It had been a crazy weekend for the Justice Harem...and not just because that name for their super team stuck.
Over the course of a mere 48 hours, Ubergirl had been taken out of commission by a clinically depressed AI, at the same time giving Wisp a serious traumatic shock. With the maiden of might (or is it maiden of mindlessness) incapacitated, crime had skyrocketed, at about the same rate as pictures of bound and gagged super heroines had declined in her city.
Her allies had been picking up the slack, expanding their patrols to put down the criminal element in her city as well, at the same time, having to call in their reserve members to fill the gaps, as well as Miss Merize to cure Wisp's panic coma.
"Amazing how hard Svetta and Wisp work, each of us must have stopped double our usual number of crimes."
Amazon Arrow sat at the non specifically advanced crime computer, monitoring for any crimes needing the heroines attention.
Behind her, Curia stood. "Well not entirely. Over on the east coast, a new heroine, Zealot has been keeping crime down...also church attendance is up 1,000% and everyone seems to be voting the same..."
The two heroines grimaced at the news. "Ok, one crisis at a time..."
All of a sudden, the crime computer went crazy with alerts, a computerized voice shrieking
"Emergency, emergency. Level 20 threat detected. Johnny Massacre sighted entering city limits. All citizens within the area are advised to hide under their beds and cry."
Amazon Arrow quickly brought up the data file on the villain. "Resonance user, his music can tear apart mountains. He has taken down entire super teams with his doomsday concert before!"
As she grabbed her bow, Curia was already at the door. "Call White Owl...Call everyone, we need all the backup we can get!"
Amazon Arrow looked to the back of the command center, where a still stricken Wisp reclined, watched over by Miss Merize. "Will you be ok on your own?"
Miss Merize adjusted her glasses "She is improving, I will stay with her in case anything more develops. Be careful out there, I can only heal minds, not broken bodies."
Amazon Arrow smiled as she followed her college, off to stop the mad musician!
With the other heavy hitters conveniently out of the base for an uncertain amount of time, the mental mistress, Miss Merize, went back to her patient...
A deeply entranced Wisp reclined on a large, soft and semi rounded surface. the gentle breathing of what was under her shaking her comparatively small body ever slightly.
"Misha is worried. Fairy looked so scared. Will Fairy ever get back to normal?"
It was Misha, a red oni and recent reserve member of the Justice Harem. Called in to help keep the incapacitated heroines safe while they recovered. Wisp had been reclining on her comparatively much larger body, her head supported by the oni girls huge... ...tracks of land.
Miss Merize smiled gently at the oni girl's kindness and concern. "Stay calm, Misha. Panicking won't solve anything. I can heal her but some of the work has to come from her side, she has to overcome her fear, or else it will keep dragging her down."
"Misha can't help being afraid. Misha knows only how to punch problems away. Fairy can not punch her fear of dolls, because Red Lady is her friend also. Misha feels like she can't help at all."
Miss Merize placed a hand on Misha's rather large shoulder, before raising her glasses, looking straight into Miaha's eyes. The mighty Onis eyes went wide, before they started to glaze over, not putting forth any resistance in the presence of a friend that she trusted.
"Everything will be fine, Misha. I promise I will work to the best of my ability to get Wisp back into full form. I will guide her out of her inner demon's grasp. I have done it many times before, and in the end she will be better for it. Now just relax. You are helping just by being here, giving her a friend she can lean on. Just relax..."
Misha's eyelids grew heavy, before she sank into a peaceful sleep, her breathing becoming gentler. The gentle sway of Wisp's form slowing. Wisp was indeed showing improvement. When she had arrived, she was nearly catatonic from the shock of being attacked, disabled and nearly kidnapped by her own brainwashed friend. Now she had a gentle smile, she was in a peaceful dream.
Miss Merize brushed Wisp's hair gently. "When you wake up, everything will be calm and peaceful again. We can talk about your fear rationally, and I can help you through any lingering fears you have. For now just rest, little fairy, you are among friends."
