Nemean Lion Saga
Once upon a time in Olympus, the god of sky and thunder known as Zeus had been head-over-heels for Hera. She never perceived him as a potential love interest, so she declined the opportunity. However, with time, after an unrelenting effort from the King of All, he finally wins over her heart, and they create a family on Mount Olympus. They brought four children into the world. Unfortunately, that did nothing but quench his sexual desires as he sought out other women. He constantly committed infidelity against his marriage and birthed other children through his mated women. He had cheated on Hera over a hundred times, but Hera always forgave him. However, he was never off the hook; there was only so much grief and pain the Olympian Queen could manage.
One more betrayal was all it took for Hera to unleash her trump card of a plan to vindicate her husband’s treason. She searched for Typhon and Echidna, Greece's two most feared Titans. Once gathered, she helped devise a deal for the pair to help claim supremacy over her husband. The Monsters conceived a lion cub, a tiny ball of innocence that would later serve as a weapon against Zeus. Hera wasted no time taking the cub in her own hands from birth, assuring its parents that she would take exquisite care of it. She trained the feline through each phase of its life, and by the time it reached adulthood, it developed into a man-eating massacre ready to tear anyone apart, of course, given the command.
Eventually, once Hera was confident that she could leave the Lion for his sovereignty, she sent him to Nemea, where the city had a Zeus shrine. The occupants worshiped him religiously, which enraged Hera immensely to the point where she aimed to halt the deification. With the lion guarding the shrine, people could hardly step into it. And as predicted by the Queen, grazing cattle, walking in the wild, and even sleeping peacefully at home would indeed come to a sudden end for the residents of Nemea. Every day, they witness sheep and fellow tenants vanishing without a trace. The beastly lion often lured warriors to his cave by abducting women and using them as bait. Warriors and combatants would attempt their share at rescuing each damsel in distress; however, they would ultimately walk into their demise. By this time, he was the feared legend. He was dubbed the Nemean Lion.
Watching from afar, Hera had great faith in how this destruction would send a ripple effect against Zeus. However, little did she know, another figure was hidden deep in the shadows of Nemea, prying in on their collude. A lonesome Amazon warrior, Nilda, intervened in the action and attempted to slay the beast; however, her efforts proved dire after long periods. Despite recognizing its natural dispositions as a lion, Nilda deduced that its destructive act on Nemea was abnormal attainment. Her suspicions were confirmed when Hera arrived on the scene, watching her command the lion to destroy the shrine at the site.
Nilda grew sympathetic to the beast, pitying Hera's influence over him. She took the initiative by visiting the lion in Nemea whenever Hera was absent, attempting to tame him. It would be exhausting to the Amazonian woman, like beating a dead horse. However, her attempts to win the lion’s trust would eventually come to fruition when it was confronted by a dozen of warrior men to be decimated. The Lion witnessed Nilda’s unyielding drive to defend his honor, protesting that Hera was the true enemy. Together, they defeated the assembled men, marking the start of their affinity.
Months into their growing bond, Nilda was hammered with mixed emotions. She was relieved and delighted about her intimate relationship with the Nemean Lion, yet troubled and concerned about the reception of her Amazonian tribe, ashamed of what they would perceive her to be if they were to discover her affair. It did not help that she was also pregnant shortly after.
The Nemean Lion left a print on the turf of Nemea, so much that Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns, had enough of the charades. He commanded Heracles, son of Zeus by a different woman, with a set of tasks, and one of them was to defeat the beast. Nilda caught wind of the news and was paranoid about the feline monster. The Lion was dismissive of her constant pleas to flee Nemea, headstrong in counteracting whatever malicious threat stood unwelcomed on his newly claimed territory.
Refusing to risk putting her unborn child in harm’s way, she quickly abandoned the lion, returning to Themiscyra, her hometown. Upon her arrival, her sisters welcomed her with open arms after announcing that she was expecting. Her time spent back at Themiscyra was bittersweet, as after about a week had passed, gossip had spread that the Nemean Lion had finally met its end, slain by Nemea’s newfound hero Heracles. It was more gruesome to hear that he had skinned the lion, wearing its fur, claws, and head as a trophy.
Months had passed since the Nemean Lion’s death; Nilda was in labor. She gave birth to a boy, who she named to be Angel. He wasn’t a kitten; he was a humanoid baby. Despite this, it was easy to recognize the traits of his father, which often brought despair into the woman that the Nemean Lion was not present to share such a precious moment. Withholding the expectation to hand her child over to the Gargareans, she fought tooth and nail to raise him independently.
Unfortunately, Nilda could only do so much, as her efforts were in vain. She was struck with a compromise intended to leave both affairs content: she would raise Angel until ten and be forced to exile him to the Gargareans. If any rebellions were committed, the Amazons would be permitted to kill him.
That day would come. After many years of grooming Angel as best as she could, she would harshly cut all ties with him for his sake; instead of forcing him into the hands of the Gargareans, she wanted him to live a nonbelligerent life. As painful as it was for her, she ran him out of Themiscyra. By this time, the poor boy was without any parents.
Luckily, Angel had years of experience regarding survivability despite his young age. Nilda taught him how to fight and use his head when it mattered—enough to help him get by. Nilda taught him how to fight and use his head when it mattered. Accompanied by her love for him as a mother, she was confident he would be fine. After all, he had the blood of a warrior and a feral god. He would figure it out.
Angel slowly but surely adjusted, gaining new ground on his lonesome lifestyle. He started coming to his well-being as an individual with unique abilities. He was able to understand and communicate with animals. During his journey to seek a new purpose over the years, he eventually found himself stepping foot in the land of Spain. Waltzing into a civilized society was not something he envisioned. Despite appearing human like them, he stuck out like a sore thumb, unable to adhere to their rules and traditions. He was practically a caveman to them.
