The Watchtower. Location: Space. 05:04:41

Have you ever been to a ghost town and feel as if something bad was going to happen? Well, amplify that feeling by a million and you will know what was going on in Marie's mind as she searched in vain for any of the superheroes on the space station. She had been on it for hours and the only member of the Justice League she encountered was the robot, Red Tornado who was on monitor duty. Marie tried to get the answers from the synthetic hero, but he had claimed to have not seen the others. Not a single one of them. She knew something was up.

"I can't figure out where they are," Marie huffed, as she stopped in another Hall and saw no sign of the Heroes. "It's like they're avoiding me today."

She sighed as she walks past a large window which reveals the floating blue sapphire known as Earth. And she gave a brief thought to the waters that made up the planet beneath her, and of the one hero she thought of so intensely while looking at the world. She was of course, referring to Aqualad, or Kaldur to those close to him. 'Maybe more' she reflected, having felt much deeper feelings to the Atlantean, ideas they share if her godmother was right, but Marie was unsure on how to respond. Or if she should act on those feelings at all.

"Still, maybe todays the day." Marie frowned at her reflection and bit her lower lip. Her bracelet's jingled as she crossed her arms. "Or I would if I could find the insufferable merman!"

She huffed, and stomped one foot, before making her way down the hallway. To teleport back to Earth.

Main Hall of Justice Location: Earth. 08:09:50

Indeed, the daughter of Hades and Persephone was correct in her assumption. The heroes were avoiding her, but it was for her own benefit. Since, the next day would be her birthday.

The younger Justice kids were getting things together. Kaldur, Kid Flash/Bart Allen, Artemis/Huntress, Miss Martian, Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle, Conner/Superboy and Tim Drake/Robin II.

They were assisted by Hawkwoman, Icon, Plastic-Man and Vanessa Masters, The Dark Spectre Queen of the Universe.

Vanessa may have appeared to be a normal woman going on thirty, but in reality, she was an immensely powerful sorceress who'd lived for as long as the Guardians of the Universe, making her billions of years older then her appearance gave away.

She'd been a close friend of Marie's father, since he first ruled the underworld. And it was she, who had gone and told the Young Justice crew of Marie's birthday.

Vanessa was a stunning creature, all curves, with soft full lips and raven black hair, which flowed down her shoulders. She had bright glowing violet eyes, and was decked in a red shirt with white cargo pants.

"Hey. I was thinking, won't Marie find out?" Kid Flash asked the others as he was lifted on Blue Beetle's shoulders to hang some streamers across the ceiling.

"True." Vanessa said. "She does have a habit of zeroing in on these sort of things, but I'm sure we can think of something to distract her from noticing anything."

The sorceress waved a glowing,purple finger through the air, immediately, tables with cloth on them, and chairs appeared from thin air. They then floated to scatter about the room in a proper order.

"It will be good to enjoy ourselves," Kaldur said as he held a sign that Megan AKA Miss Martian was currently decorating with flowers and fruit.

"Especially given how ruthless Lady Despair was these last few days," Icon remarked as Hawkwoman and him carried in some snacks to place on the tables.

"But she sure is gonna be surprised, right, Blue?" Bart chirped at Jaime, jumping from his shoulders.

"Sure is...it IS tomorrow, right?" Beetle directed the question to Vanessa. "You're not off or anything, are you? Cause, I know you said Marie only celebrates her birthday every fifty years."

"But that was BEFORE she became mortal, Mijho." Vanessa told him. "Now she'll celebrate it every year. Or, at least she will after we throw her a great party!"

V, clapped her hands, causing glasses and punch bowls to materialize, and waving her hands over the bowl with a purple glowing mist, which caused them to fill up with punch, soda and other beverages.

"Perfect!" Megan clapped her hands, the fake pomegranates and purple Narcissus's hanging off the wall at several spots, the lowest only a few inches away from where Marie could grab one if she wanted it.

"That's an interesting touch, Meg'ann." Shayera/Hawkwoman said calling Megan my her Martian name.

