitty said.

“I still don’t get it… I’m an Avenger, so…”

“Who says you can’t be both an Avenger and an X-Man? Wolverine does both!”

“You want me to join your group?”

“Sure, why not? You’ve fought by our side twice in two days, your going to have to stay close to us anyway for your assignment, so you might as well go all the way then” Kitty said.

“I… I don’t know what to say…” Abby said, startled by Kitty’s invitation.

“Don’t say anything yet… Think it over… There is one condition, though, and it is not open to discussion!” Kitty said, suddenly sounding very serious.

“What?” Abby asked.

“Your reports home. I get to read them before you sent them. I also want to read everything the people you report too ask of you. I want to know exactly what the hell they want with us”

“It’s a deal” Abby said resolutely, “Do you know that I never wanted to be an Avenger anyway? I just want to fly, that’s all”

“Don’t we all? Now, if you’re feeling okay, let’s break some laws and see what we ca come up with regarding your assignment. Then I’ll tell you all about what we are doing here” Kitty said.

“I’ll get my computer, it’s a really good one” Abby said.

“You have it with you?”

“No, it’s at my place… across the square” Abby said, and went out.

“They really want to know everything about us, don’t they?” Kitty said to herself, and then went to her room to start up her computer.

********

In the living room of apartment-X, as Rachel had started calling their place, Alani was just finishing bandaging Clarice’s cuts.

“Thanks, that’ll do it” Clarice said as Alani put on the last bandage.

“Okay” Alani answered.

“Now, do you mind telling me what happened out there today?” Clarice asked, putting on a clean shirt.

“Nothing” Alani answered.

“Girl, that was a something, not a nothing. You froze up, and when you defrosted, you started pounding that woman into a bloody mess. That’s a something”

“She made me do it”

“No argument from me, she deserved every punch, but it was… weird”

“Maybe I’m weird”

“Weird for you… You went crazy on the woman”

“She made do it, you know? Use my powers” Alani said, looking away from Clarice.

“Why is that a problem? You’re powers are pretty impressive” Clarice asked.

“My powers kill. I don’t want them. That guy on the plane yesterday? Not cool” Alani said.

“Why don’t you like your powers? You can control them, and they can be pretty handy in fight.”

“So what? I don’t like them, and I don’t want to use them!” Alani said, a little louder.

Clarice decided to drop the matter, and talk about it at a later time. Looking at Alani, she saw that the girl was subconsciously running her hands over the lines of her tattoos. Clarice figured that there was probably a lot more to this relaxed surfer-girl than they all knew. For now, she had other things on her mind. She was feeling sore from the fight and all the cuts she had received, and Clarice decided to lie down on her bed, to finish recovering from her jet lag if nothing else. As she fell asleep, Alani was already back to flicking through channels on TV.

********

Hi, I’m Abigail Boylen. Most people call me Abby, and I got stuck along the way with the Avengers: Initiative codename Cloud 9. I actually like that codename, but I have gotten a little down on the Avengers. That’s right, I’m an Avenger! I’m a registered graduate from basic training at Camp Hammond, so ya me! It’s not something I ever wanted to be, but at a certain time it became sort of fun. Then somebody in the higher offices came up with the idea to exploit my `natural talent’ for taking aim and hitting a target, and they started outfitting me with a sniper-rifle. Now, I already had to take out some people with a laser-rifle, during a HYDRA-attack. It was like playing a first-person shooter at first, but then I realized that the people I was shooting down were actually people. Bad people, but still people.

So there I was, little Avenger girl with a big rifle, an ugly costume that made me look like a piece of Candy and heading up a squad named Freedom Force. I once googled that name, and let’s just say I was not too thrilled about what I learned about my predecessors. Add to that another bad guy taken out with a bullet to save my teammate, and I wasn’t all that happy about being an Avenger anymore. I said it a million times, and I’ll say it again: I just want to fly! Is that so much to ask? But because some kids got themselves killed fighting bad guys on national television, I’m now forced to be a super-hero, and that absolutely sucks!
 
When I was given the chance to leave Freedom Force for a while to spy on some X-Men, I was only too happy about it. It least it didn’t involve shooting people, right? Then of course I had to go and meet with them, and they turned out to be really nice girls, about my age. Their boss, or at least I think she is, is kind of a hard case named Kitty, and when I told them I as a spy, she took me apart verbally, blaming me for the whole Civil war. Then, after I’d been in fight alongside two of them, Clarice and Alani, she came to talk to me. She sort of apologized to me, and I could tell that was a big deal for her. Me, I was just relieved. Then she went and offered me a place in her X-Squad. Me! So, now, I go from reluctant Avenger from to Avenger/X-Man, or X-Woman, as Kitty likes to say? Hmmm…. I’m not sure, but I don’t think Kitty will ask me to shoot anybody, which is a big plus. 

