Gateway City

Fire in the Belly

It was a pleasant day in early spring, and Emerald Park was filled with people enjoying it. One man, though, seemed to be more troubled than enjoying. He had a bottle of alcohol in one hand, and was scratching at himself with the other. It was when he rolled up his sleeves (revealing reddish blotches) that someone decided to step in and help.

The someone was a man clad in layers of unrecognizable, bulky rags. He grabbed the man and restrained him, trying to find out what was bothering the man. It became apparent that the man (clad in disarrayed business shirt and slacks) was craving some sort of stimulus, and resisted anything that would prevent him from getting it. Seeing this, the homeless man charged him with some strange blue energy, which made him go wild.

Both Doug Katt and Max Berretti were attracted by this strange scene, the more so when the blue light erupted. Changing into their costumes, they arrived in time to witness the homeless man release the suffering one, who was clearly out of control. Cabbie subdued the man with an electro-net, and then encouraged the others to climb aboard his flying cab so that they could take the man to the hospital.

An incredibly rapid (and somewhat harrowing) trip later, the cab pulled up at the doors to St. Jude’s emergency room. The heroes plunged inside, demanding to see Dr. Lazarus. Luckily, Dr. Sheridan was still onsite, and she took the heroes (and the hapless man) to an examination room.

The good doctor was able to determine that the man was contagious (though the heroes had managed to fight off the infection), and stabilize the man. She seemed dubious in her ability to cure him, however, and sent the heroes off to locate the epicentre of this epidemic. Reflex searched the man’s wallet, and found out that he was Stanley Lawson, a broker at Brucker & Hillson. As the heroes left to follow this lead, they heard Dr. Sheridan being summoned once more.

Arriving in front of Brucker & Hillson, Cabbie noticed (thanks to the IR goggles in his helmet) another infected person stumbling out of a nearby bar. Cabbie netted him, and checked on the other patrons. Seeing them all infected, the group called St. Jude’s and requested January’s help. The nurse told them that Dr. Sheridan was busy with a number of cases similar to what they’d brought it, but she would send an emergency response team right away.

After setting a watch on the bar using Cabbie’s cab, the three went up to Brucker & Hillson. The receptionist was a bit stunned, but was able to tell them that Stan had concluded a big deal with Xiandong Imports, a large import business working out of Chinatown.

Returning to the cab, they found that the emergency medical team had arrived, but was waiting for backup before rounding up the infected in the bar. The heroes waded in, and Cabbie lured the infected out by telling them that there was a bus to the REAL party outside. The patrons but up a bit of a fight when they found out they’d been duped, but presently they were subdued and taken away. The EMTs (and Gateway PD’s Extraordinary Crimes Unit) informed the heroes that there were outbreak points across the city, including the Halcyon Building and a restaurant in Chinatown near Xiandong Imports. The heroes set out for this last, suspecting they would find the heart of the mystery.

Arriving to find a riot in progress on the streets of Chinatown, Cabbie pacified the area by deploying an extra-large electro-net, and set them down in front of the import company. The receptionist discouraged them from entering, but was summarily ignored. They charged in, looking for the person who had met with Stanley Lawson.

Instead, they found a pair of strange, yellow-skinned men with glowing eyes, clawed fingers and whips. Reflex made short work of the pair, and the three continued the search. They found that a number of offices in the company had seemingly been taken over, apparently to import some kind of liquor. The M.O. brought to mind the Lord of the Hell of Burning-Off Flesh, an enemy of the Tao.

At this point, a larger contingent of enforcers appeared, including cloaked and masked figures with supreme skill in martial arts, and burning skeletal figures clad in the remains of business wear. Reflex engaged one group (copying the strange martial-arts style), while Star challenged the other and Cabbie leaped out a window to get his cab.

Reflex was on the defensive, scoring transient hits against the masked figure while defending himself from the mob. Star fared worse, his innate protections being insufficient against the masked warrior’s skill.

Hard-pressed, the heroes unleashed their big guns. Star let loose a blaze of blue-white power that sent his enemies flying, battered. Reflex was still on the defensive, but Cabbie came to his aid, slamming his cab through the wall of the building and into the massed demons. Cabbie’s rash act also put a crack in a wall opposite, attracting the team’s attention to the signs of flames in the warehouse beyond.

