Visions of Sugarplums

Visions of Sugarplums

As the Heroes began to fight and square off against their attackers here in the ice-cold continent of Antarctica, Black Phantom became incapacitated by a series of clairvoyant visions, one after the other.

Vision #1

He found himself standing in a windowless, circular metal room. The only exit appeared to be one door and it was closed. On the floor was a ritual circle surrounded by a dozen chanting participants, all wearing hooded robes which hid their faces. Within the circle were several small obsidian statues of vaguely humanoid but distorted shape. The chanting increased to a crescendo. Dark energy began to pulse out from the statues, each pulse more powerful than the last. Even in this vision Black Phantom could feel the pulses surge through him, and he feel momentarily empowered by each one.

Faster the pulses come, until it felt like a solid wash of energy radiating from the stones. In the center of the statues a portal began to form. A few of the participants looked at each other, seemingly surprised. Energy began to build within the portal as if it was charging to do something. The crescendo of the chant was interrupted by the door to this room flying inward from a mighty smash, followed by a blast of cold air and snow.

Standing in the doorway was a World War II soldier, easily recognized. The Ultramarine, the world’s first Superhuman, who secretly worked with the Allies in World War II. He appeared surprised at his own strength, and Black Phantom could see the man’s body bulking up as the energy continued to radiate from the circle. Allied soldiers swarmed into the room around him. A brutal fight ensued. The last part of this vision was seeing one of the robed men pull out two American Wild West revolvers and begin shooting, the bullets creating dark portals and jet black energy.

Vision #2

Black Phantom was in that same circular metal room, but it was now battle damaged. Some time seemed to have passed. He could see holes in the walls, clearly indicating just how thin and cheap they were. It appeared now to have been a temporary structure. There were bloodstains on the floor and walls but the bodies they belonged to and the ruined door were all missing. All but one of the statues within the ritual circle have been broken. The pulsing waves of energy were no longer present but the dark portal was, and it appeared to be still “charging.” Allied soldiers were staring at it in confusion, unsure what to make of it. A green mist silently filled the room and they all dropped, one by one, unconscious.

Into the room walked two women and three men. Two of the men and one of the women were elderly, while the last man and woman appeared to be somewhere in their 20’s to 40’s. Black Phantom recognized the younger woman as one he saw in his vision about the Wayfarer, and a few moments ago he also saw her working to complete a ritual outside of the Ice Castle. One of the older men waved his hand and the green mist disappeared. They looked at the circle and the portal within with both worry and determination. The older woman and two men started to draw their own circle around the currently active circle. The black portal pulsed angrily, trying to lash out with dark energy, but these attacks were kept in check by the younger man and woman who countered them with their own magics.

When the circle was complete the three older mages began chanting. The younger woman started dragging out the unconscious soldiers. Black Phantom’s view followed her outside, where he could see scores of military vehicles, both Axis and Allied. A lot of bodies all around as well – some very dead, others unconscious. The woman started casting magic on them and talking to them. He could hear her describing to them a series of events that indicated the Allies fought the Axis here and won, but found nothing else. She paused at the unconscious body of Ultramarine, puzzled. She then heard a shout. “Arcana!” She looked up and saw the younger man walking towards her with more unconscious soldiers. He pointed at Black Phantom. She turned to look intently and seemed to see him now as well. He spoke some arcane words and the last thing Black Phantom saw in this vision was the inside of the metal hut, where the black portal was contained but writhing and agitated as if alive.

Vision #3

Black Phantom was now floating in a black void. All around him were mirrors – as far as the eye could see, surrounding him in all dimensions. Some mirrors reflected real-world locations and scenes from the 1940’s, while others reflected a strange gothic twilight world, with glimpses of sleepwalking humans or inhuman beings. A Dark energy began to build and swell in the twilight world mirrors, similar to what Black Phantom had seen made up the portal. But he could hear the chanting he had begun to hear the two older gentlemen and the older woman recite. As he hears them, a reflective, mercury-like silver crept from around the edges of every mirror. It grew and covered them all, wrapping them securely and containing the dark energy that was building within them.

Vision #4

Now Black Phantom saw a small stone room, furnished sparingly as a bedroom and containing one person: Wyatt the Wayfarer. He sat on the bed, obviously frustrated but also patient. The door lock clicked from the outside and opened cautiously. A woman, late teens or early 20’s, looked around outside before entering quietly. Wyatt looked at her and smiled. She crept close to him and they whispered conspiratorially. Black Phantom suddenly recognized her as one of the other people who captured Wyatt in his previous vision, and also as one that was out on the battlefield today. He had the feeling this vision was still in the past but much more recent, perhaps by only a few days or even hours. The two of them nodded at the conclusion of whatever they were talking about. She left stealthily, locking the door again behind her once she exited.

Vision #5

Black Phantom didn’t know how he knew this, but this vision he realized with certainty was of the future. Or of A future. In it he saw a large crowd stand together in a park. Hundreds of people, wearing robes similar to the ones from his first in these series of visions. They were chanting and raising handheld mirrors shaped like diamonds to the sky. In each mirror, he could see a reflection of the sun. The sun was slowly darkening, as was the world around. He realized with a start that ended the vision that it wasn’t just a park. That was Century Park, in Century Station.

When his last vision ended, he felt as if several spirits or were all swirling around him and had finally loosened their psychic hold on him. He realized that, at least those past visions, were likely from those entities. As he returned to his normal senses the immediate sense of danger he felt earlier had passed. None of the people he had recognized from those visions were currently around, but the other three people who had been working together on the ritual SAVIOR interrupted were restrained.

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