"Oh, well, I read up the story of how Marie's parents met." Megan gives a sheepish grin in V's direction, who huffs at the mention.

"And after Vanessa cleared a few...misconceptions, on how it ACTUALLY happened. I thought purple narcissus and pomegranates would be appropriate. Since, they led to her parents meeting, staying together, and having her." Megan finishes, floating up in the air briefly.

"And in a long winded way, it relates to her birthday." Vanessa then waved a placating hand gesture at Megan. "No worries, she'll appreciates the symbolism."

"Well, I think we have everything almost squared away," Plastic Man declared as he stretched in with multiple containers of plastic eating utensil's carried carefully on his elongated limbs. Before setting the individual forks, knives, and spoons at each of the tables, and began to set out the appropriate utensils to each plate.

"We just need to get a cake," Conner responded, as he was busy helping set up the streamers too with a ladder.

"Oh, I can get that," Icon said.

"You?" Jaime blurted out, slapping a hand over his mouth in embarrassment. "I meant...do you know how? Er...being an alien, that is...Mios Dios."

Jaime rubbed a hand down his face, and Artemis gave him a amused glance, passing by him and Bart to help Plastic Man set out the dishes and utensils.

"Blue Beetle...Jaime." Icon said after a careful thought. "I have lived on Earth for a while, I'm more than capable of performing Earth tasks, like this."

"I think what my main bro here meant is," Bart said to direct the attention away from Jaime. "Is why can't I get it? I'd be there and back before any of you can even blink."

"No, you'd come back with a cake box filled with crumbs," Artemis piped up from the table she was setting up. "I know how you speedsters get, I lived with one for 3 years," She said in a deadpan tone. "You'd have us give Marie a cake with Half the frosting licked off of it!"

"NO!" Bart denied, before having the good grace to bow his head in shame. "I'd have ALL of it licked off."

"Just as well I get it then, seeing as I'm not prone to sweet cravings." Icon joked. Before taking out the slip of paper Shayera gave him.

"So, they'll be alright with putting this message on the cake?"

The unsure tone got a chuckle from Shayera. "They will, don't worry. But, if there's trouble, remember we have our coms." Icon nodded, already bound for the bakery.

"Well, now all we have to worry about is geting her a gift," Artemis said.

"But...have we not already gotten her a gift?" Kaldur said as he gave the sign to Megan to hang up on the far door, which Marie would see when she came in through the oppossite door.

"Well, not ALL of us." Vanessa said in a teasing tone. She gave Kaldur a once over, as if she was measuring him for a suit.

"I...do not understand." Kaldur frowned confused.

"They want to know if you'll finally tell Marie how you feel." Conner said in his usual blunt manner.

"I...what!?" Kaldur blushes made his dark skin, darker, and his gills flared wide in surprise.

"Oh, now, Kaldur, you don't need to be a psychic like Megan, or a powerful, and snoopy sorceress like me to know you're both crazy about each other." Vanessa startles Kaldur by suddenly appearing behind him, gripping his shoulders in a friendly massage like gesture.

"But it helps," Plastic Man jokes.

"Watch it, Stretch. Or I'll pop you like a balloon," Vanessa says with a small glower.

Plastic man responded by inflating his lips to a massive scale to smooch at her teasingly. Vanessa rolled her eyes at the display.

"I realize you might be hesitant, but the only thing your apprehension is doing is driving you both crazy." Vanessa told Kaldur.

"I know," Kaldur sighs. "But...I don't know how to go about telling her. I do realize the right moment won't just come up and present itself to me, but if I go along it wrong, then I could ruin everything."

"Careful, that kinda of talk tends to make itself real in our line of work," Conner says to his close friend.

Kaldur then got a thoughtful expression on his face, turning to the side to stare at a picture of the entire Justice League on the wall. But, no one needed super sight to see him zeroing in on the image of Marie.