As Miss Merize worked her powers subtly, slowly assisting Wisp in overcoming her shock, she failed to notice something scurry across the ceiling. She did however catch a glimpse of it out of the corner of her eye as it darted between two components in the wall. She had seen only a shadow of it, but it was big, larger than a spider, something unusual, something that should not have been able to get into the base.
Careful not to risk shaking her patient or Misha, for fear of the mental shock harming them further, she kept calm, not letting whatever it was know she had seen it. Calmly, she got up, slowly walking towards the computer, just steps away from the internal security alarm...
Suddenly she caught a whiff of something strange. A barely noticeable vapor that had been sprayed across the room like a missile. She had only seconds to register, before the room became blurry. She put a hand to her head, unable to keep her balance as her heels caught on the floor, she nearly fell over, just managing to brace herself to her knees, leaving her heels behind as she knelt, still unable to steady herself.
Her arms felt heavy, her head felt like it was spinning, it was all like being drugged. She could not move an inch, she could barely even see, as she got the first good look at what had drugged her. The very thing she had been trying to alert the team to...
Some sort of vaguely spider/scorpion like creature scurried across the ground. Strangely from what detailed her blurry eyes could process, despite its insectoid build, it was clearly reptilian... Two red, slit like eyes gazed menacingly into hers, as the creature reared to its full size, its face latching onto hers as the helpless woman could not even scream.
(Due to the really dam freaky nature of this scene, we will not go into terrible detail, but basically if this were a TV show the camera would cut to the shadow on the wall as it entered her body through her mouth.)
She fell over to her side, feeling suddenly coming back to her body as she began to stand up, pain firing through every nerve as she could feel something...changing within her. Miss Merize stood for several moments, completely still, completely silent, then looked into a computer screen, her reflection showing red, reptilian eyes. "She is now mine..."
She strolled back across the floor, no longer hampered. Her stockings suddenly ripping to shreds as her body pulsed with newfound internal energy. Her bone structure itself changing bit by bit, now walking with her heels off the ground, her fingers transforming into claws, her hair growing much longer and more spiky, bone spikes forming out of her back as the savage alien transformed her body to suit its preferences.
"This host has such strange self restraints...So much power of the mind yet she fears using too much. Instead she prefers simply nudging her charges along with "traditional hypnosis" for healing. What happens when I push her power past this self imposed limit..."
The possessed woman looked over to her two sleeping patients, her mouth forming into a sharp toothed grin as her eyes began to glow with energy...
Wisp had never felt so happy before. Girly as it may be, she was at a tea party, Misha had shown up just moments ago, happy to see the fairy girl smiling once more.
At the table sat a dark elf in a shiny cat suit, a albino ninja girl, a young woman in a long, purple cowl; A woman in a purple and silver costume with glowing eyes, a cute little bunny robot in a black dress...wow this girl has some odd acquaintance memories...
Finally happy once more, her fears of being attacked by her friend, and creepy dolls, miles away...
The party faded away, as the idealistic outdoor setting began to wither, its spring appearance becoming late autumn as the weather suddenly became dreary. Suddenly only Wisp and Misha remained. Wisp felt a wave of fear wash over her, as the clouds formed into a demonic appearance. A pair of red, reptilian eyes gazed down at her from the dark clouds. "Your magic...belongs to me now..."
Wisp backed away, but the clouds only got larger, soon taking up most of the horizon. A great hand began reaching down towards her "Jooooooooin usssssss!"
Misha grabbed the fear paralyzed Wisp and ran the opposite direction, fast as her powerful legs could cary her. Wisp couldn't move, she couldn't even speak, the fear that had been plaguing her for the past several hours worming its way back into her thoughts...
The monster behind them smashed its fist into the ground, causing fissures so massive the landscape began to break and fall away into nothingness. Misha found herself with nowhere to run, and the two fell into the darkness, screaming as everything fell away.
"Hello? hello there? how can you really be unconscious when you are already in a dream? Is this some sort of Inception joke cos I think we are a little late on that bandwagon."
Wisp's eyes snapped open to see a garishly dressed, tall man in a black and white mask standing over her. She shrieked so loud that it reverberated in the endless white plane they found themselves in...somehow considering there wern't any walls for the sound to bounce off...dream logic I guess.