Crashing through the wall, Cabbie revealed an army of the burning damned being massed by the Demon Lord’s servants, while the Demon Lord himself laid a dark enchantment on several cases of alcohol, in the midst of an octogon of sinister flame. When Cabbie flung himself (and his cab) at the flames, he discovered that they were a solid barrier!

Not solid enough, however. The Cabbie smashed down the barrier, and disrupted the Demon Lord’s spell. His minions sprung to attack, and the Cabbie was soon surrounded. Reflex joined the fray, striking the Demon Lord but having his blows ignored by the supernaturally potent foe. The Demon Lord mocked his strikes, contemptuous of the “foolish mortals”.

Midday Star, frustrated by the resilience of his enemy, targeted the Demon Lord: “Taste the power of true immortality!” His blue radiance surrounded the Demon Lord, and then ripped him in two, in a great burst of light! So bright a light, in fact, that all were blinded and stunned for a brief moment.

On seeing their master seemingly destroyed, most of the subordinate demons fled. Two more masked warriors leaped to avenge their master, however, and the swarm of burning damned continued to mindlessly attack Cabbie and Reflex. Between them, driver and athlete dispatched the shades, while Star defended himself. With another burst of power, Star annhilated the two assassins.

With the revelation of the source of the plague, the epidemic was contained, and most of those who had been infected were healed through the combined powers of January and Yin of the Tao.

Running Hot!
Gang War Saga, Part 1

War has erupted on the streets of Southside, and the city’s heroes are feeling the effects. While helping with a renovation of public housing, Pillar hears a crackle-crack, and looks out to see a nearby warehouse on fire! The Man of Stone plunges into the burning building, ultimately rescuing six men dressed in familiar-looking grey jackets.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sheridan has her hands full at St. Jude’s. The bombing of an apartment (or possibly even a whole floor!) left collateral damage from not only the building but a party being held in the building’s courtyard. Even as she works, the good doctor ponders who could have done this, but gets no answers.

Nightstick, on the other hand, is more lucky. His interest aroused by the seemingly-impregnable legal wall possessed by the Catch-22s, the Dark Avenger takes to the streets, shaking down Southside’s criminal elements. What he learns is chilling – the Catch-22s are at war with the Hot Rods over turf, and the Hot Rods seem to be winning!

In spite of being a man of action, Pillar is attempting to investigate the disappearance of three former felons from The Foundation’s programs. Speaking to the mother of one man, he definitely gets a sense of something funny, but isn’t sure what. He goes looking for a better investigator.

Nightstick has been distracted by an altercation at O’Flanagan’s Pub: an irate customer is hauling off Old Man O’Flanagan! The criminal turns out to be Roentgen in civilian clothes, and while Nightstick takes him down handily, he suffers radiation burns in the process. This takes him to St. Jude’s Hospital, and January. She treats his burns, and listens to his story. Nightstick goes out again to investigate further, while Dr. Sheridan uses her contacts to check on the Catch-22s surprisingly-able lawyers.

The good doctor has discovered a common element between the three: therapy, combined with a notable lack of information on the therapist. When Pillar comes to her describing the fearful mother, it all seems to tie things together.

In the meantime, Nightstick has infiltrated one of the Catch-22s’ staging-points, where he finds them mustering for an all-out assault on the Hot Rods, being orchestrated by The Heirophant, whom Nightstick remembers from a previous encounter. Placing tracking devices on the Catch-22s’ vans, he returns to January to confer.

On hearing this latest information, the three heroes decide to try and contain the savagery which will undoubtedly be released by such an assault, and perhaps take down both gangs in the process. Nightstick heads out, to be followed soon after by Pillar and January (once they call the police with an “anonymous” tip).

The strong man and healer arrive to find the Hot Rods’ garage besieged by the unnaturally-ordered and disciplined forces of the Catch-22s. Pillar wades into the fray, throwing cars and knocking Catch-22s senseless, just as the latter gang makes a push to invade the garage. January follows along, boosting Pillar’s muscle control with her strange healing powers.

Pillar throws a van through the wall of the garage, making a hole, and charges through behind it. Inside, he finds the Hot Rods ready to repel invaders, but they are hardly a match for his might. Pillar spots Motorhead and charges him, knocking the cyborg out in a single hit!

Meanwhile, Nightstick has been searching the Catch-22s vehicles for signs of Heirophant (knocking out gang members as he goes). He is about to move on when he spots a familiar form out of the corner of his eye – when he looks head-on, it’s gone. Taking this as a clue, Nightstick silently moves to infiltrate the van.

