SIVANA'S LAIR, OUTSIDE FAWCETT CITY, INDIANA
Doctor Thaddeus Bodog Sivana shook his smooth, bald head in
genuine disappointment. His youngest child, his daughter Georgia, instead of
helping out her poor old father with his latest scheme against the Marvel
Family, was wasting her time watching a television show. Not just any TV show,
but a WB program called "Charmed", about three sisters with extraordinary
psychic and Magickal gifts. And the worst part of the show was that the sisters
used their talents for good.
They're too much like the Big Red Cheese and his 'family'
for my tastes, the World's Wickedest Scientist thought in disgust, or,
worse luck, Billy Batson's precious girlfriend. Bah! They all make me
sick to my stomach!
"Georgia!" Sivana barked at the apple of his evil eye. "Will you
shut that damned thing off and help me with the Sidestep Device! We need to get
this thing operational before those blasted Marvels show up again!"
"But Daddy, it's just getting to the good part!" Georgia whined
in her raucous croak of a voice. "I wanna see this demon kick some major-league
To say Georgia Sivana was ugly would be an understatement.
Except for gender, she was a nearly perfect duplicate of her father in
anemic-gargoyle looks, but in temperament, she was far more psychopathic than
Thaddeus. She even went as far as to attack another reformatory inmate for
cutting ahead of her in the cafeteria.
"I said now, young lady! Who's the parent here, you or I?"
"Well, you are, Daddy, but..."
"Then you'll do as you're told, Georgia. No buts and no
whining about it either, missy!"
"Yes, Daddy," she said, sullen but suddenly contrite. She knew
her father would brook no arguments, so she left the room to get her toolbox.
Things had been so much easier for her before Captain Marvel Jr. put her big
brother, Tad Jr., in jail again.
"Thats more like it," Sivana replied, then noticed that Georgia
forgot to do something. "Georgia! You forgot to shut the TV off!" But Sivana's
favorite daughter was already out of earshot. Ah, me, he thought, now
I'll have to shut the bloody thing off myself. He picked up the remote
control from where Georgia had dropped it, aimed the device and started to press
the 'power' button...
...When the tall, lanky man on the screen suddenly spoke to
Startled, Sivana looked around the room and then back at the
"Are you talking to me?" he snarled.
The lanky man was unfazed. "I do not see anyone else in this
room, so I must be talking to you. I am called Tempus. I need to speak with
"Tempus, eh? As in 'Tempus Fugate.' So, what do want to talk
"Tell me what you want," Tempus said with cool disdain.
"What the hell are you? Neron?" Sivana questioned with equal
disdain. Devils and demons from Hell were the last things the evil scientist
wanted to deal with today. Georgia's sulking was bad enough.
"I do not know this 'Neron.' What is it that you really
"Oh, not much. A little song, a little dance, Captain Marvel's
head on a lance. A trifle, really."
"What is today's date?"
"August the first. Why?"
"Ah. Lughnasadh, the festival of the first harvest. Good. They
will so busy with celebrations, they will never see this coming." Tempus looked
almost pleased with himself.
"Who are 'they,' Tempus, and what won't they see coming?"
"Our enemies, of course. Now listen carefully. Here is what I
need you to do..."
Through the television screen, Tempus outlined what, to Sivana's
twisted mind, sounded like the perfect plan. The plan involved the use of
Sivana's latest invention, a teleportation machine about the size of a softball
he called the Sidestep Device. With it, he would whisk the Marvel Family from
this city to the one Tempus occupies. Once there, Tempus would (hopefully) be
able to neutralize their Magick-based powers and render the World's Mightiest
Mortals completely helpless and at Sivana's non-existent mercy.
In return, Tempus wanted this "World's Maddest Scientist" to
create a device that would prevent three particular women, named Prudence, Piper
and Phoebe Halliwell, from using their rather extraordinary gifts on him. The
daemon-sorcerer found that he shared an odd sort of fellowship with Sivana;
multiple defeats at the hands of three powerful, Magickally-gifted enemies that
stubbornly refused to die, no matter what was thrown at them.
Just as Sivana was about to agree to the terms, he heard the
sounds of a fight in the lower levels of the defunct electrical plant. As the
Marvels neared, he flipped the power switch of the Sidestep Device. It whined to
life as the heroes battered down the door to the lab. When they gained entrance,
they were taken by surprise as the flash of the portal the machine created
temporarily blinded them. Sivana laughed at them mockingly as he gathered up the
plans for building the device and then vanished into thin air.
HALLIWELL MANOR, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
"Where's Phoebe? This ritual was her idea, and now she's going
to be late." Prudence "Prue" Halliwell checked her wristwatch again. Her
youngest sister, Phoebe, was running late from her classes. Again.