"Gah! Sheesh I thought you were Wisp, not Black Canary! My ears drums just pulled a death star!"
Wisp huddled herself into a ball, hugging her knees "Stay away from me, pervy clown!"
Top leaned to the side, smacking his head a few times to try and clear his ears. "Wow wow wow. No reason to fear. It's alright, it's just a mask, see?"
He reached up, removing his mask to reveal...A celestial void within, all black, blue and purple like distant nebula, with tiny points of light like stars...And two burning eyes, one red, one purple."
Wisp's eyes went wide as she saw, Top quickly putting his mask back on, seeming slightly shy about showing what was underneath.
"W-what are you?" slightly coming out of her shell, Wisp managed to ask the jester.
Top cartwheeled over to an equally unconscious Misha, sitting on her leg like a bench. "Well that...is an odd and interesting question, one that won't be answered here or for several more issues out of preservation of dramatic suspence."
Wisp cocked her head to the side, looking puzzled.
"I mean it is too complicated to explain, for now, I am a friend. you may call me Top Eugene Spiegel. you may NOT call me Spike Spiegel, I know we share the same voice actor though."
Wisp just looked more puzzled at all the oddity going on...and considering she is a magic fairy, that really says something.
"Ok, where are we? what was that...thing?"
Top took off his hat, reaching inside and pulling out...a screen play script. "Let see here, You recieved a traumatic shock that left you in a catatonic state. Out of concern for your mental health, your friends had to call in a hypnotist to try and help you overcome your fear, however little did our heroes know, she became possessed by an evil entity and is now trying to enthrall your mind, with which she can dominate the rest of the Justice Harem and take over the world..." Before crumpling the script and throwing it over his shoulder "Of Course."
Wisp's eyes went wide again at all the information...but Top continued before she could even process it all.
"You and your well endowed tank/dps friend landed here, the dreamtime, a place I happen to reside."
Wisp finally caught up with herself enough, floating to her feet and walking over to sit next to him, though still at a cautious distance (luckily being a red oni, Misha had plenty of leg.)
"What is...the dreamtime?"
Top looked down, a bit disappointed. "I guess White Owl didn't remember all of her journey here. Haven't you ever heard of the collective unconscious? (Wisp shakes her head) Ok...Dreamside? (Wisp shakes her head) The Dreamscape? (shakes head) The Fantasy Zone? (shakes head) ...Sheesh, Fairy. you are deprived!"
He stood up, pulling a marker from his hat and drawing crude images in mid air. "Look basically, your friend, Miss Merize has a lot of mental power. At base she seems to use it just to enhance traditional hypnosis, allowing her to push past normal limitations and help her patients with much faster and more stable trance states...Now that she is no longer herself, her power has been pushed well past where she normally goes, turning her simple hypnosis into a serious mental trip, and you and the oni are in for a ride with her."
As he stood aside, showing his picture, it was just a crudely drawn sentence saying "You are being brainwashed!"
Wisp looked frightened. "W-what can I do? I can't let this happen, I'm a superhero!"
Top just straightened his hat. "That...is what I am here for. I see in you a great potential, something that you need to unlock within yourself, and right now, that is the only shot this world has. Your magic and your mental state are connected. When you feel confident, you are strong. Fear is natural and unavoidable, but when you let your fear consume and overwhelm you, your power suffers, you become weak and helpless. Just like Miss Merize told you, she can help show you the way, but the path to overcoming this fear is one you have to walk."
Wisp put her head in her hands. "That...is helpful but a little vague. Don't you think I want to be brave? I have overcome fear before, I think every hero has. I just can't...get the image out of my head. I see Svetta, someone I trust with all my heart. she was turned on me just like that...like a puppet with no choice of her own. It was...I couldn't even fight back, my friend was against me..."
Misha began to stir. "Oof, Misha landed on her head again. Who is Fairy talking to?"
Wisp pointed to Top, but he was no longer there.
"Misha would normally assume visual and auditory hallucinations are to blame, but Misha is unsure if that can happen in whatever subconscious plane of existence Misha and Fairy are in."