Inside the garage, things are dire. The Catch-22s are beginning to pour in, just as everyone else realizes that Motorhead’s last conscious act was to weaken the load-bearing pillars inside! The Hot Rods prepare to bolt as soon as the Catch-22s are inside the trap, while Pillar readies himself to hold at least part of the roof up through main strength! January has called for everyone to evacuate, but the Catch-22s are a split-second too late to hear her!

Nightstick bursts into Heirophant’s van, making a show of searching and not finding him, while his keen detective sense actually allows him to penetrate the illusion. Just as he is seemingly about to give up, Nightstick grabs Heirophant in his preternaturally-strong grip!

The Hot Rods escape the building, and push a car in front of the blown doors in order to keep the Catch-22s and heroes trapped! Pillar clears that entry and, with police sirens growing ever louder, begins to round up fleeing gang members.

January, on the other hand, stays inside the building to check for stragglers. She overstays her welcome, and just as she has assured herself that the office is deserted, the garage collapses on her!

Heirophant remains strangely calm in Nightstick’s grasp. Nightstick too is calm, but inwardly Nick Tyler screams in anguish as the Gateway’s Dark Avenger ruthlessly snaps the neck of the Heirophant, and flees into the night.

The police are able to round up about half of each gang, thanks to the intervention of January and Pillar. Police reports the next day find no trace of the Heirophant’s body, which leads Nick Tyler to suspect that the man wasn’t dead after all. Cold comfort, knowing what Nightstick attempted.

The Conquerers, pt. II

Nick Tyler contacts his scientist associate Ben Knightsley, asking him if the superhuman Solar can be of any assistance in transporting them to Argal’s spaceship. Dr. Knightsley explains that while Solar can easily travel in a vacuum, he would incinerate the heroes if he attempted to carry them in his outer shell. Tyler suddenly recalls that the GCPD has captured some teleportation units from Argal in a previous assault, and wonders if the good Doctor could modify them. The Doctor thinks he could, and offers to have a unit done first thing in the morning (after the unit is sent over to his lab), but would need a set of co-ordinates to deliver them to the ship.

Tyler then seeks out Prometheus, desiring to inform him that while he appreciates his earlier help, Prometheus did commit a crime and should serve his sentence. A discussion of whether a crime against Olympia Financial is really a crime ensues. In the process, Prometheus brings up the presence of Abstract at the fracas earlier, and gives Tyler the co-ordinates that Argal told Abstract to meet him at. They seem to yield a location in orbit around Mars.

Investigating on his own, Gray Patriot finds a bar the Hot Rods had frequented before, and hears that Motorhead and his gang had been hired to perform the prison break. Gray Patriot meets up with Strongbow and, realizing that this is definitely beyond their ability to handle, they take their news to Tyler in his downtown office, who shows up with Prometheus.

The heroes discuss where to go from there. Hearing that Lord Tyrannos was in the crystal given to Abstract, the heroes decide to investigate Dinosaur Island and collect more intelligence. Gray Patriot contacts the Canadian portion of the joint task force monitoring the island, and the heroes journey forth to Dinosaur Island!

Some intelligent dinosaurs greet the heroes with bullets and rockets as their chopper makes its way over, but Strongbow and the Gray Patriot shoot the rockets out of the air.

It seems that Tyrannos is indeed absent, and the heroes find themselves easily able to

The heroes rescue some human captives that Tyrannos had captured from Gateway City, and set to work trying to decipher the strange equipment present in Tyrannos’ lair. It looks like he has an Argalian teleporter, but the heroes are uncertain of how to extract where it almost certainly sent the Lord and Lady, until Prometheus has

The heroes gird themselves for battle. Strongbow contacts his armourer contact Lon Porter, and first thing in the morning all of the Heroes receive an armoured suit with a breathing apparatus built-in, just in case they face a lack of oxygen. It appears the good Mr. Porter is something of a whiz with weaponry and armour.

The heroes, using the teleporters retrieved by Nick Tyler from the depths of the GCPD, Dr. Knightsley’s genius, & the co-ordinates they retrieved from Dinosaur Island, teleport on to Argal’s capital ship.

