Iridescent Darkness They were surrounded in impenetrable darkness. It was a physical force that pressed against them. Mark tried, uselessly, to shield Pat. There was no single side that he could defend. This was a thick entity, an engineered mass. There was a rumble in the depths of the shadows. The darkness deepened somehow, as though it had yawned its mouth, to swallow them. And then it did. It felt like everything they were, was being torn to pieces. They tried to fight it, but it was only renewed by their vigor. Mark screamed as the black mass ripped his skin and bent his arms. Pat heard a bone break, although she saw nothing. She felt like she was drowning in a sea of helplessness. There was nothing that she could do, but she didn’t want to stop fighting. She didn’t want them to know that they had won. Stop struggling. A voice whispered in Pat’s mind. Despite her better judgment, she obeyed. Where a moment before she had been drowning, now it felt like floating. An instant later, something inside of her cracked. A different kind of darkness exploded from her chest. Even as it streamed from her, it shaped itself into a physical force. It shifted as it moved and billowed outward. It was unlike anything she had seen. It glowed from within, and its surface shimmered, with the iridescence of a fire opal. It didn’t make sense, and yet there it was. That strange substance covered Mark’s body, knitting him together. Then it flowed toward the shadows, that attacked them. They dissolved entirely, devoured by her energy. Iridescent Darkness The kids found themselves back in a dirty, bare room. Crouched on her knees, Pat breathed heavily. That iridescent darkness streamed around her like smoke. Mark stared at her, but she stared at the mirror before them. They were there. They were watching. She didn’t know how long it would be until the Others regrouped. Pat grabbed Mark’s hand, and then she unleashed her power upon that room and the building that imprisoned them.