"Prue, she's probably stuck in traffic. And you know why she
took on the extra workload at school." Piper, the middle sister, replied,
fiddling with the pendant around her neck. She recently replaced the gold cross
she had normally worn with a tiny silver pentacle on a blue silk cord, which was
more appropriate for a Witch, especially for one of the Charmed Ones.
"Yeah, I know. Since she vanquished Cole, I mean Balthazar, poor
Feebs's been trying to get him off of her mind. Without much success..."
"Hi! Sorry I'm late! Traffic was a bear," Phoebe's cheerful
voice sang out from the front door. As she aimed herself towards the kitchen,
where Prue and Piper waited, the youngest Halliwell sister set all but one of
her books down on the coffee table. The volume she still carried was purportedly
a book written by a White Witch in Phoenix, Arizona. To Phoebe's mind, it was
mostly fluff, but had a few good spells in it, including ones for calling up the
Elementals of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, the four ancient elements of
"Told you so," Piper remarked in a sing-song voice as Prue made
a sour face at her.
"When do you want to get started?" Prue asked.
"Actually, Lughnasadh doesn't officially start until sunset, so
we have a couple of hours to memorize the cantrip and prepare the attic for the
ritual," Phoebe replied cheerfully, rifling through the pages of the book.
"Which means..." Piper started.
"Which means break out the brooms and the double-boiler,
sisters. We got some cleaning up and brewing to do," Prue finished. "I still
feel like I should be cackling."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Later, as the sun began to sink below the horizon, the three
sisters had finished their tasks. As they re-read the summoning spell, there
began a point of contention as to its content.
"I am not saying that word," Prue said with her best
"don't mess with my head" look on her face.
"Which word?" Phoebe returned, a bit confused. "Shazam? Whats
wrong with it?"
"It's...I don't know, stupid, silly..."
"Immature?" Piper chimed in.
"Exactly. It sounds like something you'd read in an old comic
book, coming out of some teenager's mouth. By the way, Feebs, did you happen to
notice that this book is a novel?"
"Yes, I noticed it's a novel. But the summoning is real. And
besides, you two don't have to say the Shazam part, I do. Thats in my part of
the spell, not yours."
"I'm aware of that, but it still sounds silly," Prue
Just then, Phoebe gasped, stood bolt upright and froze. A
premonition had come on her, hard. That usually meant that trouble was imminent.
In her mind's eye, she saw a tall, lanky man she recognized as Tempus, but only
briefly. The short, bald-pated man wasn't familiar at all, save that he looked
to be some kind of doctor or scientist.
She then saw herself, Piper, Prue and three others all at the
mercy of these two evils. The other three were a man in crimson and gold, a
teenaged girl, also in red and gold and another teen, a boy, in blue and
The vision ended as quickly as it began, leaving poor Phoebe
dizzy with a headache of epic proportions, but surer than ever that they should
perform this spell.
"PHOEBE! Prue nearly screamed, her face full of concern. "Are
you okay? What did you see?"
"Tempus...and some old guy...a scientist, I think. We were with
other people... I think it was some kind of a trap." Phoebe looked at both of
her sisters, her eyes still unfocused.
"How many? And what do these other people look like?"
"There were three of them. A guy in some kind of red uniform;
he's an adult, I think. The second's a teenage boy; he's wearing blue tights.
The third's a teenage girl in a red dress. Both of the guys have black hair, and
the big guy in the red...has a really cute butt." Phoebe grinned at that.
"Trust you to notice that, Feebs," Prue said sardonically.
"Sounds like you're describing comic book characters, honey,"
"Maybe I am, but Prue? Piper? I am more convinced than ever that
we should do this. Those other three...I think we're supposed to protect
"Are you two all right?" the tall, strikingly handsome man in
red and gold, one Captain Marvel by name, asked his young partners.
The red and gold garbed girl, Mary Marvel, replied first as she
rubbed her eyes. "I'll be okay, big brother, once the pink and green spots stop
dancing around in my eyes."
"Same here, Cap," Captain Marvel Junior, the boy clad in blue
and gold added, raking his shaggy, blue-black hair out of his deep blue eyes
with his fingers. "What the heck was that flash?"
"I have no clue..." Cap started.
"And you're not going to get one either, Cheeses!" a raspy,
hateful feminine voice called, leveling a .50 caliber Desert Eagle at the
seemingly helpless girls back. Georgia fired, but to no purpose. The bullets
merely bounced off Mary's chest and ricocheted in all directions. Some of them
glanced off her and then rebounded off her brother and her boyfriend, but most
of them struck the walls and machinery that surrounded the heroic trio.
What was worse was that neither of the three even felt the
projectiles hitting them. She could have been pelting them with feathers, for
all the impact they had on the heroes.