The strange dimension ship is a sight to behold. The heroes hear a patrol approaching soon after they ‘port in, and attempting to dodge the patrol stumble into an alien barracks filled with two dozen Argalian troops. Prometheus grabs an energy rifle from an alien before he can respond, trying to threaten them. Deciding that they fear their lord more than they fear the heroes, they start to raise their weapons, when Argal the Conquerer’s voice echoes through the room, beckoning his ‘guests’ to meet him in the Grand Hall!

The heroes are lead into the massive chamber, lined with the conquests of a hundred worlds, before Argal the Conquerer, who offers the heroes a bargain. He is most impressed with their planet of Earth, for very few can withstand the might of the Argalian empire for as long as Earth has. If they will become subordinate to the mighty empire, Argal will graciously accept them into the Argalian Galactic Empire, as a low-ranking new planet of course, and spare them a terrible bombardment from the Argalian fleet. For with Abstract’s kidnapped scientist, this dimensional ship can summon the entire fleet to Earth in a manner of moments, if Argal but presses this button on his throne!

The heroes reject. They attack Argal, quickly putting down the Conquerer, who is not yet used to his new body, and subdue the rest of the Guard surrounding him. A claxon rings out through the ship, and troops emerge from the great double doors leading into the Hall, attacking the heroes.

Prometheus runs through the door, hoping to find some way to solve this dilemma now that Argal is defeated. He sees an opportunity for mischief, regardless! Prometheus fires a blaster at one of Tyrannos’ minions, tricking Tyrannos into thinking that the Argalians had hired upon him. A massive melee ensues.

However, whatever foul plot Argal had devised, it appeared that he did not need to actually press the button on his throne to activate it! The ship was suddenly filled with an omninous thrumming. Prometheus runs for the control room, hoping to discover a method. His companions fend off the last of the Elite Guard in the Grand Hall as he does, and gather to retreat back to the teleporter.

The ingenious and lightning-quick Prometheus quickly finds the control room, finding the missing wormhole physicist inside. On a monitor is a view of space, showing the wormhole the great ship is generating. On another is a view from Argalian space of a massive fleet, and the first capital ship of thousands entering its maw! Prometheus threatens Dr. Dorjinsky with a blaster pistol picked up from the quarters, and while the bad Doctor does not give in immediately he is tricked into revealing how to shut down the device. Prometheus does so, and takes the Doctor with him as the portal closes on half a ship, cutting it in two.

The heroes escape the wormhole ship using their teleportation device, and they and all of the rest of Earth facing Mars sees the sliced-in-half ship collide with the great dimensionship, causing a fantastic explosion.

Talking after the event, Strongbow speaks to the group. Given that it was only through luck that the Earth was, he feels that an organized team should be formed, so that the heroes can contact each other more easily in the future, should another such threat rear its head. The name of the group he suggests is The Vigilants. The others agree.

The Conquerers, pt. I

A siren blares through Gateway City, alerting all heroes. There has been a prison break from Hexagon Prison! Nick Tyler is first on the scene, pulling up to the prison on the outskirts of Gateway City with new superhero Prometheus in the backseat, who had just tried to break into Olympia Financial and was captured by their security. They see a hole blown in the outer wall of the pentagonal structure, and chaos reigning inside.

And who should stop by to add to the chaos but the madman Cookbook, who starts the fracas with a bang! Throwing a grenade into Nick Tyler’s vehicle as he jetpacks his way in, Tyler is seriously wounded, and the nearby officers are slain. Tyler responds by firing a shot past Cookbook’s face, startling him, and then attempts to tackle him, missing. Prometheus leaps out of the back, steals the jetpack right off Cookbook’s back, and uses it to fly in over the walls! Ilsa flies in and takes a swing at Cookbook, but misses the cagey maniac. Cookbook throws another grenade, and then scampers away from the gritty Tyler, attempting to find easier playmates.

The rest of the exterior is chaos as well, with convicts running every which way from the escape hole. New super Strongbow unleashes a flurry of arrows, taking down a few convicts before they can escape and throwing them many more meters than one would expect. A Hot Rod (they are here as well!) races his bike at another new super, Paladin, who knocks him of the bike with a sword.

The Gray Patriot leaps on to a wall of the prison, drawing blaster fire from some Argalians! What could they be doing here? It appears that his ghostly form is harmed by their energy weapons, but he returns fire and each shot slays one of his aggressors.

Shifting the view to inside the facility, Motorhead & his Hot Rods stand within the compound, beating on convicts. Motorhead himself stands over a fallen police officer, his head beneath his boot. Seeing convicts falling the villain crushes the officer’s head, mounts his bike, and races outside the prison walls.