In another dimension, stood Castle Horok, a castle shaped like a hand, with windows forming eyes set all over the building. The throne-room, much like the rest of the castle, was too gloomy for even the strongest of torchlights to cut. The only sources of light were the glowing red orbs at the joints of the unearthly skeleton of the dull grey columns for the dull grey columns and the candles at the heart of the room. The chamber was bare, in exception of the throne itself, which was encircled by a deadly web of thorns, promising a demise filled with venomous barbs to those who dared approach unwelcome. The throne sent shadows dancing, and would have sent fear to the deepest recesses of someone's soul, but provided a sense of power for the woman sitting in it. The maiden was clad in a green and black sparkling dress. The only ornament she wore, besides a hideous black hair piece was a silver talon finger on her right index finger. She was known by many names, but most knew her as Lady Despair. She was a powerful sorceress of Dark Magic, and the indisputable ruler of the 'Dark Empire' which spanned countless worlds, planets, universes, and even dimensions.

The room was was filled with various demons, witches, monsters and other dregs of life who came to serve her, attracted to her dark presence. She had kept them with the promise of power and longevity. But right now, they all were keeping their distance from her, as she was in a foul mood.

Hidden in the ever shifting shadows was a fountain, one in which the waters were not translucent nor still. In fact, the water was a deep blood red, and currently the water was kicked up into a foaming frenzy. The fountain didn't only give Lady Despair her great power and a nearly limitless army of monsters, but was also linked to Despair in a way, so when SHE was in a mood, so was it and vice-versa.

"The Netherworld-Pool seems turbulent today." Remarked a blonde girl in a long red dress. The dress was split open at her waist, revealing the black biker shorts she wore underneath and knee high boots. She had a harness wrapped around her waist, with various remotes and an odd, blood-red serrated knife. The girl had a flawless face, framed with green eyes, her hair pulled back into a ponytail. The only thing marring her beauty was a scar on her forehead.

"It's because it is summer, Heloise." Said a tall, fairly well-built man, in his forties. He had black hair, a trim beard, cold green eyes and was clad in a dark green bodysuit with a long, green cape. This was Baron Mordo, a Sorcerer and second-in-command to Lady Despair.

Lady Despair looked on with contempt as she sat on the throne, clutching a glass filled with a green liquid, shaking with what seemed to be a headache.

"The Nether-world pool is connected to the Sanzu River, which borders the Nether World as you recall." Mordo said to Heloise.

They turned to look at their mistress, Heloise frowning softly in sympathy as Mordo sighs.

"Both are more turbulent during the summer, for Lady Despair's powers increase infinitely." Mordo gestures to the throne, as the glass in Despairs hand shatters in pieces, due to the black/pink aura radiating from her body.

"This is, of course, in conjunction with the Sanzu River's power increasing, which is a river of human pain and misery, which feeds Lady Despair." Mordo finishes.

"But it seems to have pretty much paralyzed her too," Heloise sighed. "All that power and she's having trouble containing it."

"But she is siphoning it, Heloise." Mordo smirks with evil glee. "She is transferring her power to the demon Ayakashi in the netherworld, now they will become even more powerful. And in time, Lady Despair will control her power increase, but that doesn't mean we can't use the more powerful demons to increase the human pain and misery. Ensuring our Lady Depsair has even more power by summers end."

Mordo and Heloise then heard the other followers chatter in a buzz, they turn to see what's got them riled up. In enough time to see a couple of imps jump from the side of the frothing pool. Just as a figure with glowing green eyes and was made up of red orbs covered with mouths burst from the red liquid.

"Shall I spur that on then, for the honor of serving our Queen?" The creature spoke in stereo.

The other followers gave it a wary glance, as it made it's way with a smug saunter over to Heloise and Mordo.

"Ah. Utakasane." Heloise remarked in a bored tone. "Your nerve wracking personality will certainly cause the humans misery, and that should spur forward our Lady's power."

"Hehehe. Ahhh. Heloise, as always, looking at you reminds me why I like to leave the River," The demon Utakasane chortled, crossing his...'Arms' to lean against a pillar. "It reminds me there are people who are even MORE unpleasant than me."