He needed clarification and clarification at the core of how weak they were and of low value compared to his people. Eventually, he was entangled with a young Spaniard woman named Sofia Sanchez. His conscience often reminded him of the taboo about sharing the same space with the opposite sex. However, once his body matured, his raging hormones refused to abide by it. Sofia was nothing like his mother, Nilda; hailing from an elitist family, Sofia was very arrogant and often had a superior personality. Despite Angel holding no penny to his name, his attractiveness held the ground for being known as the most dangerous man in Spain. He was also profoundly gravitated by his girlfriend’s hotblooded temper, the one similarity she had with his mother and the Amazonian tribe. Sofia’s family quickly took him in and taught him how to live in their country; unfortunately, their conceited habits would ultimately rub off on him, turning him into a spiteful and egotistic man.
The Outcast Saga
Years had passed as Angel had grown accustomed to the conventions of the European kingdom. The diametric couple married after Angel confirmed to himself that he would settle down to create a family of his own without the infidelities. After six months, Sofia was announced pregnant and would eventually give birth to a baby girl, as she and Angel would subsequently decide to name her Aaliyah. This was a glaring issue for the demigod. Angel wanted a boy, not just for the convenience of raising his kind but because he was aware of the cultural divide between men and women where he was from. Hell, he was banished from his home because of it.
That was not the only knot for the newlyweds. Aaliyah was born humanoid except for physical traits that mirrored a cat. She was with a tail spread with dark rosette spots all over her body. A never-ending buzz spread around the city, earning speculation from practically every resident in Spain.
Sofia was not fond of her newborn child; she resented what Aaliyah’s feline nature brought to the family. No longer the center of attention in the ways that she preferred, slowly but undoubtedly did she loathe her, brewing hatred for her baby’s lion traits. She was repulsed to refer to Aaliyah as her daughter. Angel often decided to steer away from his cub, intending not to attach himself.
Aaliyah was raised with very little care. Sofia wasn’t the compassionate, patient mother she needed her to be. And she was undoubtedly not daddy’s little girl. She was the outcast when dealing with her mother’s lineage. At family gatherings, she was always the oddball out, cast to the wayside while her cousins played among themselves - and what made it worse for the hybrid child was that her parents noticed but did not seem to care. She struggled to adjust to human society simply because she was different, just like her father, not only because of her appearance but also her unworldly gifted abilities. It's benefited, while it’s proved wrong at other times.
Her relationship with her parents grew toxic and abusive the older she got, and it eventually soured to the point where it was easier for Angel and Sofia to remove her from their home. Feeling like an orphan, Aaliyah spent most of her life by herself. She was bound to suffer the same fate as her father had when he hit puberty. And unlike him, she had a hard time acclimating to her environment. Bouncing around the city for shelter, she could not find any permanent security and decided Spain was no longer her home.
The daughter of Angel took it upon herself to flee Spain by any means necessary, sneaking on a transatlantic cruise in Barcelona that at times nearly got her caught. However, her lithe frame and stealthy nature helped ultimately keep her out of the naked eye the entire time. The exiling from her parents left an embittered taste in her mouth. Albeit anxious and afraid of what life would reimburse her, she pledged to mark her path and leave her legacy without her parents’ aid.
Eventually, she was boarded in the United States. Upon arrival, she was struck with culture shock. There was a jet-lagging feeling of disorientation as she was subjected to the unfamiliar ways of life in New York City. Being in the heart of Manhattan, she was exposed to fast-food restaurants, grocery markets, convenience stores, and thousands of civilians crowding the streets daily. Not to mention, what came with it was the high crime rate. Scrounging left-over foods and drinks from trashcans and barrels, she managed to sustain herself until it hurt to rely on foods already partially consumed by strangers. Despite her remarkable potential as a prodigy, she was still a child. And as if matters could not be worse, her powers had not honestly woken. Aaliyah was petrified and sometimes rued her decision to leave her home country.
She took it upon herself to commit theft out of desperation, longing for a fresh hot meal. Unfortunately, her plan went south after realizing her heart wasn’t pulling such a crime. However, within that moment, she learned that she was different from the humans from an aesthetic standpoint and abilities when she accidentally set the woman she originally intended to steal food from on fire.
She was astronomically remorseful of the act. She attempted to extinguish the fire but was horrified when the efforts only seemed to add more fuel. Before she knew it, she was on the run from the authorities. This would soon turn out to be a regular cycle for her. Sometimes, a long heartfelt cry was needed before pulling herself back together to keep moving forward. It didn’t help to observe children and teenagers her age enduring everyday, carefree lives. It enabled a bottle of anger and despair to build within the young adolescent feline. She often asked herself why she was born with such dispositions and so different from the average person. All she wanted was to feel like she belonged.
Halfway into the year, she found herself in Millennium City: a city that stunned her to the core from beholding the home to superpowered beings that ranged from mutants, aliens, demons, vampires, angels, and even other anthropomorphic individuals just like her. Despite her intrigue and astonishment, she quickly learned that the city was a torturous nightmare. Without her parents’ supervision, she often found herself in troublesome events that nearly cost her life. Crime activities occupied almost every street she visited, corner, and alley.
One day, she encountered a robbery that saw a group of New Purple Gang thugs antagonizing an innocent man for his wallet. It did not help that she overheard the cries and revelations that he was related to another prominent figure they had bad blood with. Feeling pity for the man in distress, she took it upon herself to try to rescue him. Envisioning the fire that she inadvertently manifested against the poor woman prior, she had it in her best interests to channel that same energy, justifiably so, to the New Purple Gang. However, she was betrayed by her ability. The most that came from her hands were embers.
