"Imperion! What are you doing?!"
"Hello, Zephyr. You can tell Black Dawn to come out now. I know she's hiding in that patch of shadows under the ledge."
"Fine," Zephyr said. The long white ribbons hanging from the shoulders of his costume fluttered around him as he touched down on top of the suspension bridge tower. "He's spotted you, Dawn. You may as well join us."
A swirl of shadows rose up over the edge of the platform and coalesced into a tall, dark woman in a black bodysuit that fit her like a second skin.
"How did you-?" she started to ask.
"I didn't," Imperion cut her off. "But I know how you two operate, so I figured you were slinking around down there somewhere."
"You still haven't answered my question," Zephyr said, ignoring the other man's rudeness.
"No, I haven't. But if you must know, I'm about to commit an act of mass murder by throwing my indestructible and abnormally heavy self off the top of this tower. I figure the impact will take out most of the span and dump several hundred people into the river."
"That's insane!" Black Dawn gasped.
"My God, man!" Zephyr said at the same time. "You're supposed to be a hero! Why would you-"
"Why? You know why! And you know you can't stop me. There's only one person who can and that's Aquarius."
"No," Black Dawn said firmly. "You know Aquarius can't be involved. Listen, Steven, I know it's been hard these past few months, but if you would just come back to the Clinic, I'm sure-"
"NO!! You don't know what it's like, Dawn! I'm tired of waking up in a cold sweat every night! Tired of the need consuming every waking moment until I think I'm going crazy!"
"The doctors will figure it out, you just have to be patient," she replied in a soothing tone.
"You know we can't let you hurt innocent people," Zephyr interjected.
Seeing the troubled man's face darken, Black Dawn shot her teammate a warning look and stepped forward to draw Imperion's attention back to her. "Nobody wants this to turn into a fight. Please, won't you listen to reason?"
"I'm sorry," he replied, his eyes haunted. "Get Aquarius here in the next five minutes or I'm going to jump."
"Steven," Dawn said, playing her trump card. "What would Sapphire say if she saw you acting like this?"
Imperion's massive shoulders slumped at the sound of his fiancÚ's name. "Fine," he said, defeated. "I'll try it your way... for now."
He moved to the enormous support cable that ran from the tower to the riverbank and was about to start climbing down when another figure flew up over the platform behind him.
The newcomer was a thin young man with stringy blonde hair. He wore a tie-dyed t-shirt, ragged blue jeans and round, wire-rimmed sunglasses with purple lenses. As soon as he cleared the bridge tower, he raised his arm, pointed at Imperion and released a bolt of swirling, day-glow colors. The faint smell of flowers filled the air as the beam engulfed its target.
When the light faded, Imperion's eyes were glazed and a huge smile was spread across his thick face.