Chapter 15:

Tying loose ends

That time three friends with special abilities were thrown to a new world where superpowers don't exist

Seth and John stared in grim silence at the space where the portal had just been. Both were breathing hard and were dripping with sweat.

“What happened?” Emma asked. “Where’s Nick?”

“You stopped time gain,” Elain said. It wasn’t a question. She said it as if it was an undeniable fact of the universe. John nodded, tears flowing freely down his face.

“You didn’t see what happened?” Seth asked. He was holding onto his composure for the time being.

“No,” Emma said. “What happened?”

“It’s Nick,” Seth said. “He didn’t make it through.”

“What do you mean he didn’t make it through?” Emma asked, her voice catching slightly in the back of her throat.

“That rat in the suit got him before he could get through,” John said. “I panicked, and stopped time.”

“So why didn’t you go get him?” Emma asked.

“I can’t go through a portal while time is stopped,” John said. “It’s like an unbreakable glass wall.”

“Then just make another one!” Emma yelled. “We can go get him!”

“We can’t,” Seth said, hunching over. “John and I barely managed to open the first portal. We can’t open another one.”

“You’re not even going to try?” Emma asked. “How could you just abandon him!”

“You think I’m not trying!?” John shouted back. “I’ve been trying since the second time started again! Do you see a portal anywhere? Seth can’t help me open a portal if I can’t even make the smallest one first. Until whatever magnetic crap they pulled there wears off I can’t get us there and by then…”

“Nikola is already gone,” Seth said. His hand was shaking as he held back his emotions. “He used his last energy to blow that place to kingdom come.”

“Dammit!” John yelled, punching clean through one of the thin walls. “If I didn’t stop time we could have saved him!”

“John, this isn’t your fault,” Seth said. “You can’t control that part of your power yet. And that sword… even if we got him out of there, I don’t think there was anything that anyone could have done.”

“If it’s not my fault then whose is it?” John said. “I need someone to blame. I promised Nick I’d avenge him. Please, tell me how I can do that.” Seth wrapped his friend in a hug, and both men fell to their knees, crying harder than either ever had before.

“I think he already took care of it,” Seth said. “Knowing him he probably turned that whole compound into ash and dust.”

“Yeah,” John said, a grim laugh crossing his lips. “He did always go overboard.”

The girls were holding it together a bit better than the guys were. The news hadn’t completely sunken in yet. They hadn’t seen Nikola die in front of them, after all. They felt just as responsible, though.

“Logan and Olivia,” Elain said. “They’re the ones to blame. They stabbed us in the back, and we never even saw it coming.”

“Whoever they were, they were good,” Seth said, rising to his feet. John followed suit. “I never even once caught anything suspicious in their minds. In all honesty, I would have thought that you’d be the one to betray us, Elain.”

“I didn’t make the best first impression,” Elain said, giggling. The others joined in her laughter, but it quickly died down.

“So what do we do now?” Emma asked. “Do we just go home? There has to be more to it, right?”

“I don’t think there is,” Seth said. He understood how Emma felt. As quickly as this confrontation had started, it ended.

“I’ll take you two home,” John said. “Or you can stay here. We get it if you don’t want to be alone.”

“I think we should go home,” Elain said. Emma picked up on her hint. The boys probably needed some time to process. Elain and Emma both felt a pit in their hearts, and they barely knew Nikola for a few months. Seth and John had been best friends with him for as long as they could remember, though. They couldn’t even imagine how they must have felt.

“Yeah, we’ll come by again tomorrow,” Emma said. John opened two portals, landing the girls as close to their homes as he could get them, while still remaining out of the views of any passersby.

“Call us if you need anything,” Elain said, her tone making it sound more like an order than a request. “Seriously, day or night, we’ll be here.”

“Yeah,” Emma said. “Even if you just want to talk.” They both stepped through the portals, leaving John and Seth standing alone in their living room.

“Water?” John asked.

“Please,” Seth said. John went to the kitchen and poured two glasses of water, then joined Seth in the living room. Both sat down and slowly sipped at their glasses. They knew they had to talk about what happened, and about what their next move would be, but neither wanted to be the first to start. They were unsure how much time passed with them sitting in silence like that. John finally decided to be the one to break the silence.