Wisp went right back to looking down, now scared and depressed as she self reflected on her fears. "I feel pathetic. What kind of hero am I?"
Misha answered plainly. "You are Wisp, hero to uncountable people, member of the Justice Harem, savior of thousands of lives, Misha's friend."
Wisp looked up, smiling a little. "T-thank you. I won't be worthy of any of that if I can't get my head on straight again. I can't keep letting my fear win."
Misha sat up, gently putting her arms around Wisp (by gentle for an oni we mean she avoided even actually touching her least she squash the fairy like a bug on a wind screen.)
"Misha face fear also. Misha has had times before that Misha felt pathetic. Overpowered by other demons, beaten and left to die, Misha felt small and weak and alone."
Wisp looked concerned upon hearing this. "How did you overcome your fear?"
Misha smiled "Misha did not. Misha lives with it, Misha fear comes back sometimes, but Misha remembers people depend on her, care for her. Misha came to care for humans also. Misha still afraid but does not let that stop her."
Wisp smiled, genuinely, without the need for a hypnotic dream, she hugged Misha...s abbs, her arms barely reaching the sides of the buff onis body. "Thank you Misha, It's a wonder why you aren't on the main team with drive like that."
Misha responded in a matter of fact tone. "Misha has very specific skill set that does not supersede other heroines more varied skills. While Misha is stronger, she can not fly, gets tossed around easier, and Misha strength tend to cause huge collateral damage. Other heroes only call Misha when much extra muscle and fighting skills are needed, or to train new heroes how to fight with demon martial arts."
Meanwhile in the physical plane of existence...
A monitor buzzed to life, as White Owl appeared
"Miss Merize? are you there? We managed to avert the crisis, luckily he was already pretty drunk when he started his attack so after a while he just passed out after hitting on us for 10 minutes straight...um is everything ok?"
From White Owl's perspective, Miss Merise could be seen just from the hem of her dress and sleeves, her head hidden in darkness but for her now glowing red eyes. White Owl instantly knew something was wrong, but was already too late.
The possessed Miss Merize eyes flashed with power, transmitting a hypnotic signal across the communicator, as the beam hit White Owl directly in her eyes, they immediately went blank.
"You now belong to your queen. Tell the others with you to contact this body, they must be prepared for conversion as well..."
White Owl responded, with absolutely no emotion. "This slave obeys, my hive queen."
Back with the emotional side of the plot.
Finally feeling the love of her friends around her once more, Wisp could feel her confidence slowly return, she smiled warmly at her friend, rising to her feet.
"Ok, now...how do we get out of this place?"
Misha scratched the back of her head. "Misha is not good at solving problems that do not involve fighting. In this way Misha has been compared to Goku several times."
Wisp floated around Misha for a few moments, thinking hard to herself. "Hmm...Hay! Listen to that! Do you hear something?"
The sky...or what passed as the sky in this eerily limbo like dimension, began to crack, as two massive clawed hands pryd the rift wider, and a single, massive, red eye gazing down at the two. "You can not hide from me. you are already in my power!"
As the Invader tried to widen the rift, Wisp took one step back, panic on her face...then she gulped, looked back at Misha, and looked back to the giant enemy with far more determination. "Nobody is hiding. We're ending this right now!"
The invader was suddenly thrown back, as Wisp zoomed through the rift, protected by a magical aura that had turned her into an impromptu missile. Misha soon followed after, climbing out of the rift on her own.
Wisp shot around the giant form of the monster, it swatted at her, but in taking such a gigantic size it was slower, especially here, in Wisp's mind, where her own ideas could effect its level of control.
Wisp dashed around one of its arms, summoning a huge fist of ice and launching it right into the monsters face. The hit not only knocked it back, but froze part of its head. Wisp did not let up, summoning a barrage of fireballs that peppered the monsters mid section, slowly pushing it back.
The monster recovered and tried to clap Wisp...only to find she blocked its hands with her own. "what? Impossible! you are not that strong!"