So, anyway, we spent the rest of the day together, Kitty and me, trying to figure out where my orders to spy on the X-Woman came from anyway. Were still not sure, but Kitty does have her suspicions. I think she always has them. That night, the five of us ate together at their place, and we had fun, not talking about missions, spying, Avengers or X-Men. Rachel and Alani are both really great, and lots of fun. Clarice is a bit more serious, but also very sweet. And Kitty? Well, as Rachel said about her, she was partially raised by Wolverine. I don’t know, but I guess that must do something for your outlook on life.

********

A man in a suit, a long coat and red hair bound into a ponytail stood on the long gallery balcony of a huge apartment complex. As far as the eye could see there were complexes just like this, making up most of Amsterdam South-East. Many of the buildings occupants were illegal aliens, most from Africa or the Middle East. The prevalent culture was Islamic, which made for closed curtains across the board. Furthermore, people tended to keep to themselves in this part of town, trusting only those who were family. It was a perfect place to hide out, if you didn’t mind the staggering crime-rate and sadness brought on by poverty and being on the bottom-rung of society.

The red-haired man had followed his quarry from the streets of Amsterdam, where they had fought a couple of X-people. The fight had not been a success for either group. While the group of mutants once known as The Dark Riders still had the upper hand, the X-people had gotten away, and the Dark Riders had suffered injuries. The big idiot called Hurricane had had his leg blasted of by his teammate Gauntlet, and the woman called Lifeforce had been beaten by the X-men’s slacker-girl. Not a very good way to return to the forefront of the Mutant-struggle. The Dark Riders had escaped in a black van and gone back to their hideout in Amsterdam South-East to lick their wounds. The red-haired man shook his head at the incompetence of the Dark riders, but also had to admit that Blink, Cloud 9 and Loa were a lot stronger than either he or the Dark Riders’ master had anticipated. On the other hand, the Dark Riders’ ineffectiveness was something he could have predicted. There was a good reason they were all dead before they were raised. Once a failure, always a failure.

There was one thing however, that the red-haired man could till use the Dark Riders for, and he was about to do just that. Not bothering with stealth, the red-haired man kicked in the front door of their apartment, and walked in. Hurricane was lying on the couch, his wound cauterized by the energy blast. Gauntlet was sitting in a chair, cleaning his huge gun, and was sitting next to him, her face completely swollen and her hands bandaged. The red-haired man found them all completely pathetic, except for the monstrous Spyne; the only one who was ready to fight the moment the red-haired man entered their hideout.

“Now loose it!” the red-haired man said before any of the dark Riders had a chance to react. At once, both Gauntlet and Spyne doubled over wracked with pain in their mutated bodies. Gusts of wind came forth from Hurricane’s body and Lifeforce started to glow red and purple all over. The Red-haired man took several steps back and retreated out of the room. After a few minutes, and a soft, squishy explosive sound, he re-entered the room.

The room looked like a small localized tornado had moved through it. The entire interior was smashed and all the furniture was broken in pieces. That was hardly the worst of it, however. The mangled bodies of Gauntlet, Hurricane and Spyne were sucked dry of energy, and looked almost mummified. The rest of the room was covered in organic matter that used to be Lifeforce. She had drained so much of the life force of her companions, that she couldn’t contain it anymore in her weakened state and had violently and horribly overloaded, causing her body to explode. The Red-haired man looked at the carnage with satisfaction. He then moved into the middle of the room, careful not to step in anything, and cleared his throat.

“I know you are keeping an eye on your troops, so I know you are listening to what I have to say” the man spoke to nobody in particular. Ten seconds later, a phone began to ring. The man listened to hear where the sound was coming from, and found the cell phone in Gauntlet’s pocket.

“Yes?” the red-haired man answered.

“What do you want, Cortez?” a voice sounded on the other end.

“Now you ask me what I want? You know what I want!”

“I’m not giving you control. Ours is a secret organisation. We have no use for the likes of you”

“Yet you couldn’t have perfected the product without me, right?” Fabian Cortez answered.

“You should have been happy with your place. You had failed once before. Your resurrection was a failure. It was only through us that you came back from the dead in the first place”

“Still, the product’s success is all thanks to me. You couldn’t have done it without my DNA”

“I will tell you this. You are a dead man. You were, and I will see to it that you are killed once again”

“The X-Men are here, and they will take you and your organisation down. I’ll even help them” Cortez answered, unimpressed by the threat.

“The X-Men do not impress me. You do not impress me. We have existed for decades, and even now you don’t even know who you are talking to.”

“Neither do you. I am Fabian Cortez, and I will be mutant-kind’s saviour. The product is the key to the restoration!” Cortez said haughtily.

“Such nobility for such a small man, Cortez. You mean nothing in the eyes of The Balance. We are done here” the voice said and hung up.

The conversation had not gone as Cortez had planned, but he couldn’t worry about that now. Whoever the people were that ad brought him back and created the product, Cortez knew they would probably already have their people on their way. Before he left the apartment, Cortez took one more look around. It had felt great to use his powers to their maximum, overloading the powers of The Dark Riders. When he was done admiring his work, he pulled for hand grenades out of his pockets, took out the pin, and tossed them into the living room, before getting out of the apartment and hurrying out of the building.