Two of the Hired Muscle quickly dispatched her, giving her a thrashing she never knew was possible. And in doing so, the man she attempted to rescue took the opportunity to flee from the scene, leaving her to suffer against the new Purple Gang. After they were suddenly taken down, Aaliyah was immediately drawn to what she envisioned to be her shining knight in armor. She was overwhelmed and frustrated, unable to understand why her fire powers weren’t coming to life. She was saved by a West Side native when she least expected it. Her savior was another Latino man, resembling much more maturely than her. He went by the name Rey Valiente in costume but was personally known as Richard Alvarez. Valiente gave the thugs a taste of their medicine entering the crime scene.
She believed he was her ticket to safety, mainly when there was no venom in his eyes after he laid eyes on her. It felt like she had finally met the one person who would treat her with respect and compassion. Unfortunately, her age was showing. Being the young-minded peppy girl she was, she was gullible to believe whatever Valiente told her. Learning that she was without her parents, he took her under his wing with haste. Little did she know, he had his agenda planned. Their friendship blossomed peaches and cream as she grew to admire him for what he seemingly stood for from her lenses.
Behind the scenes, Rey Valiente was just a mask. A veil to his authenticity. However, he was patient in winning Aaliyah’s trust for now. And that he did. But unfortunately for the adolescent woman, this was the beginning of the end. He was a hero to the public eye of Millennium City and a drug-dealing Kingpin from the unseen. Not to mention, he was a feared man.
Slowly but surely, Valiente would expose his true colors. Aaliyah was keen enough to notice his occasional mood swings and how his anger would get the best of him enough to destroy his furniture. It was not until one day, Aaliyah caught him and his subordinates mercilessly thrashing his close comrade to the near-death that the sight traumatized her. It shook her perspective of Richard so much that it terrified her to imagine they would continue sharing the same space.
After confronting the man for his immoral act, a harsh slap across the face rudely awakened Aaliyah, and from there, things were never the same between the two. Richard brainwashed her, using his dark wits to blind her from the truth while marking her as his servant. She was still so young to believe this was the beautiful complication of what love was. After all, this was what her parents introduced her to. She knew nothing else.
Over time, Aaliyah was brought down to reality and understood that this was not the lifestyle she wanted to live. Richard frequently assigned her unlawful duties involving drugs, gambling, and theft. In the rare cases in which mistakes were made not measuring up to his expectations, he often punished her for it, adding to her already existing mental and emotional trauma. Unbeknownst to them, there was another lifeform surfacing within the feline. An inner beast on the horizon that would soon make itself known.
Aaliyah had episodes of dysfunction, plagued by sickness due to her gradual changes. At only 157 centimeters when she was sixteen, aging empowered her genetic makeup from her father’s lineage to mature rapidly. In 2012, she experienced a substantial growth spurt, increasing to 190 centimeters and passing Richard in height by very few inches. Her tail extended, her fingers grew claws, and her canine teeth resembled a lion’s.
Despite perpetually esteeming the feared man with respect and gratitude, Richard withheld a lot of disdain for the flourishing teen. So much that he did anything to make sure she felt beneath the dirt, asserting forced dominance to remind her who was the head in charge. However, one day it all came to an end when Aaliyah finally convinced herself that enough was enough. Amid a violent episode he bestowed on her, the intense waves of her inner primal rage reached the surface of no return. The tables flipped as she unleashed a jaw-dropping transformation into a vastly powerful, tanner-skinned humanoid monster. She was quite literally a savage lion on the loose, and no more was the polite, innocent girl.
Richard was horrified by the bestial alteration. Her fire abilities returned to life in full throttle, and no matter what he threw at her, it seemed as though she were a sponge, absorbing all his defending attacks. The raging lion from within her took all command at that moment, inserting itself into the driver’s seat. Aaliyah pulverized Richard within an inch of his life, tearing him to shreds and leaving him under a pool of his blood. She was readily prepared to end him but was ultimately revoked by her conscience attacking her mind. That alone drove her more over the edge, causing her to rupture a destructive escape and scram.
Two years since that unbearable incident, Aaliyah was no longer the loving, sweet, timid girl. She was a dark, ruthless young woman with a personal vendetta against the world. Not even Richard could fluster her anymore; those days were long gone. She began calling her shots. She was much more accustomed to Michigan and needed no one’s hand for guidance. Aaliyah embodied the cruel nature of Millennium City, using it to her advantage to hunt thugs and delinquents at night just because she could. The tradition was an emotional outlet for her. While primitively setting her eyes on miscreants and villains, she grew extraordinarily pessimistic and suspicious toward the world, which often even invoked her mistrust for heroes.
Aaliyah upon entry of adulthood.
Aaliyah often set time aside for herself, fully accepting the reality that she was a woman with cat-like adaptations and fire control. She would lock herself in training facilities to sharpen her endowments. It was no walk in the park for her; she struggled immensely to hone her powers. She often strained her body to lose consciousness and even fractured some limbs.
There was only so much failure she could endure because her invested efforts would eventually pay off. Ultimately, she progressed to be a well-versed fighter. Save for battles when her inexperience would be costly, she compensated by learning from her mistakes, bouncing back each time. She made it her goal to deprive those in the world who displayed even a slight rationale for evildoing and even the innocents of questionable morals. She believed to be doing the city a favor.
Little did she realize, she stayed true to becoming the victim of her tragedies. Richard’s deceitful nature rubbed off on her while picking up more social cues for her benefit when deemed necessary.
Her fighting capacity would soon be put to the test. She was encountered by an unknown woman who vowed to have her head as a trophy, later revealing herself to be known as Aphine. Perplexed by her newfound enemy’s apparent loathing, Aaliyah was given no choice but to fight back as Aphine relentlessly attacked her without pause. They exchanged powerful blows, burning and destroying parts of Westside, injuring many innocent bystanders during the affray, while some were even killed.
During a brief respite, the feline woman registered what appeared to be the head of a lion on Aphine’s shoulder. Breaking the fold, Aphine went on an epic rant, revealing her connection to the man that slew the Nemean Lion, who Aaliyah knew to be her grandfather. The redheaded demigod was the daughter of Telephus and granddaughter of Heracles. Humiliated and discomposed, Aaliyah went into a blinding rage, assailing Aphine to turning history against her. However, her labors proved moot as she was left vulnerable, allowing Aphine to get the better of her in the end.