“What do we do now?” John asked. “I mean, aside from crying ourselves to sleep tonight.” Seth laughed, wiping the moisture from his eyes.

“I don’t know,” he said. “I mean, Nick was like… he’s like our brother. I don’t think this is going to be something we’ll easily move past.

“Probably not,” John said. “But he’ll get angry at us if we just sit around doing nothing. We have a world to save, after all.”

“From what?” Seth asked. “I’m sure Nick took out that entire place.”

“Then that’s what we do first,” John said.

“What is?” Seth asked.

“We go back there later,” John said. “As soon as I can make a portal. We make sure that place is gone, and if we can we try and find…” John stopped talking, choking back more tears.

“Yeah,” Seth agreed. “The least we can do is to give him a proper burial.”


John and Seth looked on in amazement. A few hours had passed, and both had recovered a decent amount of strength. They decided they didn’t want to wait anymore, and John took them to the closest point to the compound he could manage. What they found there stunned them.

The crater disrupting the otherwise picturesque landscape was massive. If someone told them that a nuclear bomb had detonated underground they would have believed it. It seemed like it would be impossible to find anything in the mess of collapsed earth and twisted steel. The good thing about craters though, was that they had a clear center. The point where the destruction had started. Seth and John knew this was where they should start their search. Seth moved some of the debris around to give them a bridge to walk over, leading right to the epicenter of the destruction. They spent a while searching. Seth cleared away the larger pieces of rubble with his telekinesis, while john looked for any sign of their friend.

“Seth,” John called. His voice was wavering. Seth quickly ran over to him. They had been searching for a while, but to no avail, and they were about to give up. Seth froze when he saw what John had found.

“Is that?” Seth asked.

“Yeah,” John said. Before them was a long, shining blade. Now that they could inspect it properly, they could see that it was beautifully made. The exposed metal seemed to have a dull glow, the sun’s reflections dimmed by the red stains.

“That idiot probably disintegrated himself,” Seth said. He kneeled down and picked up the sword.

“Are you telling me this is all we’re gonna get?” John asked. “After all that, this is what’s left?”

“If there was a body, this would still be stuck inside,” Seth said. He winced at his own morbidity. “John, it’s better than nothing.”

“I should have let him go through first,” John said.

“Then you would have been trapped here alone,” Seth said. “You would have died, and whoever these people are would have come after us again. Nick made sure his death wasn’t in vain. He fought till the last second to keep us safe, and when the last second came he didn’t let it go to waste either. This isn’t your fault.”

“You saying that doesn’t change how it feels,” John said. “I know you’re right, but I can’t stop wondering if there was anything else I could do.”

“For now, there is,” Seth said. He held up the sword. “You can help me give him a proper goodbye.” John nodded and followed Seth as he made his way out of the crater. He made a portal back home, and they made a call to Emma and Elain.

“Can you guys come here for a while?”

“We’ll be there in a few minutes.”

“You should dress nicely.”

John and Seth spent the time the girls took to get there to prepare themselves. They put on the nicest clothes they had and grabbed Nikola’s towel from his room. They wrapped the sword in it and placed it on the kitchen counter. Then they waited. The girls arrived a few minutes later.

“What’s going on?” Elain asked. She and Emma had met up along the way and walked in together.

“Yeah, why do we need to dress nicely?” Emma asked. They noticed Seth and John in their dark outfits and the wrapped package on the counter.

“Oh,” Elain said, connecting the dots.

“Come on,” John said. He stood and made a portal, stepping through onto the hill they found themselves on that very first day.

“We can’t exactly destroy someone’s rice paddy, so this is as close to home as we can get him,” John said. Seth nodded. He telekinetically grabbed a large clump of earth, quickly making a hole. He then unwrapped the sword and held it out.

“This was the closest thing to him that we could find to bury,” Seth said. He gave a grim smile. “It’s a bit morbid, but this is all we have to pay our respects to.” Everyone took a moment of silence, paying what respects they could. Seth wrapped the blade up again and placed it in the hole.

“Farewell, Nick,” he said. He telekinetically lifted half of the dirt he dug out and placed it on top of the sword.

