New Warriors #25


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New Warriors #25 (Volume 1)

The scene begins with all of the Warriors and Folding Circle under wraps of Tai. When Speedball makes a joke about stuff the Well with toilet paper rather than their bodies, Tai responds with torturing Silhouette. However, at that point, Nova notices that the bonds that hold them become weaker. When Thrasher begs Tai to stop, she does it again. Thrasher manages to get his leg loose, and surprisingly lands a solid kick to the back of Tai’s head. Tai turns around and begins burning Thrasher’s chest, at which point Silhouette begins to shadow melt. Grabbing her brace caps, she shadow melts behind Tai and dishes out another electrical charge. Tai makes mention that it barely even phases her; but when she turns around, she sees the ploy. The Warriors and Folding Circle have broken free of Tai’s bonds! Tai quickly leaps just above the Well’s energies, and her form changes to one composed of energy. With one blast she takes out Bloodstrike and Speedball. With yet another blast she takes out Silk Fever, while the Warriors and remaining Folding Circle try to form some sort of attack pattern. Rage and Smiling Tiger are the next to fall. Left Hand orders a retreat so that they can regroup.

Thrasher points out that they have to go back and hit Tai – and hit her fast and hard, with no moment to pause. Left Hand agrees and adds, “But when we go back – we go back with one thing in mind – to kill Tai.”

Back to the courthouse, Vance is being led by the Guardsmen, for the closing statements. Firestar sees her father and breaks apart from Vance to speak to her father. Her father admits that he knew she was with the Warriors when he saw her on television. He says he wants to help her, and that’s when Firestar breaks down and cries, “He’s going to lose. He’s going to go to jail – and I love him!”

Jumping back to Cambodia’s jungle, in the temple. The Warriors argue with Left Hand about the Warrior way is not to kill. Midnight Fire is the one who asks if it’s even possible for Tai to be killed at this point, which Left Hand explains as, “She was born. She breathes. She bleeds. She can die. But only I know how to stop her, and to understand that, you must hear me out. Six months after I was shipped out of Vietnam, my chosen bride-mate from the temple came to the United States to live with me. We lived happily together, she and I. She loved me as I loved her, and the ordeal with the Pact seemed to fade like a bad memory, when we had our daughter. However, life would not be so sweet for very long. In a terrible accident, when an elevator fell; it took the life of my wife, and left my only child in a coma. I became obsessed with the Pact, thinking I could bring my wife and child back to the way it was before. For ten years I wandered and learned the arcane ways. One day I discovered a way to use the arcane ways to rip the darkforce mutant powers from my child and into me. Since that day, I became known as the Left Hand. I gathered the Children of the Pact – those that were the sons and daughters of the very men I risked my life with in Vietnam. She doesn’t want the Folding Circle dead – she wants to use them as Avatars – that’s why she had Thrasher make the Warriors – so they could be sacrificed in our place.”

Thrasher at this point says, “Fine. We stop Tai, but we try and not kill her.”

With a strange smile, Left Hand adds, “Fine. Then let us hope beyond hope that she places us in a situation where there is no choice.”

Inside the temple, by the Well, Silhouette asks, “Why didn’t Chord know that Fire and I were his children? Why were Dwayne’s parents killed?”

Tai goes on to explain, “My daughter – your mother – faked her death, which I recently discovered myself. Chord became a mercenary soldier once he thought his wife and children were dead. Eventually he came back to the site of the temple, seeming some direction for his life. I realized my Pact was coming undone by the lack of involvement I had with its participants. So I returned to America with Chord. I determined that he would need to replace his firstborn son in order to maintain his place in the Pact. To that end, Chord reacquainted himself with Daryl Taylor. Chord became a valuable member of Taylor’s growing business interests, as Daryl and Melody Taylor even named him their young son’s godfather. Working together, they forged a foundation of diverse corporations and charities. And in many ways, young Dwayne became like the son Chord had lost and in the Taylors like the family he longed for. After five years, I returned and told Chord it was time to seal his place in the Pact. He rejected me, but I forced him to play the hand. He took Daryl and Melody Taylor to dinner, then stood up and shot them in cold blood while Dwayne, still a young boy. That’s when he met me. I naturally clouded his mind; and poor Chord. He did everything he did for one reason. To protect Dwayne.”

Just then, Night Thrasher, Left Hand, Darkhawk, Nova, Midnight’s Fire and Namorita all turn the corner.

The Court House.
“… Vance Astrovik, a jury of your peers has found you guilty as charged on the count of negligent homicide. Due to the nature of this case, I will expedite the sentencing procedure. You are hereby sentenced to an incarceration to be carried out in the minimum security wing of the Federal facility for superhumans known as The Vault to the term of no more than three years and no less than fourteen months.”

Foggy mentions going for an appeal, but Vance demands that there be none.

Back to the jungle, things are going no easier. The remaining Warriors and Folding Circle press the attack. Nova hits her full force from a dive, while Namorita lands a solid punch to her chest. Namorita’s life is saved when Darkhawk uses his force beam around Namorita to protect her from Tai’s talons. Night Thrasher lands a solid hit to the back of Tai’s head, while Midnight Fire stabs her; Left Hand then lands some of his darkforce on her. All of this, which finally frees the captive Warriors and Folding Circle members! Bloodstrike, Smiling Tiger, Silk Fever and Midnight’s Fire all rapidly flee from the temple, not willing to risk their lives. Silhouette however, shadow melts behind Tai and stabs her with her brace, which is tipped with sodium thiopental poison. Desperate, Tai lashes out and binds the remaining New Warriors and Folding Circle members. Slowly the tendrils begin dragging members of the Warriors toward the Well, to be sacrificed and give Tai energy, since she can’t afford to spend any more fighting. She grips Thrasher and Left Hand by the throat. She says that they will all die, but Thrasher shakes his head and says, “No.”With that, he puts a machine gun right up to her stomach. Hundreds of bullets fly through Tai, and she screams as she feels her life rapidly falling away from her. Tai, Thrasher and Left Hand all fall into the Well; but Nova manages to fly in and save Night Thrasher from an unknown fate. Rapidly, they escape out of the temple and watch in horror as it collapses on itself. Night Thrasher looks at everyone, and with tears in his eyes, and a pain in his heart, he shakes his head and says, “All this time, I wanted revenge on those that murdered my parents. I have sought the truth; and now I know it. But damn it, I don’t know if it’s worse knowing the truth, or knowing my life has been a lie all these years.”