Aaliyah was no match for her and eventually succumbed to defeat. However, instead of delivering the final blow, Aphine proposed an opportunity for the lioness to redeem herself. Knowing that Heracles ended his bout with the Nemean Lion in a single encounter, Aphine chose to have fun with her foe. Eager to show off her power, she permitted Aaliyah time to prepare herself until she would return and finish the job. To make things more interesting, Aphine refused to disclose when that moment would come. She suggested it could be the next day, the following week, or even five years.
The feline demigoddess then spent two days standing on the rooftop of a skyscraper, reflecting on her humble defeat. She determined that her current power merely scratched the surface regarding maximizing her potential and swore to be prepared when Aphine returned. Training herself once more, she grew with greater strength and took the initiative to pick fights with more challenging adversaries to groom for her Greek foe.
Days, weeks, and even months would pass; there were no signs of Aphine. While Aaliyah kept herself on high alert, she wasn’t afraid to meet the woman again. And she figured that in the possible scenario that Aphine still is more powerful than her, that didn’t mean she was exempt from winning. Despite this, she was curious about her roots—after all, she was left in the dark of knowledge. Her parents, especially Angel, refused to educate her about her bloodline. But for now, she would remain hidden in the shadows and continue her path to excellence.
A year later, she would become more adept at utilizing her accommodations. Within that time, she was condoned her first taste at somewhat of a peaceful life, visiting Club Caprice occasionally for the social aspect. She often spent quality time observing heroes and how they behaved in public settings, sometimes considering who she could prey on when given a chance, based on body language, actions, gestures, etc. Despite this, she crossed paths with a few individuals that left a nominally lasting impression on her. Throughout her trips to the renowned club, she cultivated an acquaintance with Michael Charger, who was heavily well known in the halls. His electrifying charisma enabled decent conversations between the two, making it easy for the feline woman to tolerate him.
She also spared some idle time at the infamous pub known as Sherrera’s. And one day, she spotted a lonesome young man who, in her eyes, appeared skinny and frail, with bright cyan eyes and a youthful face—occupied with a gooey blob of a lifeform on the counter in front of him. Singling him out with the help of her predatory urges, she decided that he would be her next victim. However, unlike the other violent affairs she bestowed on the miscreants in Millennium City, she opted to take things much slower so that she could enjoy his suffering. Waiting patiently for an appropriate approach, she presented herself when the pub was clear of any other individual except him. He introduced himself as Alexander, otherwise known as the street-fighting hero Anomaly. The blob was confirmed to be a biological symbiotic sentient alien lifeform named Karu. Like her fair introduction with Michael, it was another cordial acquaintance between her, Alexander, and Karu. But she continued to plot.
Aaliyah even met a peppy-spirited hell beast named Urusutki during a crimefighting scene. Their first encounter commanded that they take down a group of New Purple Gang thugs together. Aaliyah’s ruthless behavior toward the crooks triggered a tense affair between her and Urusutki as they refused to see eye to eye.
Angry instances would not stop there; within the next few weeks, a Sherrera’s Bar fight erupted as an antagonistic Munitions expert known as the Delinquent walked in with dual pistols, holding no regard for humanity and voluntarily firing around the room for verification that her weapons served its purpose. After issuing a placid warning to the armed woman, the situation escalated rapidly as Delinquent aimed her guns at Aaliyah, shooting at her nonstop. It ended as quickly as it started; the lioness made quick work of her. Sparked by her reaping animosity, Aaliyah eventually had the woman by the throat, prepared to kill her, when two other figures stepped in to break them apart: Shadowstalker and Dawnchaser. They succeeded in detaching the angry women through combined teamwork. Delinquent was severely beaten; however, she found the strength to seize an opportunity to make a hasty escape using her advanced technology.
Shadowstalker heavily disapproved of Aaliyah’s unnecessary aggression, and she didn’t care. It was constant head-butting between the two, and they never saw eye to eye. Aaliyah learned to stand her ground and never once folded to what he or anyone often suggested to be the best courses of action.
She constantly opposed anyone who wasn’t of the same mindset as her, except Anomaly. For two months since their first encounter, he had attempted to court her. Originally intending to kill him, she found herself slowly reconsidering her verdict for the simple fact that he was incredibly kind to her. He was the first person she met who showed her genuine sympathy or compassion. Aaliyah’s bar for humanity was already low, but Alexander wanted to give her a chance, unlike anyone she interacted with. After a long period of being in denial, she eventually realized that she had grown to care for him as a friend and as a lover.
Months into their formal relationship, Aaliyah was introduced to his clique of companions. It was a bittersweet packaged deal because she also learned that Anomaly had bounty hunters, assassins, aliens, and other superpowered villains stalking him every day, aspiring to kill him on behalf of his deceased father. Despite feeling naturally inclined to aid her partner in his battles, it dawned on her that this would mark the first time she intended to work alongside a hero.
Lured into Vibora Bay, they were confronted by one of Anomaly’s sworn enemies, Nobody. The antagonist miscalculated as he initially assumed he would deal with only Alexander and Karu by tradition; however, he was outclassed by the new addition of the demigod by their side. Together, they defeated him despite their clumsy teamwork, being able to overcome their brief struggles. And from there, that was all she wrote.
Lionheart, Anomaly and Karu alongside one another in the heat of battle.