"Watch your tongue, or I'll cut it out!" Heloise hisses, pulling out her enchanted dagger to hold it up in warning. "And by it, I mean, all of them!"

"ENOUGH!" Mordo whispered harshly at the two. "Let's not disturb our mistress." He gestures to Lady Despair, then waves his hand at Utakasane. "Now, go do what you do best, for our Lady. And be careful of the Justice League!"

Icon had a bit of a mishap with the Bakers, considering he tried to get them to include Marie's full title, "Marie of Dis. Pyronies of the Justice League, Daughter of Hades and Persephone." But he eventually conceded to just sticking to the original message on the cake. "Happy Birthday Marie."

Luckily, he was in his human identity, so there was no risk of the paparazzi. But he did get the bakers thinking he was crazy. None the less, he accomplished his task. Icon had just stepped out of the Bakery, his ears perked at the sound of his communicator buzzing.

"Icon here," He said pressing his fingers to the microscopic device in his ear.

"Icon, there's a Ayakashi attacking Metropolis City!" The robotic voice of Red Tornado informed the Alien-Super Hero.

"I'll be right there," Icon said placing the cake in the safety of his car before rushing to the nearest Zeta Beam transport.

People were running and screaming in horror, desperately trying to get away from the demon Utakasane. A business man who had been out for lunch found his luck fail him as he struggled against the creature's grip. The man's effort proved futile, as Utakasane held up it's left hand, which was just another large red orb with a mouth.

"I'll be taking that soul now." His voices said plainly. The mouth on the orb opened wide, and the man screamed in terror, but his mouth opened even wider as a ball of yellow light burst free.

The creature dropped the poor man once his soul was consumed. The man hit the ground with a sick thud and was left staring at the creature, unable to do anything but watch Utakasane let out a sinister chuckle at all the suffering, which one could see from the scattered, motionless, bodies of all the men, women and children that came before.

"Hmmm..That's about 59 now," Utakasane hummed thoughtfully, rubbing his left 'hand' in a thoughtful manner. "I can consume one more..."

He took a step toward the crowd of fleeing humans, but was thrown off balance from a fire ball to it's massive torso. Utakasane turned to see his attacker, only to receive a flood of water that had sent him rolling on the ground. Upon getting back to it's feet, Utakasane saw his attackers; the Justice League morons Aqua-Lad in his standard uniform and Pyronies ready in her flame appearance. Before the creature could take another step, he saw someone in Blue-Beetle armor, the sorceress Vanessa, an archer known to the humans as the Huntress, the Terminan Icon and finally Hawk-woman.

"That's far enough, Ayakashi!" Kaldur shouts.

"Justice League?" Utakasane growled.

The Blue-Beetle and Hawk-woman immediately lunged at the Ayakashi; Shayera brandishing her mace while Jaime morphed his fists into a pair of mallets. But the green-eyed find didn't even bother to move.

"Hundred Body Split!" The monster yelled, immediately splitting into a hundred pieces, narrowly dodging the strikes from Hawkwoman and Beetle.

"What in the name of Zeus!?" Pyronies exclaimed in shock.

The orbs flew around Hawkwoman and Blue Beetle, giggling in glee as they smashed into the group, before reforming back into the Ayakashi. Who now held a sword in his only hand.

"Shayera, look out!" Jaime cries, blocking Hawk-woman from the multiple strikes that crash against his beetle armor.

"Structural Integrity Compromised." The Scarab telepathically said to Jaime.

"Jaime!" Shayera shouts in alarm.

After a moment, the Demon had once again burst, only this time it swarmed wildly before smashing into the human protectors. Once each had been knocked down, the monster reformed to slash at them with his sword several times. The sword stopped short by a deep purple aura surrounding the heroes, courtesy of the sorceress. Growling in frustration, Utakasane drove the sword into the shield. Each attack caused the shield to darken and added more cracks to the air. The sword unleashed a gale force wind as it finally broke through the shield, scattering the heroes all over the area. Pyronies was thrown against a concrete building, then fall onto her back. After pulling air into her lungs, she raised herself onto her hands, only to have the Ayakashi's orb hand shoved into her face.