Wisp did not respond, all her focus going into her magic, extending it outward as twin jets of rocket speed, intense magic flames, pushing the monsters arms back with the propulsion heat! With a burst of effort, she threw its arms back, before summoning a gigantic blade of ice, slicing the creatures entire body diagonally!
The giant black form began to crumble, as from its center...fell the body of Miss Merize! Wisp gasped in fright, as she zoomed down, catching her falling ally in mid air, before landing back n the ground. "Whew, that was too close."
"Indeed it was..." Miss Merize eyes snapped open, revealing the red glow. Before wisp could even respond, both her hands grabbed Wisp's face, forcing her eyes open. "Now finally you will submit to my will like the others!"
In a split second, Wisp managed to cast one more spell...calling down a colossal lightning bolt that struck both of them. The invader screamed in pain and anger, as Miss Merize form began to separate from it. Finally, the creatures mind was purged from Miss Merize, floating up in the form of a black cloud.
"Oops, I forgot to say shazam." Wisp quipped.
Back in the real world, The invader howled in pain, as in a flash of energy, Miss Merize body returned to normal, the creature being ejected from her body, as the hypnotist fell to the floor, exhausted from the ordeal.
But the invader was not done. Mentally shocked and exhausted, it shakily managed to get to its many feet, looking up at Wisp's still sleeping form. "My body might be done...but I'm not!"
Only seconds after she had finished off the invader, Wisp zoomed over to the rift, helping Misha fit all the way through, before the rift repaired itself, any sign of the dreamtime vanishing with it. "Phew, glad that was over, now back to that lucid dream!"
But it was not to be, suddenly from out of nowhere, a mass of tenticals wrapped around Wisp, restraining her as more and more appeared, completely mummifying her and forming a cocoon like structure!
"Surprise! I'm back!"
The coccoon split open, as a corrupted Wisp stepped out, her costume now far more revealing, consisting almost entirely of a skirt and top made from bone like material, her skin a dark gray color, her eyes solid red, even her wings looking more sinister.
"This one still barely realizes the potential of her magic. With her, dominating this world should be even easier!"
In the real world, the possessed wisp levitated from Misha's stomach, laughing to herself as she moved to the medical bay. There, floated Ubergirl, still in a decontamination tank from being dollified earlier. "And you...may have the potential to be the mightiest of all, just a few adjustments needed..."
With a snap of her fingers, the possessed Wisp caused the glass tank to blow away like dust. The liquid flowed upward, forming a ball and crystallizing, before dropping to the floor. she took a moment to observe Ubergirl, before waving her hand, causing the nanobot corruption to fleck away like tiles of paint peeling back, leaving Ubergirl back to her normal self once more.
Svetta opened her eyes, free from the nanobot corruption...only to see a very malicious looking Wisp floating before her.
"Now for one more spell..." Wisp reached out, placing a finger between Ubergirl's eyes and tapping her forehead. The very second her finger touched, Svettas eyes went blank white.
"I...I obey my queen."
The possessed Wisp laughed deeply. "Now we are finally getting somewhere!"
Back within Wisp's shared dream, the corrupted Wisp stood with only Misha to oppose her, and she was clearly not concerned.
"Now all that is left free is you, the one too destructive to even be made a proper superhero."
Misha growled "Let fairy go, NOW!"
The invader continued, not even slightly threatened. "I can see into your mind as well. You hurt someone while trying to save them. An outcast no matter where you go, a weakling good for nothing but a punching bag in the demon world, and a big scary monster that wrecks anything she touches in this world, how pathetic."
"Misha said, let fairy go NOW!"
Again, she continued her taunt "These girls are the only ones who have ever shown you anything besides scorn, even among the humans you try to defend. Cute but still quite pathetic. Even now you can't fight me, you are too afraid you would hurt your little fairy friend. Not that I would even let a lummox like you lay a hand on me. This body, this mind I have infested has the potential to be one of the most powerful of all! In a scant few hours, she will be fully consumed, and I can move on to some important things, like starting a hive of my own, infesting your friends, and taking over this dumb little planet."