The couple’s personalities often clashed when determining the outcome for the villains they fought, but Aaliyah grew comfortable sharing the battlefield with Anomaly and Karu over time. They were able to build an identity as a trio. Within this timeframe, Aaliyah was introduced to a UNTIL agent, otherwise, Anomaly’s longtime trusted outlet named Kitata. During the little bit of time they shared on the field, Aaliyah and Kitata developed mutual respect. Setting some time aside to reflect on the present structuring of her life, she resolved to come up with an alias of her own. Reasons included preferring a relatively quiet life with no paparazzi hounding her every move. Considering her roots, coming to grips that her grandfather—the Nemean Lion—was predominantly the source of her existence, that same day, she communicated to her boyfriend that her name on the battlefield going forward would be Lionheart.
Some of Anomaly’s arch enemies would not be heard from again, as they adopted a fear of Aaliyah’s ruthless nature. Later down the line, the distinctive couple encountered the bolder vengeful foes. Their battles consisted of enemies named Eelthon, Umbra, and Wyvern. Rare occasions called for Aaliyah to reluctantly band together with some of her partner’s friends and allies against a more reckoned foe named Smitherson.
The cycle of having to clash against foes was ongoing for an entire year, and it seemed as though after they defeated Eelthon, things would start to simmer down. Little was Aaliyah aware; this was only the beginning of the real troublesome matters.
One year later, Aaliyah was summoned to the GATEWAY station, where she would meet up with Anomaly and Agent Kitata. There, they were confronted by Anthony, who revealed himself to be the alleged son of Alex and Aaliyah from a future timeline. He warned them that an alliance of three would surface: Dieotus, Husk, and Andrew. They would succeed in transforming the Earth into an apocalypse and murder everyone that opposed their plan. Anthony revealed that Anomaly and his rival Fang, from his timeline, put up a brave fight against the trio but were ultimately killed. Anthony also mentions that Aaliyah was one of the sole survivors in his world, along with Fusion Spark, Janet, and Fundamental; however, she could not bring herself to fight back against the foes. Struggling to cope with the loss of Anomaly eventually killed her willpower to carry on, obscuring herself from society and never stepping foot out in the public eye again. At the same time, the remaining heroes continued to rally against Dieotus, Husk, and Andrew. And they all fell.
Following Anthony’s doomsday premonitions, Aaliyah dedicated full days’ worth of training, refusing to allow history to repeat itself. It was a window of emotions at an all-time high, as she also struggled to process that she had a son. While the urgent matters had been pressed, she set aside a couple of days each week to spend with Anthony, learning about him and his dark reality. It was a bittersweet emprise as they prepared the forthcoming trio.
Months would pass by, and eventually, the day came when her son’s predictions came to light. However, Anthony’s visit would somehow alter the manifestation of the trio being brought together because only Andrew loomed as the earth’s deadly force. It was unknown why. Despite the number of anticipated enemies being reduced to just one, there were a series of epic battles. Her son speculated that the terrifying conqueror was much more potent in this timeline than the one he hailed from. The resolve became clear that despite Dieotus and Husk being out of the picture, it still required an entire team to stop just him alone.
Towards the climax, she and the others assembled to pursue Andrew. They were transported from the United States to the Middle East, where Andrew held his base of operations. Upon arrival, the group was confronted by dwarfed and behemoth-like monsters on their way to the boss. To everyone’s surprise, Anthony unveiled the truth by literally stabbing Anomaly in the back when his guard was down, raving that the narrative regarding the apocalyptic future was a mere façade. It was a ploy to gather Anomaly and Lionheart’s DNA for his revenge. Andrew used the appearance of a young man with lion traits who could manipulate kinetic energy, counterfeiting his identity as Anthony Michaels. Lionheart was betrayed and irate.
Andrew’s base was blown to bits as the group defeated him. While peace had been restored, Lionheart was still sore over the deception. She was angry that she allowed herself to fall into that trap, trustful that there was a future in which she and Anomaly settled down with a child. And in turn, her pessimistic views put a mild strain on their relationship.
The aftermath proved to be complex as Aaliyah slowly but indeed started to rescind back to her old ways, handling her enemies like they were rabid. Mach Incorporated kept a close eye on the feline woman; they were praiseful of her predispositions when facing adversaries despite her cold nature. Shortly after, they offered her a bodyguard position on Alexander's behalf. She was quick to accept – taking full advantage of the fact that the public did not know that Alexander and Anomaly were the same people, and in doing so, she would act accordingly.
Starting her official occupation drew the attention of many individuals within and outside of the company. The rate of onslaughts against the building diminished to a staggering rarity. Communications spread that Lionheart being heavily involved in the safety of Alexander guaranteed a world of pain for the antagonists that wanted him dead. Albeit, there were times when she displayed her inexperience in professionalism. The superior administrators and executives were sure that such a flaw could be perfected; after all, they were faithful that she was at least powerful enough to keep the company safe from harm. She continued to ramp up and gain expertise in her craft, often finding ways not to use her powers to resolve chaotic events.
In March of 2018, Alexander proposed to Aaliyah, and she willingly accepted. They married in 2020, and their bond continued to blossom despite some tribulations that got in the way of their relationship.
Inner Beast Saga
The lioness assumed such would mark her life to start and end happily ever after; little did she know it would brew much emotional baggage. While she had grown to forge an even stronger connection with Alex during the wake of their marriage, she later realized her ties with her friends were beginning to branch out. Setting aside her pride, she occasionally took to the city to cast around for them; however, she would find that they were all busy. She understood that, like herself, everyone else has lives to live. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but feel bitter, believing that her handful of friends no longer wanted to keep in touch.
Aaliyah in her Nemean Rage form, fresh off a lethal carnage against a Super Grizzly Bear from Monster Island.
It all started with Urusutki, as she informed Aaliyah that she’d be departing Millennium City, retiring from the superhero gig to settle down with her girlfriend, Lely. The lioness felt bittersweet; while she was glad for her friend, she didn’t like that their ties would be clipped. Refusing to come off as selfish, she kept silent on the matter and wished them the best.
