The Archie gang are spending their last summer together before leaving Riverdale and go separate ways after graduating from high school. Most of them cannot help but feel troubled about their lives changing forever; especially Archie, who is aware that the two women he loves are expecting one final answer.
Nonetheless, Archie and his pals' worries, fears and hopes about romance and the childhood's end become secondary when their old enemy, Mad Doctor Doom (without relation to the Marvel Comics' character, who is barely one or two months older) reappears after five years and kidnaps Sabrina as the first step in a sinister plan.
It can be found in Dark Mark Marvel fansite, labeled as a "Surprise story".
Since the Wayback Machine is making some inter-chapter links act up, links to individual chapters will be provided: chapter 1, chapter 2, chapter 3, chapter 4, chapter 5, chapter 6, chapter 7, chapter 8, chapter 9, chapter 10, chapter 11, Author's notes.
Dark Mark has also written Hellsister Trilogy, Kara of Rokyn, A Very Kara Christmas, A Force of Four, Dance with the Demons, With this Ring... (Green Lantern), Funeral For A Flash, Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation, Superman and Man, The Vampire of Steel, The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Here There Be Monsters, A Prize for Three Empires, Devils Diary, X-Men 1970, Fire! and Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime.
This fanfiction provides examples of the next tropes:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Cheryl Blossom is a gorgeous, annoying, manipulative asshole, and Archie would she stayed far away from him and left him alone instead of causing him trouble."What's with the hostility? I said I was sorry. Archie." She dug her fingers into his arm, and he tried to pull back. "I know what you need."
I need, he thought, to get away from you. Far, far away. Right now.
- After-Action Healing Drama: As rescuing Sabrina's aunts, Moose gets stabbed by Doom's henchman Cross. After taking the thug out, Sabrina's aunts cast a spell to stabilize Moose as Jughead pressed his sweater over his wound to keep him from bleeding to death. The police and an ambulance were called, and the paramedics packed Moose off to the nearest hospital.
- As the Good Book Says...: As Archie, Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Salem are being flung through the time to rescue Sabrina from a madman, Betty can be heard reciting Psalms 23:4 to arm herself with courage: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for thou art with me."
- Badass in Distress: Sabrina, a powerful witch in a universe of absolutely ordinary humans, gets kidnapped by a mad scientist, and she has to be rescued by her high-school friends.
- Big Bad: Mad Doctor Doom kidnaps Sabrina and uses her magic to cause trans-dimensional mayhem.
- Bizarrchitecture: Mad Doctor Doom's Limbo fortress is a floating spherical structure which combines manmade and alien architectural parts radiating out from its core. It is also dizzying to look at.It was a castle.
But not the kind of castle anyone would have seen on Earth. Some of the architecture looked recognizable, other parts of it were clearly alien. The structure was spherical, like a planet. Towers, walls, and other edifices radiated out from a central point. It was incredible. Archie could barely stand to look at it for very long.
- Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Hilda and Zelda need Veronica's aid to save their niece Sabrina, so they use a charmed medallion to "convince" the Lodges that their daughter should be entrusted to them for the present, and they should not object, make silly questions or worry about Veronica's safety.
- Coming-of-Age Story: The plot revolves around the gang graduating high school, living one last adventure together, facing for the last time one old enemy who is not playing around anymore, and Archie finally choosing between Betty and Veronica.
- Crazy-Prepared: As trying to sneak into Sabrina's house, Archie's group are wondering whether they should risk breaking one window when Reggie pulls out a hammer and a screwdriver, boasting that he is always prepared for anything. However, it is Veronica who unlocks the door using one credit card that Betty always carries around in the event that she cannot go back home because she has forgotten her keys.
- Curse Cut Short: Veronica stops herself from cursing while talking with Betty.Veronica: "I'm asking if you're still my friend, Betty. Because I'll be da I'll be switched if you quit on me just because of this."