"You'll make a fine finisher." Utakasne gloated, as it's orb-mouth opened wide. The heroine released a pained groan as her soul was ripped from her body out, causing her to collapse onto the ground. Reverting back into her human form.

"NO! Marie!" Kaldur shouted in alarm.

"Marie!" Shouts Artemis.

He charged at the monster, his water-bearers forming the water into two sharp blades, and slashed down on the Demon. Before the water could make contact, the monster bursts into pieces again to avoid the blow, and struck Kaldur across the chest. Then, he flew over to form just a safe distance away from both parties.

"Marie! Marie! Marie, please, answer me!" Artemis begged as she rushed to Marie's side and held her in her arms.

"Listen up." Utakasane gets their attention. "What I just ate was her soul. Humans who have their souls eaten die after 24 hours..."

Everyone reacted in shock, horror and anger.

"The only way to save them is to defeat me..." Utaksane said his voices sounded like they were bragging. "To release the souls. But..." That pause chilled the heroes further, earning a dark smile from the monster. "I am going to return to Castle Horok...and I won't come out again."

His words made ever become more alert and rigid. Artemis looked down at Pyronies in concern for thou Pyronies was a goddess, she had taken a human form to be on Earth. What would happen if her soul was taken?

"This works out for me," Continued the Demon. "For the Castle of my mistress is a place living humans cannot reach. Nor those with good in their hearts, otherwise your sorceress would've come a long time ago."

Vanessa cringes as she knows he's right, even with her strong magic, she had never penetrated Sierra's Castle.

"You are all helpless, and in a complete day, your pain and suffering will add to My Lady's power." Utakasane bragged.

"Foul Demon..." Kaldur shook with rage. "You..."

"Rage? I can tell you will be a large contributor to Lady Despair." Utakasane nodded and turned away from his opponents.

"STOP!" Icon shouted.

"We won't let you leave!" Blue yelled, sprouting his wings to fly at the demon alongside Icon. The monster stood, allowing the two airborne heroes to try and subdue him, but no sooner did they get within striking distance were they struck down by the Utakasane swarm. The two fell to the ground as Icon was badly hurt, and Blue Beetle's armor was nearly destroyed, revealing his civilian clothing underneath. The two fell on their backs on the pavement as Utakasane reformed over them, sword poised to impale them.

"WATCH OUT!" Vanessa flew forward and blocked the blow with a force-field, she then held out her right hand and formed a small dagger in her palm.

Kaldur charged over Vanessa with his water-bear swords formed, but thou he and Vanessa struck out, Utakasane once again exploded into his many divisions.

But this time Vanessa managed to knick one of the balls with her glowing dagger, but she grabs onto Kaldur to form a shield around them both. It shields them as the demon bursts into pieces, and pounds against the shield in futile gesture. So, it goes and reforms next to a stone column with a crack in it.

"Farewell." Utakasane mockingly called out as the crack glowed red and he was sucked into it.

They all stared frozen, unable to believe what had happened just now. Artemis continued to cradle her friends prone body, as everyone just seemed to deflate, feeling the pain from their wounds and the gravity of the situation.

The sun set on a very sad scene.

[The Watchtower. Location: Space. 11:09:50]

Marie was lying on a bed in the medical wing with an IV in her arm and a tube connected to her nose to aid in breathing. The only indication of her survival was the consistent beeping of the monitor that sat beside her. Black Canary, Hawkwoman and her husband Carter Hal, more well known as Hawk-man, stood by the motionless girl's bed. Outside, Kaldur was staring into the infirmary through a window, as motionless as the girl he was watching. The Atlantean barely heard the voice of Red Tornado who informed the group of recent developments.