“Keep a spot warm for us up there buddy,” John said. He created a portal underneath the remaining dirt, letting it fill up the hole. Despite the situation, John and Seth both wore smiles on their faces. This wasn’t how either of them imagined the story would end, but they realized now this wasn’t the end of the story. It was just the end of the first chapter. Nikola would be upset with them if they were down for too long.

“So what now?” Elain asked, after giving the boys some time to reminisce over the grave.

“We go to the beach,” Seth said. “The car is still packed, and abandoned in the middle of the road.”

“Right now?” Emma asked.

“Well, we should go get changed first,” John said. “But yeah, why not right now? I doubt Nick would want us to just meander around here. He’d want us to have fun instead.”

“You guys seem in remarkably good spirits,” Elain said.

“We’re just trying to look cool in front of you,” Seth said.

“Besides, he’s only really gone if we let him be,” John said. “As long as we remember him he’ll live on through us.”

“That’s surprisingly deep coming from you,” Seth said, laughing.

“Yeah, maybe I should have studied philosophy,” John said, joining in on the laughing.


“Here,” Seth said, handing a can to John.

“Thanks,” John said, accepting it. He turned his head back to admire the view. The ocean shined an almost fluorescent blue, sparkling waves crashing onto the sands. He and Seth were on two chairs, sitting back under an umbrella. The girls were splashing around in the ocean, seemingly trying to get their minds off of things.

“You know, you never did drain the oceans for him,” Seth said.

“I am not causing an ecological disaster just because you asked me to,” John said, frowning. “You realize I’d kill everyone on the planet if I did that, right?”

“Yeah, but if you sent it to Mars then it’s basically be prepped and ready for us to move there.”

“Smartass,” John said. “What about you? He wanted you to try the mind-trick thing. You never did that either.”

“I can’t just take away someone’s free will,” Seth said.

“But you could at least have tried to see if it was possible,” John said.

“And if it was it would open a whole can of worms that I don’t want to deal with,” Seth shot back. “It’s like you want everyone around me to distrust me.”

“Oh, believe me, telepathy is more than enough to do that,” John said. “It took quite a bit of convincing to get them to believe you weren’t always listening to their thoughts.”

“Point taken,” Seth said. “What about you though? Your power is the definition of an invasion of privacy. You basically have a door to all of their rooms. For all they know you could be sneaking in and sniffing their shoes or something.” Seth laughed, even as John hit him in the arm.

“I’m not weird,” John said. “And besides, I’ve made a point of it to never go into their rooms. They know that, so they don’t have to worry about me.”

“What do you think happened to the traitors?” Seth asked, changing the subject.

“They either died, or they didn’t,” John said. “If they didn’t they’re bound to show their faces again, and I’ll repay their kindness with an express ticket to the moon.”

“How generous of you,” Seth said. He sighed and let his head fall back into the chair. “I’d never have thought our lives would turn out like this.”

“It was unexpected,” John said. “And for us, that’s a pretty high bar.”

“He tried to help us make the best of it, though,” Seth said.

“That he did,” John said. He raised his can into the air. “To Nick, that beautiful bastard.”

“To Nick,” Seth said. Both poured a bit of their drinks out on the ground, before taking a swig themselves.

“We love you, man.”


“Well, that was unexpected,” The Suited Man said. He watched as the flesh reformed on his hand. “I almost couldn’t keep up.”

“Are you ok, Sir?” Falcon asked. “You were right at the center of all that.”

“I’m fine,” The Suited Man said. “My healing was more than enough to keep up with it, after all. I have to say, I didn’t expect Alice to send people after me, and I expected even less that they would be this ill-prepared.”

“Sir, they took out our entire base,” Turtledove said.

“As expected of them,” The Suited Man said. “That’s why I sent you two as far away as possible. I couldn’t risk my two best operatives.”

“We appreciate your concern Sir, but was all this really worth it?” Falcon asked.

“Of course,” The Suited Man said. A dark smile crossed his face, and he looked to the ground.

“After all, we have a brand new toy.”


Author’s note:

Hi! Thank you for reading all the way to the end of my story. This is as far as I planned on writing, at least for the time being. I’ll probably do a sequel at some point in the future. Till then, thank you for reading my story. I’d love to hear what you thought about it, so if you’d like too please leave a comment. Until next time.