- Dare to Be Badass: As hunting down Doctor Doom, Archie's gang meet January McAndrews, an agent of the Time Police. January explains that Doom is attempting to restructure all timelines from his shelter in the Limbo Stream. The Time Police cannot get there, but the gang does. When Veronica points out they are just high schoolers, McAndrews replies they are more capable than they think they are.Veronica: "Wait. Wait just a minute, Ms. Andrews. I mean, McAndrews. Listen. We're not a commando team. We've had our share of adventures, sure. But...we're just high school kids. Or we were, till a couple of weeks ago. We're not up to swimming around in gray pea soup and busting into any structures. We're just...who we are."
January McAndrews: "True. But you have no appreciation of who you are, Ms. Lodge. Any hero is just a normal person, until called upon to do extraordinary things. Our greatest agent of your time is one of yourselves. I doubt you would believe it, should I give you the name. But you must take it on faith that I speak the truth."
- Death Glare: Archie shoots a venomous glare at Cheryl Blossom when she refers to Betty and Veronica as "bimboes"."I know you're really not decided between the two bimboes, no matter what everyone thinks. So...why limit yourself to them?"
He turned on her with a look of real venom. "They're not bimboes. Don't let me ever catch you calling them that, Cheryl. Never."
- Dedication: The story is dedicated to Archie Comics' main writers and artists:For these guys: John Goldwater, Bob Montana, Dan DeCarlo, Bob Bolling...and all the rest, who gave us a character we just won't let die. Thanks a whole bunch.
- Eldritch Location: Mad Doctor Doom's Limbo fortress is a floating, spherical castle located beyond the space-time continuum. Walls, windows, arcs... appear, multiply, shift or vanish every second.They were in what probably passed for a courtyard in the Limbo castle. Beneath them was, recognizably, soil and the equivalent of grass, though it was of a light yellow color. A wall enclosed the courtyard on more than three sides, but in front of them was the castle proper, or at least a wing of it. There were several arches before them...Archie found it hard to count them, as if their number altered from moment to moment...and doors beyond them.[...]
Jan boldly went forward to one of the doors under the arch. It looked to be made of wood, though Archie thought that just might have been what he perceived. The door opened to Jan's touch, without her having to twist a handle. "Follow me," she said. The crew could see what looked like a hallway beyond.
The Time Police woman stepped inside.
After her heel went through the doorway, the walls closed in behind her. There was no door anymore. Only a brick wall in its place.
- Extreme Mêlée Revenge: As attempting to free Sabrina's aunts, who have been kidnapped by Mad Doctor Doom, Moose gets stagged by Doom's minion Gross. Dilton absolutely snaps when he sees his best friend wounded: he grabs one skillet and proceeds to bash Gross over and again until he is stopped by his friends.Jughead had been scrambling in the kitchen of the place for a weapon and found it in a cast-iron skillet. An instant after Gross had stabbed Moose, Juggy brought the pan down on Gross's head from behind. The thug was tough, but even he was hurt. Dilton, of all people, lost it. He grabbed the pan from Jug, smashed the hood in a very tender place, bashed him in the face with it, and proceeded to beat him unconscious. Jason and Jug managed to keep Gross's knife hand away from Dilton while this was going on. Then they finally had to restrain Dilton, to keep him from beating Gross to death.
- Facepalm: Done by Reggie Mantle when, on top of finding out his ex-schoolmate Sabrina is a witch right after she has been kidnapped, he finds himself talking to a cat.Reggie shook his head. "I don't know what it means, either. Not a good enough detective, I suppose." Then he leaned his head against the wall and covered his eyes with one hand.
Salem looked at Reggie, cocking his head. "What's wrong, kid? Need an Excedrin?"
From behind his hand, Reggie said, "I'm talking to a cat. I'm having a conversation with a cat. This cannot be real. I'm still dreaming, right?"
