Author’s Note: This takes place during the Halloween period, 2019:
So you are telling me he’ll get away with it?” snarled Kallisti the Friar, standing in front of the Longbow prosecuting officer’s desk, her fists on the desk, her body leaning over toward the bespectacled lawyer sitting on the other side. The lawyer squirmed at the very obvious anger in the young blonde woman who had broken up the kidnapping ring a couple of months before. She shuffled the papers on her desk and cleared her throat.
“He is a very prominent member of society and has powerful friends, if you get my meaning” she said, peering over the rim of her spectacles, trying with all her might to get the message across. “Strings have been pulled and the lines of evidence have been questioned… there is usually a little leeway when it comes to evidence acquired by super-powered representatives of law enforcement, however enough doubt has been generated…”
“Doubt? Doubt? I saw him with my own eyes! He tried to kill me!!!” Kallisti almost screamed.
“I’m afraid there were no witnesses to this and the injuries he sustained when you defended yourself make it difficult to present a credible case… and the fact that your own legal status is still in limbo…”
“That was supposed to be dealt with by FBSA! Gold said it was all sorted!”
“Well Kallisti Gold’s own immigration status is also under question, after all she isn’t a citizen of the United States and you Kallistis do seem to keep appearing out of nowhere. It was not an issue when there were just four or five of you, but just how many are there now?”
“That’s beside the point… I went through HELL to stop that gang of slavers and abusers – they killed girls, I had to watch them do it!” Kallisti’s eyes were filled with tears as she remembered the horrors on the transport ship and in the camp at the end. “I had to stand by and watch those men hurt them so it could all be stopped, so we could find the ringleaders.” She slumped into the chair, gripping the edge of the desk with despair.
“I know, I was one of the people in the recovery team, I remember too” the lawyer reached across the desk to touch Kallisti’s hand. “What you did saved so many girls. We’ve got all of the gang who ran the kidnapping operation – its just the people running it are too powerful…”
“I thought this world had proper laws? Bronze told me things would be done properly here, that people get punished for being evil.”
“They do…” the lawyer said, taking off her glasses and polishing them, not willing to meet Kallisti’s gaze, “unless they have enough money to pay for lots of lawyers.” she finished. The crash of the door slamming made her flinch, one stray long blonde hair remained on the chair opposite, silently accusing her of failure. She clenched her fists, wishing that she too had a super power so she could mete out the sort of justice those bastards deserved.
* * *
Kallisti the Friar sat in the park opposite Atlas Plaza, holding her head in her hands to blot out the hubbub of people around her. The trees here were taking on autumnal hues and it was noticeably cooler than the past few weeks. She glared at the grass at her feet in fury. After all she had gone through and the others who had suffered, the people responsible were going to get away with it!!! Her blood was boiling!
She became aware of the sound of small footsteps nearby. “Hey lady, trick or treat?” She looked up into the face of a child wearing a demon mask…
* * *
The phone rang insistently as Kallisti Gold tried on her new hero outfit, a gold and red shiny form fitting metallic skin. Scowling she picked up her phone and checked the number – it was the Paragon Police Department!! She frowned and answered it.
“Is that Kallisti Gold? the voice on the other end asked. “Yes, whats up?” she replied.
“You need to come to Atlas Park there is an um incident with your um sister…”
“Oh no what has Red been doing this time?”
“It isn’t Red this time, its the one with the staff, you’d better come to the park opposite Atlas Plaza as quickly as possible…”
The Ouroboros portal dropped her in the corner behind City Hall. Striking her normal pose, she punched the air and took off, flying up over the dome and under the statue of Atlas. Ahead she could see a cluster of people and some flashing blue and red police lights. In the middle in a clear area stood the person she loved above all others but this did not look good – Friar’s staff was in her hands and she was brandishing it angrily at the small crowd.
Gold landed close the PPD officers. “What’s going on?”