"Counting Pyronies, it seems 60 people in total had their 'souls' eaten." The Android addressed the group. "All of the other victims are gathered in the Hospital, and it seems a wave of panic has gripped the city."

All of the heroes were bandaged from their previous fight, but Marie was far worse than any of the heroes. Between the advanced medicine on the Watchtower and The Dark Spectre Queen's magic, they were better off then the other victims. But even her magic couldn't restore Marie's soul.

"I'm not surprised. Tomorrow night, those people will..." Jaime cuts himself off, shutting his eyes and shaking his head rapidly. "We've got to defeat that demon before then!"

"How?" Artemis snapped. "You heard him, he's not gonna leave Castle Horok, and even Vanessa can't go there with the charms and spells Despair's got protecting the place!"

"And it's not even in our world, so it's not like you could drive there," Vanessa added with a remorse look.

"Are you certain the rest of the League can't return?" Conner asked Red Tornado.

"Negative. They traveled to the Khoros 7 to help the planet evacuate due to their two suns overloading. It would take them 3 days to return at which time..." The Android appeared to grow disheartened by what it was saying and stopped speaking.

"But there's got to be SOMETHING we can do!" Bart yelled. "There must be SOME WAY to get there. Maybe we could use the Sanzu River!"

"I'm afraid there isn't a way for us to access either." Vanessa told them.

Everyone grew more depressed by this, but none more than Kaldur. The heroes were stunned when a purple mist began to form next to Marie's bed. Dinah, Shayera and Hal immediately got into a defensive pose, and Kaldur rushed into the room. As the others followed, the mist fell to reveal two figures. One was a tall, well-built man, with a goatee. The unidentified man dressed in a dark-blue outfit with a black cloak pinned to his outfit by two round gold badges. His hair was midnight black, and his eyes were a deep emerald green.

The man had his arm around a lovely lady, who's head reached his shoulder. She had brown eyes, full pouty lips, and was lithe like Marie. She had a crown of wilted flowers decked in her long brown hair, which swept down to her lower back. She wore a pink greek style dress; with several gold serpent bracelets decking her arms.

"Oh, Merciful Fates!" The Woman cried out, seeing Marie laying prone in the bed. "Marie!"

"Hold it! You can't be in here.." Hal stepped forward, but was forced back by a invisible force. Most likely coming from the man who aimed a frown at him.

"Who are you to keep us from our daughter!?" He barked.

"Daughter!?" Everyone exclaimed.

Vanessa hurried over and stood in front of the couple, and turned to the rest of them.

"It's alright. These are Marie's parents," She gestures to them reverently. "I give you Hades and Persephone. The King and Queen of the Underworld, god of the dead and Goddess of Spring."

Everyone stared in awe, they had heard all about Marie's parents, but this was the first time they have ever met either of her parents. They watched as Persephone rushed to her daughters side.

"What has happened!?" Persephone cried out as she shook her daughter, tears evident in the distraught mother's eyes. "Why does she not awaken?!"

"Answer quickly, Dark Spectre Queen!" Hades roared at Vanessa.

"My Lord, the sorceress Sierra sent one of her demons to plague mankind," Vanessa told him, seemingly unfazed by Hades' outburst. "During the attack, as always your daughter fought back with her friends, but..." She trailed off.

"Her soul was taken by the beast." Kaldur said softly.

"No..." Persephone gasped. She looked at her daughter in shock.

"And if her soul is not returned by tomorrow...she will perish." Vanessa continued.

"We felt as much..." Hades said after a lengthy silence. "Which is why we came as soon as we could."

He then turned to Kaldur with a furious expression, grabbing the young man by the front of his shirt before anyone could move.

"WHY DID YOU NOT SAVE HER!? WHY DID YOU NOT PROTECT HER!?" Hades bellows.

"Lord Hades!" Vanessa shouts in alarm.

"Kaldur!" Artemis shouted too.

"Bro!" Bart speeds over with the two, and try to pry his arm loose.