One day she stumbled upon Michael Charger in Club Caprice, who was having a friendly exchange with an estranged hero named Guardsman. When they were all following up on their recent events, things took a drastic turn for the worse when Guardsman reported one of his failed tasks from earlier in the day. He was entrusted to rescue a lost little girl in the dark streets of Vibora Bay; unfortunately, he was traumatized after being seconds too late and succumbed as a bear witness to her being eaten alive by a Dogz. This was one of the unlikely events in which Aaliyah conversed with a transient she didn’t know, but only because she was inclined to catch up with her friend.
Instantly, the mood in the air was depleted. Guardsman and Michael were lamenting and mourning the loss, paying their respects to the victim. Feeling rather detached about the horrific news, Aaliyah gave her callous input that the situation was no different from a grown-adult wolf hunting a kitten.
Repulsed by her belief, Guardsman removed himself from the conversation, insulting her for being a f*cked-up manimal. Michael agreed, uttering that the instance was about what was right and wrong, that Lycans are sentient beings like humans are. Aaliyah stood up against his argument, stating that, in any case, anthropomorphic creatures, including herself, are only what they’re intended to be. She argued that the child should not have been unsupervised because Vibora Bay is known to reside with werewolves, vampires, and even Nephilim; the child was bound to become prey, just like every other animal and human has been a victim of. She even pointed out that baby animals are killed and eaten every day, with no one expressing heartbreak – to her point about the missing child, why should she care?
The two bickered and yelled at one another in the Lounge of Caprice, attracting several pairs of eyes onto them. It ended with the lioness putting a hard stop on the topic and abruptly exiting. There had been no resolve, and Aaliyah knew it would be difficult to patch things up with him. The argument left a sour taste in her mouth; she had grown more contemptuous since then, realizing that not even her closest companion could be trusted.
She struggled to bring those internal conflicts into her home, inadvertently drawing a rift between herself and Alex. Little did she know, this founding stress was impacting the beast within. Her reserved demeanor was often cut short, replaced by snappy quips. When she believed things couldn’t get any worse, she was wrong.
Her explosive rage was finally unleashed after being deliberately cast aside by whom she thought to be her sister-like confidant, Phiona. She was incensed at how dispensable Phi perceived her, and it was at that moment, her parents began to resurface into her mind. Hearing the haunting judgments echoing, it was only a matter of time. The demons in her head eventually caused her to detonate an emotional breakdown. Her Nemean Rage form surfaced, taking the wheel of her body. Losing all sense of who she was, she went on a brutal rampage worldwide, destroying everything in her path. Thankfully, she carried the attention span of a squirrel, unable to focus on the city for too long before the outskirts and beyond stole her focus.
Bouncing to different continents, laying her cataclysmic mark on each, she pounced lastly onto Monster Island in Japan, prepared to repeat history. She managed to gain the immersion of all its residing inhabitants. Most manimals and other brutish savages were intimidated to stand up to her and fled the scenes when the opportunity came knocking at their doors. The international criminal and terrorist organization VIPER caught on, joining the affray, hoping to subdue her. Unfortunately, the buildup of foes swarming her only resulted in her chaotic frenzy to double down, exploding into a wrecking ball of power.
Aaliyah's Inner Beast attacking Anomaly.
Amid killing, a monstrous Grizzly Bear about twice her size charged in and attempted to take her down. However, the involvement was highly short-lived as Lionheart picked it apart limb from limb, rupturing the mid-section and delivering the masterful killing blow that consisted of the traditional cat-like takedown: crushing her fangs into the throat for suffocation.
Anomaly arrived on the scene shortly after, horrified by the disaster surrounding him. He sought after the raging Lionheart, eventually finding her feast away at the Grizzly Bear’s corpse. When he made his presence known, she spotted him and quickly disregarded her meal, marking Alex as her next prey. She attacked him head-on, and while he tried to avoid her, he struggled to maintain her consistency. There came a point where she snatched him out of the air and tackled him to the ground, pinning him from on top with a readied swipe to rip his face off. However, after a desperate cry for her to snap out of it, the beast gathered her senses and realized she was seconds away from killing her husband. Succumbing to a pit of despair, she reverted to her standard humanoid form, concluding that the influence of her inner lion’s rabid emotions helped manifest the warpath she created.
It terrified her that she remembered everything that had occurred and had no authority over her body. She lacked knowledge of how this came to be; for days, weeks, and even months, she was often up all day and night trying to find the answers. She knew that if there were ever a shred of a second that she viewed her own loved one as an enemy, there needed to be a resolve with her underlying rage and fast. Rather than engage in physical training like she often did, her priorities changed; she negotiated with herself to learn the ways of meditation. Every endeavor was dreary due to the unfortunate obstacle that was her inner monster clawing at her surface, wanting to rip itself out. Having a severely lacking grip on her thoughts, she came to the daunting reality that there had been another entity inside of her, fighting for control of her body.
Aaliyah was not fond of that notion. Immediately, she was drawn to reflect on her parents, concerned that she was absentminded about her lineage. It dawned on her that neither of her parents spoke the truth about her history. Shortly after, she went further down memory lane, thinking about the juicy gossip received by Aphine during their battle years ago about her ties to the Nemean Lion. She understood he was her grandfather, but that was the extent of her knowledge. Nearly tipping the iceberg with her emotions once more, she angrily elected to head back to Spain one day to hunt her family down and demand answers.
Continuing her life as a newly wedded wife, Lionheart decided a makeover was in order. She contrived to reach higher levels of strength and power. An extended period was spent improving her knacks, and Lionheart’s true genetic potential was unleashed. While already freakishly gifted, her supernatural abilities exceeded even further than before. She grew in height and size, eventually standing at 220 centimeters while putting on extra muscle and body fat. And with that, her strength and durability multiplied exponentially.