Mary advanced on Georgia with compressed lips. When she was
close enough, the World's Mightiest Girl kicked out with her left leg and
knocked the pistol into the air, out of her foe's hand. As it came down, Mary
caught it, unloaded the clip with her thumb and flicked out the remaining
bullets. She then crushed the gun into a tiny ball of metal and tossed it aside.
"Say 'good night,' Georgia," Mary said as she knocked the
World's Wickedest Girl senseless with a roundhouse right on her pointed chin.
She whirled around as Captain Marvel and Captain Marvel Junior applauded her
"Nice job, sis," Cap said, an enormous grin splitting his
handsome face, making the already visible dimples in his cheeks even more
prominent. "Been watching 'The Destroyer' again?"
"No, I just really hate guns," she replied evenly, looking at
Georgia's skinny, inert form.
"Getting back to the subject, where did Sivana disappear to?"
the slim, blue garbed teen, whom Cap called "Junior" and Mary called "Trey,"
asked. "You think Georgia knows?"
"I don't think so, Junior," Cap answered, his trademark
grin disappearing. "She was just as surprised by her father's
disappearance as we were. Great, perfect; Sivana running around is
just what we need right now."
"But where on Earth did he go?" Mary asked.
"And more importantly, whats the little snake up to?"
San Francisco, shortly before Sunset.
"Greeting, Doctor. Welcome to San Francisco."
Tempus met Sivana as he stepped out of the portal and into the
most sumptuous apartment the withered little man had ever seen. This place even
had his old Fawcett City penthouse beat for luxury! Connemara marble floors,
gold fixtures and the finest antiques and artwork money could buy were
everywhere, and the Dolby Digital sound system piped Mozart throughout the
The sorcerer steered Sivana into a room and put him to work on
the second teleporter. A few minutes later (though it seemed like hours to him),
Sivana reappeared with the new Sidestep Device.
Time must move differently in that room. Einstein would've
loved this fellow, the World's Maddest Scientist thought.
"So, you're finished already," Tempus stated imperiously,
steepling his hands in front of him. "Will this one link to the device you left
in Fawcett City?"
"Of course it will!" Sivana snapped. "When I build something, I
build it to work! All I need do is turn it on, and the Marvel Family with be
caught like flies in amber!"
"And then you will take care of my problem."
"Yes, yes, yes. I'll build a neuro-synaptic scrambler so you can
be rid of these Halliwell sisters. I haven't forgotten that part of our
"Good. How soon will this 'scrambler' be ready?"
"It's a rather simple device to create, so late tonight,
tomorrow morning at the earliest."
"Good. Activate your 'sidestep device,' Doctor, and then get to
work on the scrambler."
A moment later, The World's Maddest Scientist flipped the
"Is everything ready? It's almost sunset," Piper asked, carrying
a pot of rather potent, sweet-smelling brew.
"Just about," Phoebe replied, rechalking the 'trinity knot' on
the attic wall.
"I have a hunch I'm going to feel awfully foolish in a minute,"
Prue chimed in, casting a circle of salt around the altar, and leaving enough of
a gap in the Eastern quadrant for her sisters to enter. She then set the salt
back on the altar and sat cross-legged within it.
"Prue, will you relax? Everything's going to be fine, you'll
see," an angelic-looking blond-haired man stated as he materialized.
"Leo!" Piper exclaimed happily, hugging the newcomer, "What are
you doing here?"
"The spell you're trying to work needs a fourth, so..."
"A... fourth?" Phoebe inquired, confused.
"You're casting the spell of the four Elementals, right?"
"Yeah," Prue rejoined, when clarity suddenly struck her. "Oh, I
get it; four elements..."
"Four casters. You got it," Leo replied as he grinned
"Is that part of the Whitelighter job description, honey?" Piper
Leo shrugged his shoulders and said, "Sort of. The Elders gave
me permission to help you with it, so here I am."
"Well, let's get this over with," Prue interrupted
With that, Piper, Leo and Phoebe entered the circle and Prue,
using her telekinetic ability, poured salt where the opening was. They sat on
the floor, cross-legged like Prue, and began to invoke the spell. Within
minutes, the Trinity Knot on the wall began to glow...
SIVANA'S LAIR, OUTSIDE FAWCETT CITY
It was already dark out, sunset having been two hours ago. The
Marvel Family was still looking for clues to Dr. Sivana's disappearance two
hours before that.
"Find anything?" Captain Marvel Jr. inquired.
"Nothing!" Captain Marvel replied crossly. "It's as if the
little worm's dropped off the face of the Earth!"
"Cap, calm down," Mary Marvel said to her big brother. "At least
Georgia's joining her brother in jail"
"Oh, thank the Gods, you're all still here!" a new voice
cried out. The voice belonged to a lovely, petite copper-haired teenage girl who
looked more like a princess of Faerie than a human being.