"I know about you from my daughter, and I know you love her, and she loves you!" Hades words have Kaldur stunned speechless.

"So why...WHY DIDN'T YOU..."

Hades was cut off when the dainty hand of his wife was place over his own, and gently forced him to lower kaldur and let go.

"Beloved?" Hades questioned.

"We cannot blame him, My Love. It's not right, and it does us no good." Persephone said in a teary voice. "Our daughter knew the risks of doing this, assuming a mortal form. And now we must accept this risk, and come to accept we will not see our daughter again..even in the afterlife."

Hades face dropped it's angry expression, and became heartbroken. He wrapped his arms around his wife tightly, and sought comfort in each other.

"Please. Forgive me if this seems forward, but would she not go to you if she...does..." Dinah leaves off saying the words that would upset them even more.

"No..." Hades breathed with his face buried in his wifes hair. "The fiend has her soul, as such if she dies it will remain trapped in the limbo world of the Sanzu River forever."

"We cannot go there for it is outside of our domain of the dead." Persephone sobbed.

"Our poor little blossom," Hades looked truly broken, he slouches so that Vanessa grabs a hold of him to keep him from falling over.

Kaldur can't take seeing the scene before him for much longer, and rushes out of the room with a heart-broken expression.

He rushes down hallway after hallway, before he stops to lean against a wall. Covering his eyes and let his body shake from the grief.

"Kaldur..."

He turns to see Artemis staring at him in her super-hero outfit, minus the mask she'd worn.

"It's my fault..." Kaldur sobs out, but quickly rubs at his mouth to smother the sound.

"It's not! The Demon moved too quickly, and we didn't know he had that ability," She reaches out to place her hand on his arm comfortingly.

"And I refuse to let you blame yourself, it didn't help you when Tula died, and it isn't now." Kaldur's eyes widen to hear her say that.

"Yes, your acting the same way you did then. And NEITHER one is your fault. But Marie isn't dead yet. There's still a chance." Artemis said in a effort to raise his spirits.

"But how?" Kaldur asked her, feeling hopeless.

"I don't know, but we've done the hopeless before and we'll accomplish it again." Artemis told him. "It seemed hopeless when the Reach almost destroyed the Earth, but we saved it. And we'll do the same for Marie and everyone else."

Kaldur looked away, trying to quell his emotions.

"But we need to pull ourselves together and think up a plan."

Artemis words make Kaldur nod in acceptance.

Castle Horok-Throne Room. 12:00:00

All the followers were clamoring about directing the various servants and monster minions to bring out some food and wine. They were holding a small celebration, for soon they would be rid of one of the more powerful members of the Justice League. And the misery it was causing was making the Sanzu River, and the pool connected to it boil at the increase of anguish.

Lady Despair was humming, moaning and sighing at the rush of power she was experiencing; and was calm enough to be able to enjoy a black-fruit resembling a apple, and sip a black liquid from a large glass.

Heloise had even decided it even called for her to pull out her sitar and start to play one of her more upbeat tunes.

"A toast!" Called out a centaur like creature, who possessed a muscular physique, bright colors, and a pair of curved horns. "To the Demon of the hour!"

"For ridding us of one of those annoying heroes, and increasing our Lady's power!" Cackled the female anthropic duck woman, wearing a ruby brooch, a black dress and with a raven wearing a hot resting on her shoulder.

"Indeed! Nevermore!" Crowed the Raven.

Utakasane soaked up the cheers like honey, as he held up a glass in his right hand and downed it in one gulp.

"Let them cry and shout all they want, they only have until tomorrow." He gave a gleeful glance at Despair.

She laid back, relaxed on her throne as a strange bright blue mist seemed to flow around her gathering before it got inhaled up into her nose. This was the condensed misery, or minus energy, of the people who's loved ones were dying from having their souls taken.

"Who suffers more, the dying or the ones who let them die?" Utakasane asked in a cruel joke.

At hearing it, every single monster, beast, vile and disgusting creature loyal to Despair burst into wicked laughter at the pain of the others.