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The Back Alley Brawler swung his mighty fist with all his might, knocking down the triple-reinforced steel door leading into Lord Recluse's hideout. Thousands of minion-level Villains greeted him.

"Everyone attack NOW!" The Back Alley Brawler yelled to the army of Heroes behind him. He and Sister Psyche led a Team of approximately 400 Heroes into the base, and the two extremely large groups of Heroes and Villains met head-on; triggering a battle SO intense that the base itself shook from the struggle.

Lord Recluse watched the fight on a monitor as he sat in his dark chamber. Behind his seat, the bodies of Baron Zoria and Requiem, the two infamous Arch-Villains of Paragon City, lie dead on the floor of his chamber.

"They took the bait." Lord Recluse smiled wickedly. "They rush in with such vengeance in their eyes." He looked over his shoulder at the bodies of the two Arch-Villains. "But I must thank the both of you for supplying me with the tools necessary to secure my victory on this day." Lord Recluse ran his hand down the black metal armor he was wearing, the inscription of the 5th Column inscribed on it’s back. In his other hand, Recluse brandished a mystical sword that glowed with a dim red light, casting eerie shadows in the small chamber. Recluse then concentrated, adding his own power to the sword, and the glow changed from red to black.

"Sister Psyche, come look at this!" A female Hero called to Sister Psyche. Sister Psyche ran into the room the female Hero was in, her blood chilling in her veins as she saw the body of Dr. Vahzilok on the ground, dead.

"The Clockwork King’s in that room." Back Alley Brawler sighed as walked into the room and stood next to Sister Psyche. "Lord Recluse doesn't like competition, I guess. We have to stop him." He put his hand on Sister Psyche's shoulder. "We owe him that much, at the very least."

Sister Psyche looked at Back Alley Brawler, a tear forming in her eye. She then nodded. "Let's go."

Several hours later, after fighting through thousands of minions and discovering the bodies of almost all of the leaders of infamous Villain factions in Paragon City, the Team finally came upon the door that led to Lord Recluse’s chamber.

"THIS IS IT!" Back Alley Brawler yelled as he swung his fist, hitting the door with everything he had. Lord Recluse turned in his seat to smile at Back Alley Brawler and Sister Psyche as they charged toward Recluse, rage in their eyes.

"Upset, are we?" Lord Recluse mused, and with inhuman speed he punched the Back Alley Brawler in the face, knocking him back into the wall of the chamber. Turning to Sister Psyche, he fired a dark energy blast from his palm. Sister Psyche quickly raised a Personal Force Field, and the dark energy blast hit her shield, sending Sister Psyche flying back into the rest of the Heroes that were now pouring into the room.

"Time to go!" Lord Recluse laughed, jetting upwards and bursting through the roof of his chamber. He continued his ascent with incredible speed through several floors of the base until he broke through the roof of the base itself. With a smile, he quickly pulled out a remote-control type device from inside his armor and pressed the only button on it. A small nuclear war head that Recluse had buried under the base exploded, destroying the entire base and sending a wave of destruction for miles over the dense forest the base was hidden in. Lord Recluse himself remained unharmed thanks to the 5th Column’s armor, and as the dust settled he gazed down at barren ground where the base used to stand.

"What's this?" Lord Recluse cried out, shocked as he saw the silhouettes of Heroes through the dust that was still swirling around on the ground. As the smoke cleared, Sister Psyche, the Back Alley Brawler, Positron, Synapse, and Ms. Liberty remained unharmed, protected by Sister Psyche's shielding.

"Well, if I can't kill you the that way..." Lord Recluse drew his new sword. "I'll just have to kill you the old-fashioned way!"

The five Heroes charged Lord Recluse, and Recluse met their charge, swinging his mystical sword. With one deft slash, Synapse was cut in two.

"Synapse!" Sister Psyche cried out. Lord Recluse fired a dark energy at the location where the two pieces of Synapse had fallen, reducing what was left of Synapse to dust. Smiling, he charged Positron. Positron stood his ground and fired volleys of energy beams at Recluse. Recluse dodged the beams and swung his sword at Positron, but Positron jumped over Recluse’s attack and fired a massive energy beam into Recluse’s chest at point-blank range. He was shocked as Recluse emerged from his attack unscathed.

