Part 2



Five minutes later, the soldier and the blonde woman stood in the back yard of the Pi Rho Omega sorority house, looking up at the impressive, three-story building. "Yeah. This is not going to be pleasant," the woman said, holding up her right hand as the simple silver band on her ring finger began to pulse with a series of slow, steady blue flashes.


"Let's throw up some cover, Valkryie," the Black soldier said, a low blue glow appearing around the ring he wore. "We don't need the locals whining about what's happened, and I know that you don't like screwing with memories."


"Let's not go there, Archangel," she replied, the light around her Defender Ring now matching that of her fellow Ringbearer. "The glamour's been established around the sorority house and the immediate yard. All of the locals just saw the two of us walking right inside the house without a fuss – and I didn't even draw my sidearm."


"As if standard rounds could hurt most of the things that we deal with," Archangel said. "Am I reading things wrong – or did the temperature in that house just drop by sixty-five degrees?"


"You're not wrong," the blonde echoed, her hand opening as a rock the size of a golf ball leaped from the ground to her hand. "I hate dealing with ephemerals and revenants - and you know that this isn't going to be just a low-level haunting. It's never just a low-level haunting."


Valkryie focused the power of her Ring on the stone, and watched as it transmuted from stone into a clear quartz crystal. "Okay. Let's see just how bad it's going to be. Open the door."


The heavy, ornate front entrance doors of the sorority slowly opened as Archangel used his telekinetic power; Valkryie sent the crystal flying through the open doorway with a graceful throw-


-and immediately shrieked as a heavy bolt of lightning lanced out through the opening to drive her to her knees, setting her clothes and hair on fire as the door slammed shut!




"I'm okay," the Ringbearer said, using her Ring's power to instantly heal her hideous burns while also dampening down the pain. "I told you that it wouldn't be easy."


"Yeah – but at least now we know that it's a newborn," her partner said, restoring the damaged clothing from the scorched scraps around Valkryie's feet. "Anything really dangerous would have ignored that crystal – that bolt was an instinctive reaction."


"You can quit with the 'Well, As You Know...' speech," Valkryie huffed, rising to her feet. "I'm not a newbie that's impressed by how much you know about ghosts."


"Remind me to say something along those lines the next time there's a cinematic running loose and they call you in specifically to deal with it," Archangel smirked, recalling the young woman's encyclopedic knowledge of horror films – and how she was considered an expert on dealing with those beings, which actually existed in other realities and occasionally found a way to slip over to other worlds.


"Ha, ha," she retorted, as she finished transmuting the last of seven large rocks into crystals. "Let's seal the area so nothing runs off once we start busting heads. I'll set these while you start running thread."


Archangel nodded; as he walked away, a bolt of reddish-yellow flame leaped from Valkryie's Ring, curving slowly as it seemed to be drawn into the crystal she had just placed on the ground.


The crystal glowed momentarily with a pure white light, and then sat still. "Okay – that one's primed," she said to herself. "One set, six to go."




The air inside the foyer of the Pi Rho Omega sorority house was unnaturally still as the door opened, and the two Ringbearers stepped across the threshold. "Engage shields," Archangel ordered; as he spoke, twin ovals of barely-visible blue energy surrounded the two, flickering slightly as they walked through the area. "Scan for signs of life."


"Nothing," Valkryie echoed. "I'm not even picking up any traces of human remains. Not good."


Archangel looked around the foyer before looking over the large stairwell that led up to the second floor, and the large hallway overlooked the foyer. "Fine – we're not going to dick around here. Start tracking this thing and let's get rid of it. If it killed eight cops and God knows how many civilian girls, I'm not going to be in a mood to simply banish it."


"Yeah, about that, tough guy – look over here," Valkryie spoke up, her footsteps raising small puffs of dust as she walked across a lush carpet to the closed double doors that separated the foyer from the rest of the house. "I'm picking up a serious temporal flux on the other side of this door – and when I expand my scan, the entire house is like this."


She noticed the dust rising into the air. "Look at this carpet – it's as if it hasn't been vacuumed in a couple of months. Every room exists in a different period of time – and it seems like the disturbance is spreading and multiplying, with different time zones even in the same room. We probably entered a different time as soon as we entered the house."


"Q-P link," Archangel said without hesitation; he walked quickly to his fellow Ringbearer, brought his ring hand up, and a thick band of energy appeared for a brief instant between both Rings.  "In case we get separated."


"Oh, and I'll be sure to let you out of my sight," Valkryie said, rolling her eyes. "A woman who looks like me, walking around in a haunted sorority house? If I didn't have this Ring, I wouldn't have made it across the foyer."


"Yes, you would have," said Archangel, a smile spreading across his face. "How old are you – thirty-three?"


"Very funny," the blonde huffed. "I'm twenty-six – and how many times have I had to go in somewhere as a co-ed?


"Okay, so you kept your looks, old lady. Let's go."


The two Ringbearers opened the double doors, hesitated for a moment before taking a step forward...


They went through the doorway – and disappeared from view.