- First Girl Wins: Betty Cooper is the first girl who appears, and the one who Archie ultimately chooses.
- Get Out!: Archie tries to console Midge when her boyfriend gets hospitalized after getting stabbed by a thug. Midge, who partially blames Archie for Moose's injury -since Archie had talked the gang into rescuing Sabrina from her kidnapper themselves-, tells him to leave her alone.Archie: "Midge. I..."
Midge: (sobbing) "Go...away."
Jason: "Arch, not now."
Archie: "Midge, when you need me, when Moose needs me, especially, I'll be there. You know—"
Midge: "GO AWAY!"
- Groin Attack: When Doctor Doom's minion stabs his best friend, Dilton grabs an iron skillet and bashes Gross' crotch before beating him unconscious.
- Healing Hands: Moose gets stabbed while freeing Sabrina's aunts. Zelda and Hilda are able to get him stable by laying their hands on him and casting a spell. Moose's friends think it is some kind of "faith healing thing" instead of sorcery, and nobody who knows best tells them otherwise.
- It's All My Fault: Archie comes up with a plan to fee Sabrina and her family from Mad Doctor Doom. Unfortunately, the gang is unable to rescue Sabrina, and Moose gets stabbed by Doom's henchman as releasing Sabrina's aunts. As making his way the hospital, Archie blames himself for Moose getting wounded.
- Kick the Dog: Mad Doctor Doom -no relation- attempts to shoot Sabrina's cat only because he thinks it might not be a normal cat.
- Lame Pun Reaction: Salem, Sabrina's familiar cat, unfortunately and mistakenly believes he is funny. When he goes to Archie for help to rescue Sabrina...Salem:: "So, that's how it stands. Are you ready to round up a posse? I guess that'd make me a posse cat, but hey..."
Archie: (groaning) "A talking cat that makes bad puns. Why me, Lord? Don't answer that."
- Laser Hallway: Archie's gang sneak into Sabrina's house to free their friend, and they discover her kidnapper has planted laser sensors around the house, forcing them to navigate even more carefully.
- Magitek: Doom circumvents the laws of physics, which say that time travel is impossible, by creating a magically-powered time machine. It may look like a strange but ordinary cubic device if you ignore the helpless witch hooked up to it -which the device drains power from-, and the odd symbols on plastic overlays, arranged around it.
- The Maze: The interior of Doom's lair is a twisted, non-Euclidean nightmare of twisty corridors, stairs which come down from the floor, doors fitted in the ceiling, and shifting walls.Archie wondered if he dared take another step further.
The castle interior before him seemed composed of stone bricks, but the perspective was skewed. If he made a motion to his left or right, forward or backward, it seemed to shift, as if a camera lens was doing special effects. There were...well, there were stairs in the distance that came down from the ceiliing, or down walls, and doors in the floor and ceiling as well. There were arches that were placed where arches were not meant to be, and Archie could have testified that, in some areas, the walls subtly moved.
How in the blazes was he supposed to even walk in such a place, let alone find Sabrina Spellman?
- No Biochemical Barriers: Archie's gang]] find themselves surrounded by weird mists when they arrive at Mad Doctor Doom's Limbo base, and they grow worried about air's toxicity. Nonetheless, they are reassured that all life forms can survive in Limbo.The hatch door opened, retracting into the side of the craft. Some bits of fog-mist came drifting in. Archie shrank back. "That stuff isn't toxic, is it?"
"No," Jan assured him. "Life forms of whatever origin can survive here."
- Not in Kansas Anymore: Subverted. After being flung through time and arrive at an unfamiliar place, Veronica starts quoting the "Not in Kansas anymore" line; however, Betty cuts her off angrily.Veronica: "Betty—"
Betty: (tensely) "If you start quoting lines from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz right now, Ronnie, I'm gonna whack you."
