Chapter 41

Gyan whirled around to face O'Shay before the villain could jump him from behind.

"No!" he screamed at the Irish menace.

"Gyan!" a voice said behind him, and suddenly Jolt appeared by his side.

"We're real," Jolt said. "I don't know how but you broke his control, but you distracted him enough for us to get back here."

"That's exactly what you'd say if you were an illusion!" Gyan said, desperate to believe his saviours had returned. "You're not real!"

Suddenly steel bars fell from the ceiling with a deafening crash, enclosing them all in a cage. Only O'Shay stood on the outside, grinning broadly at the trapped heroes.

"You don't think I would have planned for this eventuality?" O'Shay smiled. "Inside that cage, your powers are neutralised. There is no escape."

Jolt raised his arms to fire bolts of electricity at the cage but nothing came; not even a fizzle.

"My powers!" he exclaimed.

Crunch charged at the barrier, bulging muscled flexing as he prepared to rip them apart. He grabbed at the bars and cried out as he was thrown off his feet.

"Oh, yes…" O'Shay said. "Did I mention it's electrified too?" He laughed at the sight of his prisoners turning in all directions seeking an escape.

"How could he have known?" Jolt muttered and from that question, realisation hit Gyan.

"He couldn't," Gyan whispered. " None of it is real. It can't be!"

"You saw what happened," Jolt snapped. "None of us have our powers."

"Hit me!" Gyan said.

"What?!" Jolt gasped.

"Hit me!" Gyan repeated. "Knock me to the ground! It's the only way to be sure. Make me hurt!"

Jolt opened his mouth to protest when Simmi stepped forward and landed a fist in Gyan's face. Gyan hit the floor with a cry and Fever leapt forward, throwing Simmi aside and straddling Gyan. He locked one hand around Gyan's throat and landed the other fist in Gyan's face.

Gyan spluttered as his loose tooth broke free and his mouth filled with blood.

"Stop!" he spluttered, and Fever paused in his assault.

"You're real!" Gyan gasped. "You're real!

"You'd better believe it!" Fever said.

"I had to be sure," Gyan croaked. "I can get us out of this…"


"You have to trust me," Gyan said. Fever stood up, letting Gyan rise to his feet too. Huddling into Jolt, Gyan whispered into Jolts ear.

"Trust me," Gyan beseeched the League's leader again as he stepped back from him and turned to face O'Shay.

"Do we have a choice?" Jolt said, his voice betraying any pretence of faith.

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