It was Caitlin O'Malley, Billy Batson's girlfriend.
Cait, as her friends and family called her, was a Witch born
with strong Gifts of Foresight, Empathy, Healing and Fetching, or Telekinesis.
The Gift of Foresight, or Precognition, gave her painfully clear visions of
upcoming events, and her visions were rarely, if ever, wrong.
She was also one of the few people "in the know" about The
Marvel Familys secret identities of Billy and Mary Batson and Freddy
The young woman was breathing hard, as if she had run all the
way to the lair from her home miles away. The look on her face was a mix of pain
and acute fear; the look it always wore when she had a particularly bad
Her lightweight lavender sweater was tied around her waist like
a sash, showing the same color tank top she had worn under it. She completed her
look with a lavender, black and white plaid skirt that fell to her mid-thigh,
and pale lavender tights. On her small feet she wore black ballerina flats.
"Cait, what are you doing here?" Cap inquired of the
young Witch, stooping down to look her in the eyes.
Caitlin never got the chance to reply. Just then, the loud,
droning whine of the still-active Sidestep Device interrupted them. A white,
glowing portal appeared under the group of four's feet. A moment later, they
fell through it...
They were coming to the end of the incantation when Leo got a
strong mental warning, telling him to stop Phoebe from saying a certain
A massive blast of lightning crashed through the attic window,
spraying multicolored glass and leading everywhere, and lanced into the trinity
knot. Prue used her power again, this time to shield the four of them from the
flying shards which would have cut them all to ribbons. The thunderbolt
(thunderbolts?) opened a gateway and continued their journey inward.
Holy Moley, Captain Marvel thought, gritting his teeth past
the pain, this is worse than going to the Rock of Eternity!
And indeed it was. The World's Mightiest Mortals felt like they
were being twisted into pretzel knots. Though their invulnerability protected
the heroes from the worst of it, they were still in agony. But as awful as it
was for the Marvels, it was infinitely worse for poor Caitlin. Being a frail,
human girl, she felt like this interdimensional 'jump' was tearing her
The Captain held the young Witch tightly against his chest with
one arm, and gripped either Mary's or Junior's wrist in the other hand. At that
moment, he couldn't have told who he held on to; all his brain would register
was white-hot pain, and all he could hear was the sounds of himself and everyone
Suddenly, three bolts of magick lightning chose that precise
instant to strike the heroes, returning them to their mortal forms of Billy and
Mary Batson and their friend, Freddy Freeman. The suffering the gateway caused
was worse now; instead of twisting pain, the four teens felt like they were
being torn asunder. Billy looked 'upward' to see if there was an end to this
misery-filled trip, as the lightning continued on its journey.
The Sidestep Device whined as the glowing 'wormhole' grew large
enough to accommodate three people. Sivana seemed inordinately pleased with
himself; he was finally going to have his arch-enemies precisely where he wanted
them, begging him for mercy.
What to do with them when they arrive, the evil genius
mused, chuckling gleefully to himself. Thanks to their invulnerability, I
certainly can't destroy them, unless they've somehow reverted to their
normal forms. And if they haven't, well, I can always use them as human
Sivana's thoughts were interrupted when a flash of lightning
exited the portal and struck the teleportation device, blowing it to bits. While
the Kevlar-Plexiglas shielding kept the shrapnel from killing him, Sivana cursed
at his foes for doing something that, for once, was no fault of
"Is everyone all right?" Prue called out, checking herself for
any cuts from the shattered window.
"I think so," Phoebe replied, helping Piper up off the floor.
She then turned on Leo and asked, "Why did you try to stop me?"
"I got a warning just before you said that word," Leo retorted,
pushing himself up. "And before you get mad, Phoebe, that word was not a
part of the Four Elements spell. The page with the rest of the spell on it was
torn out of the book."
Piper made a gesture similar to the one she did whenever she
used her time-freezing power, but instead, the huge picture window began to
reassemble itself. It was her latest power: to reverse the flow of time around a
person or an object, which came in handy whenever Prue blew her cool.
"By whom?" she asked.
But before Piper's fiancé could answer, four figures were hurled
out of the portal that the Charmed ones and the Whitelighter inadvertently
created. They rolled across the floor in a blur of lavender, red and dark blue;
light blue and charcoal, white and pink, and crashed into the opposite wall,
separated from each other. The figures were two boys, both black-haired, one
carrying a crutch, and two girls, one with copper hair, the other with auburn.
The four youngsters were in their early teens and looked like they went through
Hell face down together.
Finding her voice, Prue finally blurted out, "Who are
END CHAPTER ONE