- One Last Field Trip: Archie and his pals have just graduated high school, so they throw a beach party and have one last adventure together before leaving Riverdale.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Kind, considerate Archie shocks everybody by snapping at Cheryl Blossom before pushing her away. His reasons? Cheryl was being clingier than usual right when Betty is passing by, and she would not let him go and talk to Betty."Cheryl, let go. I've got to get up."
"Not until you give me an answer!"
"Blast it, let GO!" The blonde head was no longer visible. Archie hated being rude. But he flatly shoved Cheryl out of the booth. Pop Tate, for his part, gaped. So did Jughead. Pop came almost on the run.
- Operation: Jealousy: Doble subversion. Jason tries to persuade Betty to date with him, arguing that maybe Archie will get jealous and dump Veronica for Betty if he sees them together. Betty replies she does not do that kind of schemes anymore... but she is free tonight, so he can take her out for dinner.Jason Blossom: "Just consider it, Betty. Ifif he's hooked up with Ronnie, maybe it's because of money. Status. That's what I'd guess, anyway."
Betty Cooper: (dryly) "You would."
Jason: "But supposing...just supposing...he sees you out with me. Consider it, Betty. As far as money, status go, I've got that. Heck, you know I've got it. My dad's almost up there with Hiram Lodge, and it's new money. Silicon Valley, not Wall Street. That puts you on equal footing with him, now. He'll see it, and he'll know it. And the old green-eyed monster can work wonders, Betty. We both know that."
Betty: (sighing) "And you think Archie will get jealous when he sees us out together and dump Veronica for me?"
Jason: (smiling) "I never said it out loud, but, hey...it's a possibility."
- Pervert Revenge Mode: Invoked when Reggie says he will not try and take a peek while Betty is taking a bath because he isn't a suicidal idiot.Reggie: "You can't use that bathroom, Arch. Betty's taking a bath."
Archie: "Oh. Glad I'm not as opportunistic as some people around here, Mantle."
Reggie: "Hey, don't look at me! I'm not gonna break in there and get a karate chop across the neck."
- Pinch Me:Invoked when Reggie Mantle wonders whether he is really talking to a cat, and Salem retorts "[He's] not about to claw [Reggie's] ankle to prove [he's] not dreaming."
- Possessive Wrist Grab: Jason Blossom wants to talk to Betty Cooper, who is absolutely not in the mood for his antics. Jason grabs Betty by the upper arm when she is walking around him, and she instantly knocks him down.Betty started to step around Jason. He grabbed her by the upper arm, trying to halt her.
A couple of seconds later, Jason found himself flat on his back on the front lawn. "Don't ever try that again," said Betty. "Ever."
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: After kidnapping Sabrina, Mad Doctor Doom gets her hooked up to a time machine which works by siphoning her magic energy.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Mad Doctor Doom is not happy after getting his face and hands scratched by Salem.Mad Doctor Doom: "YOU...BLASTED...CAT!"
- Reality Ensues: Archie's gang -who regarded foiling Mad Doctor Doom's schemes as funny adventures back when they were kids- react to him returning and kidnapping Sabrina as one group of high-schoolers about to face dangerous armed criminals would do: they are afraid of get hurt or killed as rescuing their friend, and Moose gets stabbed and transported to the hospital.
- Retail Therapy: Veronica suggests Betty to go out together and hit the mall when both girls are feeling depressed.
- Tempting Fate: Sabrina was pondering that her life was good, and things were looking up, when two men break into her home and hold her aunts hostage.In her room, Sabrina reflected that, for her, life was unusually good. At least she didn't have the hassles that the rest of the gang seemed to have. Right now, she was unattached, with a career plan, a college that would accept her, and, probably, a berth right in Boy Central. Plus, she'd be in Salem, where it all began. She could hardly wait.
Then she heard her aunt Hilda cry out. In fear.