"My armor can withstand your pathetic attack. Let’s see how yours fairs against MINE!" Recluse impaled his sword into Positron’s chest, easily breaking through his armor and body, the end of the sword coming out of Positron’s back. Positron, with his last strength, removed the sword from his body and threw it out of Recluse’s reach before falling over, dead.

Ms. Liberty charged the now-disarmed Lord Recluse, nailing him on the side of his helmet and knocking him back into Sister Psyche. Sister Psyche used her Force Bolt to knock him into the air, and Back Alley Brawler leapt up and grabbed Lord Recluse while he was in mid-air, pile-driving Lord-Recluses' upside-down body straight into the ground. Lord Recluse kicked Back Alley Brawler away angrily, Ms. Liberty began to charge Recluse from behind while his attention was on the Back Alley Brawler. It was at that moment that Sister Psyche noticed a black flash pass her, heading straight for Ms. Liberty.

"Ms. Liberty, watch out!" Sister Psyche yelled, trying to warn Ms. Liberty, but it was too late. Baron Zoria’s sword had the mystical ability to return to the hands of evil, and while it was traveling back to Lord Recluse it had found an obstacle in it’s path: Ms. Liberty.

"NOOOO!" The Back Alley Brawler cried as the blade went into Ms. Liberty's back and came out her chest, continuing to fly until it was back in Lord Recluse's grasp. Smiling, Lord Recluse swung at Back Alley Brawler's neck, attempting to decapitate him. Luckily, Back Alley Brawler moved his head away just in time, so the sword caught his right arm instead.

"You MONSTER!" Sister Psyche yelled as she saw the Back Alley Brawler’s arm fall to the ground, firing an intense Telekinetic Blast at Lord Recluse. Lord Recluse, was able to stand his ground, and proceeded to charge Sister Psyche. Sister Psyche once again put up her Personal Force Field, but with one swing the mystical sword broke through her defenses, ending the psychic’s life.

Barely able to contain the excitement from his victory, Lord Recluse turned to the Back Alley Brawler, who was kneeling on the ground, barely able to maintain consciousness from all the blood that was leaking out of his arm.

"It... won't end... with me..." Back Alley Brawler whispered, his tone as defiant as ever.. Lord Recluse looked down on him, chuckling to himself.

"You know, that's exactly what HE said before I killed him." Lord Recluse said, and swung his sword one last time.

A young Female Hero named Chance regained consciousness just in time to see Lord Recluse fly overhead; she had survived the blast by putting up her own Personal Force Field, and the fact that the Freedom Phalanx wouldn’t have let Recluse escape told her the horrible truth.

"Statesman..." She remembered the face of the fallen Hero just before she passed out once more.

Three Years later...

"We don't have the money to pay this month... please give us some more time!" The man said as he held his daughter close to him. His bathroom-sized apartment was now in shambles as the two Revenue Collectors of Lord Recluse’s Empire had torn it apart in search of hidden stashes of money; such occurrences were common among families that lived in Recluse City. Recluse City, which had once been called Paragon City, was only a shadow of what it once was; the cloudy sky cast a never-ending darkness on the filthy streets, the ramshackle apartments.

"This is the second time you have failed to contribute to Recluse's Society." The Revenue Collector said, pulling out a pistol. "Under Article 1, Section 13 of the Recluse Revenue Agenda, I hereby sentence you to death."

Just before he pulled the trigger, the Revenue Collector whose hand was holding the gun was hit by an energy blast.

"AAH!" Another Collector screamed as another person ran next to him and pummeled him, knocking him out. The man, bewildered, looked and saw what appeared to be...

"It can't be..." He said, looking at the group of 2 teenage boys and 2 teenage girls in brightly colored costumes. "I thought Recluse killed all of you Heroes..."

The man who had knocked out the officer turned and extended his hand to the man, a sad look on the Hero’s face.

"Not ALL of us..." The Hero said.
The Pain of Team Legacy

By Unknown_Hero

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