Central Park, New York

As Cortex buried his love, one member of V.A.L.O.R was absent from the funeral. Andrew Vulcan pulled up his coat as he walked the path, ignoring the rain as it fell around him. As he came across a turn in the path, he stepped off and walked into the nearby forest as if walking a path that only he could see. He continued through the forest and brush, the rain completely blocked by the canopy of trees above his head. He stopped when he came to a clearing.

The clearing was beautiful. Sunlight streamed down through an opening in the trees, illuminating the rainbow of flowers that grew all across the forest floor. Few in the world knew of this secret location in Central Park, where flowers from around the world grew together in harmony. Sitting in the center of the flowerbed was an olive skinned woman, her long red hair fell in natural curls, flowers laced through the strands of hair all across it’s spread. She looked up from tending the flowers, shock in her green eyes at realizing she was no longer alone. The shock quickly subsided upon realizing it was Andrew.

“I know you,” she said with a smile, “You are the mortal who bested that great ox Ares in combat.”

“That would be me,” Andrew responded, “I’m pretty sure you’re my….great aunt, I think.”

“Ewww…” The woman said, making a face, “That makes me sound so old. I’m not about things being old.”

“No, you tend to vanish when things on this Earth get old.”

“Only because I have to.”

“That’s how I knew where to find you. Winter ended early this year, I knew you’d be around a place like this.”

“The Gods are not too difficult to figure out, Son of the Maker.” the woman sung to herself, gently tending to the flowers around you, “It is the ones like you who are unpredictable.”

“Indeed we are, which is why I come to you in the first place.” Andrew steps into the flower field and sits down, taking care not to crush any of the delicate blossoms.

“There is a story the mortals tell, a story of your kingdom.” Andrew stares intently at the red haired woman, not breaking eye contact, “A story of a musician and the woman he loved, and the journey he took to find her again.”

The smile fades from the red haired woman’s face, “If that’s true, you know how that story ends….”

“I know how it ends, I want to know if he could have done it.”

“He was not the same when he left my kingdom. His sadness was eternal at the loss of-”

“I did not ask the consequences,” Andrew’s voice growing more stern as he spoke, “I asked if there was a chance. Could he have done it?”

“It’s not-”

“Please,” He reaches out, putting a hand on hers, “My friend has lost one dear to him….He walks a dark path and I must try to get him off of it.”

The red haired woman is silent for a long time, but she finally speaks.

“Had he followed my husbands instructions….He would have had his love back.”

Andrew smiles, standing up.“Thank you. I think this might make you my favorite aunt.”

She smiled at that, watching the demigod leave her clearing.

A few minutes later, Andrew is back on the path in Central Park. His step is a bit faster as he walks back the way he came, rain pouring down again.

As he makes his way out of the park, Andrew takes out his phone and dials the first number on his speed dial.

“Alexis….clear my schedule. Project Orpheus starts tonight.”


Metahumans or Menace?! Inertius JonathanWaterstraat