By now, the invader was getting a little annoyed. I know you won't hurt me, you may as well surrender. You couldn't even present a strong enough shock to separate us, I am surprised even she could. Really I don't think I will even infest you, strong as that hybrid may be, you are too dumb and unsightly for my presence. In-fact you know what, lets just stop this before it starts..."
Raising her hand as it glowed with magic energy, she waved off a small ball that flew right into Misha's face where it exploded into glittering powder. "Sleep!"
... ... nothing happened.
As Misha took a moment to crack her knuckles, the invader looked stunned with surprise. "Wha? Why are you not..."
Misha finished for her. "Demons are resistant to magic. Misha only let herself be hypnotized by friends she trusts."
The invader was about to brush the situation off and make another belittling quip...When Misha moved her legs to a wide martial art stance, focusing all her energy to one arm, she shot forward, punching the invader right in the stomach!
The hit was so hard that a crater formed around them, the invader staggered back, cluching her stomach, as thick, black blood trickled from the sides of her mouth.
Misha stood, looking serious and very angry. "Oni style, Five Hells Strike. Will hurt Parasite in her ki, not harm Fairy.
The invader swiftly flew back, gaining some distance, and probing Wisp's memories for a useful spell. "Astral gate!" A portal opened, as suddenly a speeding train was shot out of it, like a missile right at Misha!
Misha put forth both arms, blocking the train! The force of the hit pushing her back, but Misha retaliated, pushing off the ground with one mighty leap, taking the train with her, end reversing her momentum, smashing it down in a suplex! The invader just barely dodged in time.
Quickly trying to summon an even more powerful spell, the invader formed a pair of razor sharp ice knives over both arms, shooting at Misha, only for both to shatter on impact. In the back of Wisp's mind, the invader noticed a memory of a legend that Oni had skin stronger than solid stone.
Misha grabbed both of the invaders arms, pulling at them to both sides. The invader strained and struggled, unable to conjure anything as she cried out in pain and anger once more...
With a ripping sound, Misha tore the corruption in half, leaving only Wisp in the center, as if Misha had pulled apart wrapping paper around her. The corruption dissipating once more into black smoke and vanishing.
Misha caught Wisp before she fell out of the air, only daring to hold her in the palms of both hands, she wanted to hug her friend and apologize for the fight, but was too afraid of hurting her. Seconds later, Wisp began to stir...
In the real world, Misha awoke, looking around the room frantically, at the front of the base, sitting at the crime computer, she saw Wisp, an entranced Ubergirl floating behind her. Wisp dubbled over in pain, as the invader was ejected from her body in a flash of energy, landing on the ground with a "Splat"
Misha stood tall over the invader, the severely weakened creature trying desperately to crawl away, but after two defeats, it could barely move.
The angry oni raised one foot. "Who is pathetic now, Parasite!" *Squish!* "That...was for Fairy, and Doctor."
A few moments later, Wisp had recovered, freed Ubergirl, and gotten Miss Merize back to her feet. After a brief recap to her friends, all present stated how proud they were, both of Wisp overcoming her fear, and Misha stepping up to save Wisp at the end.
Thieir celebration was short lived, as through the door strode White Owl, her eyes blank and white, followed by Curia and Amazon Arrow. They all stood around the group, before bowing to Miss Merize. "Hive queen, your slaves have arrived."
Miss Merize looked shocked and embarrassed...she was about to free them, but looked over to Wisp, Ubergirl, and Misha, all of them looking frazzled despite having slept most of the day. "Hmm...their patrols are over for today...ah screw it, we just fought a personal space invader on two planes of reality. Slaves, I order you to give the four of us a much needed spa day."
That night, as Wisp slept peacefully again, she had a very different dream. A woman completely hidden by a blue, black and yellow robe appeared before her. a mass of moths fluttering all around where they were.
"I am one like you. I ask that you find me, daughter of magic. Find me and free me from my chains. I am the Clairvoyant..."
Wisp woke up with a start, breathing heavily...at the foot of her bed, Top was standing in the darkness, the only light in the room being his eyes glowing their different colors.
"You really should not eat nachos before bed, Jessica. It can give you strange dreams."
Top reached out one hand right before her eyes, and snapped...