- That Was Not a Dream: After waking up, Reggie wonders if the events of the night before happened it was all just a dream. Then Salem confirms Sabrina and her aunts are witches and he is a talking cat.Reggie: "I'm talking to a cat. I'm having a conversation with a cat. This cannot be real. I'm still dreaming, right?"
Salem: "Nope, this is for real, kid. I'm not about to claw your ankle to prove you're not dreaming. You'll just have to take it on faith. Okay?"
- Time Machine: Doom devises a magically-powered time machine. It looks like a slightly rectangular cube that opens time rifts when activated.
- To the Future, and Beyond: As hunting down Doctor Doom -who has kidnapped Sabrina, built a time machine and escaped into the time stream-, Archie and the gang end in the 29th Century.
- True Companions: Before heading towards Mad Doctor Doom's base to stop him from messing up with the space-time continuum, the gang take a minute to talk about their close bonds.Veronica: "Before we do whatever we're going to do, I have to say something. Everyone, please listen."
Archie: "We're listening, Ronnie. Go ahead."
Veronica: "I just wanted to say that, if this is the...the last time we get to say something like this...that no matter what, I want us to know that we're all friends. No matter what happens, or what happened among us, between any of us. There's something that's...more than just boy and girl, you know? There's a...oh, nuts. I don't know how to put it."
Betty: "You've put it just fine, Ronnie. There's a bond. A bond we all have between us. Even with the differences...you rich, me middle-class, Reggie an ego-queen..."
Reggie: "Hey, just a minute!"
Betty: "...and Archie a klutz, we love each other. And I think we always will. Am I right on that, gang?"
Reggie: "You know it, Bets."
Archie: "Never thought I'd see you in a frame of mind like this, Mantle. But yeah, Betty, you're right. There is a bond between us. And there always will be."
- Van in Black: In the first episode, Betty is sunbathing in a secluded, empty area of the beach, unaware that a window-tinted, black car has pulled over on a high cliff overlooking her position, and she is being watched by its owner, an old enemy of the gang.Of course, from that position, it was also harderin fact, impossiblefor Betty Cooper to see the car which pulled up to a stop on a bluff high above the beach. It was a dark car, with tinted windows. The driver got out, though it looked like it would have taken a couple of crowbars and some grease to fit his huge body behind the wheel. He wore a hat and trenchcoat, and he took a pair of binoculars out of the pocket of the coat. With those, he looked in the direction of the beach.
- Villain Teleportation: Before the Archie gang can rescue Sabrina from her kidnapper, Mad Doctor Doom turns on a device and teleports himself and Sabrina away in a soundless flash of blue light. Veronica compares it with Star Trek teleporting beams.
- We Need a Distraction: Salem is sent to distract Mad Doctor Doom while Archie and his friends rescue Sabrina. When they rush into the Sabrina's house's basement, the gang find Doom trying to stop Salem from scratching his face and hands further.
- You Are Too Late: The gang burst into the basement where Mad Doctor Doom has Sabrina stuck to a power-draining machine. Although they attempt to release her, Doctor Doom states they are too late because his machine is already fully powered. One second later, Doom, Sabrina and her cat Salem are teleported away.With a madman's strength, Doom grabbed both Betty and Veronica and flung them back, breaking their hold on Sabrina and sending them to the floor. Archie tried to tackle their foe again, but Doom's foot came up and smashed into his chest, right at the breastbone. The redhead hit the floor and rolled, holding his chest, closing his eyes in pain, and gasping.
Doom turned back to the girl and the machine. "They're too late. The power has reached the sufficient level. Brace yourself, Miss Spellman. The voyage begins now."
- You Can Talk?: When Sabrina is kidnapped, Salem goes to Archie and his friends for help. Archie and Veronica remain speechless for several seconds before Archie manages to exclaim: "Y-y-you're a...cat!"Salem: My mistress Sabrina's in danger. She needs help. I remembered you were her friends."
Archie: "Y-y-you're a...cat!"
Salem: "Guilty as charged. Can we talk?"