Prometheus goes inside the hole in the prison facility. He runs smack into Bombardier, who throws a haymaker at him with a glowing yellow fist, but fails to match Prometheus’ inhuman speed. Prometheus jumps up to the ceiling, summoning a will o’ the wisp to assist him in fighting the powerful villain. Bombardier is distracted by the flaming ball, and starts exchanging bolts with it.

Outside, Motorhead sees Strongbow, and guns his bike at the hero! Strongbow releases an arrow, but Motorhead evades it, slamming a supercharged fist into Strongbow. But it seems that the ranged combatant is tough enough to take it, shaking off the punch and falling into an aikido stance.

Tyler runs after the anarchist, taking him down this time with a solid tackle. Nightstick tries to establish control over the hero, whispering that the villain has just killed and that no prison will hold him for long, but Tyler shrugs off his alter-ego and slaps cuffs on Cookbook.

Seeing the odds turning against us as the other villains are taken down, Motorhead turns and guns his bike. Strongbow launches a parting shot, sending Motorhead’s bike spinning into a tree, but a remaining Hot Rod zips by and drags his leader out of harm.

Back inside, Prometheus catches sight of a strange figure behind Bombardier! Prometheus attempts to follow the strange figure, but a smoke bomb is dropped and the shape disappears. Intrigued, Prometheus attempts to follow … her?... , but she quickly gives him the slip, something very few people indeed have ever done. She looked odd, somehow… flat. He finds a crystal on the floor, and quickly activates a watch, trying to locate where the strange figure had gone by her image. His device points straight up, and Prometheus runs outside, snagging a grappling hook on Cookbook’s jetpack which is still flying all over the area, trying to get some additional height to figure out exactly where the figure is. He gets quite a ways off the ground, but the watch continues to point directly overhead. Doing some quick math in his head, Prometheus is pretty sure that she is . He releases the grapple and falls back to Earth, absorbing the fall with a crack of strained tendons. Prometheus reaches in his pocket and brings out some olives, and starts munching them has he plays with the crystal. It starts playing back the message, which brings up an image of Argal and Lord and Lady Tyrannos! Argal commands Abstract to bring the ‘package’ to a listed set of co-ordinates. This can’t be good.

Back at the outskirts of the prison, Ilsa retrieves a crystal from the fallen body of an Argalian. This one also plays a message, with only Argal on the display, saying that the sacrifice of these troops will be remembered when their forces conquer Earth! Double plus ungood.

Paladin notices some red-dyed sawdust on the boots of the downed Hot Rods and in Motorhead’s footprints. Gathering together the heroes, Gray Patriot recalls the presence of a sawmill a small distance outside Gateway City, that dyes their lumber that exact colour. However, it seems that the vigilante Strongbow & Gray Patriot, and the thief Prometheus have already fled, no doubt not wishing complication from lawmaker Nick Tyler. Prometheus has not yet told the heroes of his find! It seems that Tyler has put a tracking device in Prometheus’ clothing, though, so he likely won’t just vanish into thin air.

Tyler, Ilsa and Paladin follow the Patriot with a few more squad cars, and Motorhead and the very few remaining Hot Rods are taken into custody with a minimum of fuss.

The Chaos Principle

Upon hearing that his friend Dr. Ben Knighsley had been threatened, Solar helped the GCPD to assemble a team of heroes to protect the good doctor during his journey to New York to consult on a new device to contain superhuman energies.

The team (comprising Keil, Talismonger and Wild Rose) set off in a state-of-the-art super-containment vehicle, equipped with several anti-villain countermeasures.

The first attack came in the form of a series of wires set atop the road. Talismonger spotted them easily, and conjured a bridge for the driver to cross.

When the group stopped to refuel and to answer nature’s calls, their so-far hidden attacker revealed himself. Bombardier teleported to the top of the gas station’s awning, and then charged it with explosive energies.

Unfortunately for Bombardier, Keil and Talismonger were both on top of him in an instant. Keil grabbed the young malcontent, and swiftly knocked him unconscious.

Once Bombardier had been secured, Talismonger probed his mind. It turned out that he had been set upon Dr. Knightsley in the hope of luring out Solar and other heroes. The ensuing battle was to be Bombardier’s audition for the Chaos Syndicate. His (uncharacteristic) trick gear had been supplied by Motorhead, an ally of the Syndicate.