“Ahh you are here already!” one of the cops said, taking his cap off and scratching his head. “It seems she just went berserk and almost hit a child with that staff. We’ve told her to stand down but she just keeps shouting something in her funny accent we can’t understand.”
“Okay let me talk to her” she glanced over to see a mother and child being treated by paramedics. The woman shot an angry look at her and then turned back to her little boy who was still clutching the broken demon mask in his hands. He didn’t seem to be hurt, just shocked and frightened. She stepped through the small crowd of onlookers and approached her doppelganger.
“What is wrong with you people that you celebrate this evil time with games and tricks!!” Friar pointed at Gold with the staff that was forged from a slice of her own soul.
“You mean Halloween? Its just s time of the year for silly dressing up and parties, there nothing serious about it.”
“YES THERE IS” Kallisti the Friar bellowed with such power that the crowd stepped back. “All Hallows Eve is the time when the barrier is weakest and the invasion is at its height, the time when the demons come to feast and lay waste! It is the most dreadful night of the year!” Kallisti Gold could now see the tears running down Friar’s face. It was obvious in her expression that all the memories of her old life were coming back, all the horrors she’d lived with daily until the portal brought her here to Paragon City to a new life, to find love and some relative peace.
“They sacrificed my baby on All Hallows Eve to close the rift!” there was an audible gasp from the small crowd. Suddenly it was as if something had broken within her and she slumped to the grass, her body racked with sobs. Gold rushed to her and held her tightly
“Oh my darling I’m so sorry” she whispered and kissed her cheek. Friar clutched at her as if life itself depended on it, her body shuddering with emotion. “I didn’t know, you never said anything before. Its not like that here, its just a silly time of year. My darling…”
Friar pulled away roughly. “I never said anything because I didn’t want to remember it.” she clutched at her chest. “Who wants to remember watching priests offer your baby on the bloody altar?” she wailed and beat the grass with her fists. “I was only fourteen and they killed my baby!”
Kallisti Gold felt a numbing cold at the realisation of the untold horror her beloved had been through. This was beyond anything she had ever dealt with in her own life. In comparison she’d had a pampered and privileged upbringing in Oxford. She had no idea what to say but simply reached out her hand to touch the face of this wonderful person she loved. Friar batted the hand away and glared at her. “I thought I could escape from those things here with you… with all of you…” she looked beyond Gold to where Kallistis Red and Bronze had arrived and were talking to the police. “But I can’t, they still live here” she put her hand over her heart, “and they will never leave me.”
She looked back to Gold and her fierce expression softened slightly. “You have given me love and acceptance and a place to call a home. I love you dearly My Angel in Gold, but I must confront my demons and I can’t do that while hiding with you. I feel a darkness growing in my heart – there are injustices that being a hero cannot fix and I can’t be with you while I feel this way.” The tears were running down her cheeks again as she explained and watched the expression change on her Angel’s face.
“No, you don’t have to go away, I love you, we all love you, we’ll help you.” the tears were running down Gold’s face as well now. Friar smiled affectionately.
“Don’t cry my dearest, it’ll make your mascara run.” she gently wiped away a tear. Gold smiled and sniffed but the tears would not stop. “You have no idea how much you mean to me my dearest Angel. I’ve never before felt such happiness than being with you, but that happiness is a barrier that keeps me from dealing with what I must do and I have to do that alone… at least for now.” She cupped Gold’s face in her hands and kissed her. Stepping back, the Ouroboros Portal opened beside her and she stepped through, the portal closing behind her.
Kallisti Red rushed to Gold’s side and wrapped her in a bear-hug as Gold cried.
* * *
The Ouroboros portal opened in Grandville and the vigilante Kallisti the Friar stepped through. She was still wearing her usual green and white, but her clothes were much less revealing, more sober and serious. She looked around and scowled. The callousness that showed in the very architecture of this place seemed to chime with the mood in her heart. She knew what her first task would be… a certain person of money and influence – justice WILL be served!