The start of a new chapter would mean new beginnings and, unfortunately, new enemies. A year into her marriage, West Side was bombarded with destruction one night. Curiosity almost killed the Cat as Aaliyah decided to investigate the source of the issue. She managed to reach the docks and was overwhelmed with a bombshell when she saw that the figure responsible for the massacre was Michael Charger. Although he sure looked the part, her judgment ultimately suspected something was wrong. His skin was dark gray, his eyes were purple, and worst of it all: his head had a pair of demonic horns sticking out from it. He had no shame in destroying the gang members onsite, creating massive bloodbaths, and stockpiling corpses next to him as trophies. Not that she cared, she believed the act served them right.
When Lionheart confronted Michael, he was very aware of the happenings. They engaged in a heated back and forth discussion, with Aaliyah hollering at him to snap out of it and return to his senses. Further into their dialogue, Michael revealed the significance and intentions behind the newly emerged demonic alteration in him. The Michael she knew was long gone; his body was claimed by the Qliphothic energies that led to his soul being ruptured. It was replaced by the manifestation that crowned its aspirations into obtaining the title of King of Edom and showing the world a bleak future reigned by him. He was very ill-willed, antagonizing Lionheart to attack him for the sake of further destruction of the world. Eventually, he grew impatient and chose to flaunt his power, taking her by surprise in the form of a simple palm rush slamming into her stomach. Aaliyah struggled to breathe from the attack as she was sent flying into one of the warehouses nearby. The blow knocked the wind out of her to the point that she lost consciousness.
Aaliyah and Michael (Spirit) desperately blasting a powerful combined Hishouken at Edom.
Upon her awakening hours later, she was unsettled. She was deeply troubled over the alleged murder of her close confidant—however, at the same time, she had a tiny shred of hope that he was still alive in some way, shape, or form. Aaliyah spent days—even a week endeavoring a sighting of Charger for any clues or hints he might have left behind, but to no avail. She was selfish to take the law into her own hands, unwilling to receive assistance from anyone in hunting down Michael’s killer. However, she knew that in the current state that she was in, history had a possibility of repeating itself. She knew this foe was more robust, faster… and tainted. However, that didn’t plant any dent of fear into the lioness; she was stubbornly determined to put an end to him at all costs.
After an extensive period of vicious training, she caught wind of another explosion rooted in City Center. Her keen sense of smell discerned Edom thanks to his Qliphothic force. Gathering her Spartan armor, she quickly took off in pursuit of him. Edom was elated to see her when she arrived, as his army of horrors surrounded him. It dreaded her to see him holding the crown that he sought after. He was seconds from traveling back into the Qliphothic Realm when he fell victim to Lionheart’s taunts. Threatening to be killed was what fed into his thirst for battle. Disregarding the crown and his company of loyal Qliphothic subordinates, he accepted Aaliyah’s one on one challenge for a fight to the death.
Moments following their initial clash, a time stoppage had both fighters frozen. Aaliyah surprisingly heard a voice coming from behind her: her friend, Michael. He was depicted as her moral support, desperately encouraging her not to hold back and defeat him in the way only she knows how. She was bewildered and had difficulty focusing on the fight after hearing his voice, but soon kipped back into action and used her friend’s spiritual presence as even more motivation to win. But even with the power she contained, it was not enough to prevail. Michael’s spirit donated the remainder of his ability to Aaliyah, and with their combined strength, she was an unstoppable force.
Lionheart turned the tide on Edom and dominated him unceremoniously. The battle’s climax consisted of Aaliyah and Michael joining forces and simultaneously charging a combined Hishouken—an energy ball of life force multiplied by their signature energies, honed and mastered originally by Michael’s teacher, James Brawler. Together, they launched it and decomposed Edom, moldering him into dust.
Nephilim Hunter Saga
Immediately after the triumphant victory over Edom, Michael’s soul disappeared, promising Aaliyah that he would return to the world of living in due time. Their friendship was resuscitated without strain the moment she risked her life to avenge what she initially believed to be his demise. Even though she had bitter contempt towards him from their fallout in Club Caprice, she knew he was still her friend in the grand scheme.
As expected, Michael returned six months later, revealing that he had a mandatory ethereal quest required to gain access back to the human plane. It was a surreal period for Aaliyah as she realized how preciously fragile life was. She was hungover and fearful of the harsh reality that her most significant companions could pass away at any point, and there’d be nothing she could do to bring them back. Worse still, she dreaded it would be her time to go before any of them. How could she protect such a feeble existence?
Guilt covered the lioness in more ways than she could express. She was remorseful, quick to account that his doom by Edom was her fault, drawing to the conclusion that if she were more communicative during the time they hadn’t spoken, she might have been able to help prevent his soul from being robbed. Those thoughts alone revived another burst of vanity to protect the ones she cared about.
From then onward, Aaliyah drowned herself in physical activity; every day for the next five months, she trained harder than she ever did, coming up with new regimes to push the limits of her body and trying to align herself with the Inner Beast better. Every so often, she and Alexander would engage in sparring matches at Mach Incorporated’s workout facility; she was hellbent on keeping him on his toes.
Eventually, after several months, she stumbled into a couple of friendly faces in Sherrera’s Bar: Captain Fisticuffs and Lightforge. Along with the broad company, she managed to catch up with them. What she anticipated to be a cordial reunion turned into a room of chaos; while conversing with Lightforge, the pub broke out a merciless brawl initiated by Mathan, an estranged ursanthrope of a man. Fisticuffs was the first to try disarming the trouble but was ultimately bitten.
Lionheart was disinterested in the tension, and considering it had nothing to do with her, she decided to remain isolated in the corner, where she was content with observing the fight. Amid it, Mathan transformed into a Bear—throwing everyone in the room off guard. Aaliyah did not notice that when Fisticuffs went to headbutt him, he scraped his forehead against the bear’s teeth. Concern never surfaced for her because he prevailed over Mathan in the end.
From that instance, in the future, she found herself within Gwen and Jaedrick’s company more frequently than she anticipated. In the follow-up event involving the rebirth of the Bloodmoon, at a park in City Center, she and Gwen were stunned by the sudden metamorphosis that took over Captain Fisticuffs, as they were subjected to watching him transform into a werebear himself, petrifying his pet dog Adamas. Aaliyah’s feral instincts flickered like a light switch, and she snarled her demands for Lightforge to grab the dog and take him to safety.
Bracing a scrap with her grizzly-turned-ally, she managed to end it as quickly as it started. She charged a giant ball of fire and launched it at Jaedrick after he lunged at her. After the attack rendered him disabled with the flames spreading over his face and shoulders, Aaliyah snatched him by the fur of his neck, dragging him across the field toward the nearby lake in the park, intending to toss him in so he could douse off the burns. However, her plan was interrupted shortly when Lightforge grabbed her shoulder and ported them to Fisticuffs’ abode, where he eventually regressed to his human form. Aaliyah made sure to fill him in on his conventions.
One day, after spending another evening in Sherrera’s, Gwendolyn invited Aaliyah for a friendly outing to a nearby diner called Sibby’s. They imagined it a peaceful night; however, it quickly turned into chaos. While at the pub, just before their orders had arrived, a loud crash was heard directly outside. The restaurant panicked as Captain Fisticuffs barged in through the entrance shouting for Lightforge, scorning her for lingering so carelessly in public. After hearing him articulate that Gwen’s safety was at risk, Aaliyah was confused, understanding that she was well-kept out of the loop but didn’t bother butting in as she felt it wasn’t her business.
As Lionheart announced her departure from the scenery, the dynamic duo stopped her to explain that a giant armored-clad Knight had recently surfaced in the city in reckless pursuit of Lightforge. He was already intercepted by Fisticuffs, which became a calamitous fight.
Amid Gwendolyn’s rant, the trio was disrupted by a far-flung blast that destroyed many buildings, exploding far south from where they stood. The sight alone was enough to incline Aaliyah to join her allies for battle. After they quickly put two and two together, realizing the huntsman was back at it, they launched off from the diner and raced to the war zone.
Better late than never. Lionheart was the last to arrive at the disastrous battleground, dubbing her entrance with a destructive blow that saved Fisticuffs from the other antagonizing Knight who called himself the Iron Hand. She found it was a handicap 3v2 fight; she, Fisticuffs, and Gwen were trying to fend off Iron Hand and his partner Valoria.
During the explosive fight, Aaliyah performed one of her signature attacks, launching the Sol Furiosa Fuega at Iron Hand. The entire battle came to a standstill; the others paused from their violent exchanges to stare at the shocking turnaround of the divine Huntsman dropping his sword and catching the massive fireball in his arms. Lionheart was stumped for words, bear witnessing him absorb her elemental energy, producing more heat into his body until there were none left, boosted with double the power. She was a victim of her power as Iron Hand turned the tide afterward. She struggled to find the solution to defeat him as he continued using her elemental prowess against her.
After being knocked out of commission for a while, she eventually came to her senses and saw that Iron Hand was disoriented from the sonic ringing that deafened him in contribution from Lightforge’s glaive. Quickly, she tackled the opportunity that was her enemy and seized his head in a vice grip with both hands, attempting to crush his skull. Before she could apply all the pressure desired, a portal was summoned by Valoria. Recognizing that they were on the losing end, Iron Hand and Valoria made for a grand escape, fleeing back into their dimension.
Aaliyah was conflicted. Over two weeks straight, she was stubborn to keep a lookout for the two Nephilim Hunters. She realized it was just as much her responsibility to fight the antagonists off as Captain Fisticuffs’. Albeit their reasons were on the opposite ends of the spectrum, they aligned to make sure they had the common ground ambition to keep the city safe. Gwendolyn was not her priority; her home was.
Her suspicions would surely lead to another tense night in the making; while on a lone vigilante spree, she heard another explosion while dismantling a Red Cult Banner thug. Quickly taking off to investigate, she found Iron Hand again, who was watching a small part of Westside rot to ashes.
With neither Lightforge nor Captain Fisticuffs by her side this time, that did nothing to refrain the lioness from engaging, as she was eager to fight him head-to-head. Aaliyah and Iron Hand clashed, destroying more Westside as they were nonstop at each other’s throats. She kept her dilemma in mind, resorting to close-quarter hand-to-hand combat. The last thing she needed was for him to gain more power by her own doing.
Unfortunately, after a grueling 3-hour exchange, the Iron Hand gained the upper hand, adjusting the fight better than she had. Aaliyah’s body was breaking down with each crushing blow, the only rigorous feature alive being her pride. Despite the blood and sweat shed from her torn attire and skin, her confidence was the only obstacle to knocking her to her knees. But eventually, after suffering a fatal earth-rattling strike straight to the head from his sword's hilt, she surmounted defeat.
As Iron Hand prepared to deliver the killing blow, a feral howl sounded in the distance. Shadowstalker intervened in the form of a werewolf, positioning himself between the two, snarling at the Knight to retreat lest he be in the mood for another skirmish. Iron Hand took a lengthy assessment, evaluating his options before deciding against battling the lioness’ companion and clearing out from the scene.
Aaliyah spent the next month recovering from her injuries, bitter from the nasty loss she received from the divine Knight. It was not fear that held her back, but the reality set in that she was not nearly as powerful as she thought. Around this period, she mainly had spent alone time at the fancy Penthouse she shared with her husband Anomaly, as he had been on mandated business trips as the CEO of Mach Inc. And, no surprise, he would take Karu with him. She knew this feud with the divine warriors was more than just abducting Lightforge now; it was a stand for dominance.
Not quite healed from her previous lone battle against Iron Hand, she was soon pursued by Lightforge once more and asked to help defeat the two divine hunters who were sighted Downtown. Aaliyah was hobbling but did not hesitate for a second, gathering her gear and rushing to help end their madness.