After seeing Dr. Knightsley to his conference, the heroes returned to Gateway City, searching for the bar where Bombardier had arranged the plot with Cookbook. The bar wasn’t where it should have been, however – it had been magically moved to an unknown location by The Goblin King.

Shadows of Olympia

What seemed to be a natural fog, coming across the nearby lake to cover Gateway City, stayed unnaturally long: three weeks. Flights could not land, including the one carrying a big-name performer for White Dwarf’s circus. Vehicles could not move safely, including
delivery trucks and emergency vehicles. Some businesses simply closed until the weather cleared. Looting was rampant. Small-time criminals took opportunities created by the fog and ordinary citizens who had never committed a crime before gave into the impulse to break into a store and grab what they could.

Ilsa, Solar and White Dwarf individually decided to patrol the streets to stop what looters they could. Their patrols brought them into contact with one another, as Solar was easier to see through the fog than nearly anyone else could be. Just as they met up, a pair of alarms moved them half a block over to where two stores – almost directly across the street from each other – were being emptied. One was a pharmacy; the other was a home entertainment outlet. Solar went to the home entertainment outlet and sent the criminals home, after making those Solar could see drop the stolen goods Solar could see, while the rest escaped through the back. Ilsa and White Dwarf went to the pharmacy, where entire shelves were being emptied into carts, baskets, bags and jackets. White Dwarf managed to stop one thief with a cart, but when he went to stop the cart, the thief escaped. Ilsa tried to pursue more than one escaping criminal, but lost them when they split up in the fog. The heroes patched up the broken windows with improvised barriers, then reported to the police when they
arrived. The police considered these to be attacks of opportunity, but the heroes suspected mind control.

Ilsa examined the chemical structure of the fog, but found nothing suspicious. Solar flew upwards to examine the fog from above and saw that it centered on one edge of Gateway City. Making a concerted effort to burn away the fog, Solar wiped it away and found that it had centered on the Gateway City Airport. A police officer gave the three heroes a ride through the now empty and visible streets, to the airport, and summoned back-up to meet them there. As soon as Solar stopped concentrating, a cloud started growing where the fog had centered. Instead of turning into fog, however, it started dropping hail. Police back-up started showing up shortly after the heroes entered the airport. Solar was able to determine what in the airport was below where the cloud had started forming, and the three heroes split up to search the three floors simultaneously. White Dwarf’s reputation was critical in gaining the helpful support of Airport

Nothing suspicious could be found on the second floor, or in the basement. On the main floor, in the cafeteria, Solar noted that half the people looked travel-worn and appeared to have been camping out at the airport for several days. The other half seemed to look fresh and energized, sitting scattered amongst the tables in clean and pressed business suits. Five of the suits were lined up along the windows, looking out upon the airfield, standing directly under where the fog
had been centered and where the cloud had started to form.

Solar politely engaged the attention of these five, the centermost of whom acted as spokesman. The spokesman convincingly explained that they had been coming in every day for three weeks, and staying throughout the day, in hopes that a very important flight would come in. A multi-billion dollar business deal rested on this flight coming in speedily, and safely. Solar left these people and met up with Ilsa and White Dwarf to compare notes. While they did so, all of the people who had been looking fresh and professional in the cafeteria got up and scattered in small groups, trying to leave without drawing attention. They did not quite succeed.

White Dwarf went to confront the five suits by the window, and found the cafeteria much emptier than it had been moments before. Simultaneously, Ilsa and Solar noted some who were leaving. Ilsa
changed shape to blend in, and Solar turned bright purple and caused the air to whistle by moving through it in a particular manner. Solar had been trying to become invisible and inaudible, but had misremembered the spectra and frequencies human eyes and ears were capable of perceiving. Mistaking Solar’s change for a call to arms, Ilsa ran to join Solar in pursuing the five who had been by the window, but had then borrowed a luggage cart, and were now entering a
limo in front of the airport.

Meanwhile, White Dwarf had found a beautiful, petite, Irish woman wearing a tailored and freshly pressed business suit; she was leaning against the windows where the five suits had previously stood. He introduced himself, but the woman refused to shake his hand – citing personal superstition. She did say that her name was Jennifer, and that she was finding the chase scene playing out to be entertaining. She then very blatantly tried to bribe White Dwarf into leaving the airport alone for one more week. Her bribes grew increasingly blunt, but also increasingly pointed at White Dwarf’s weakest spots. White Dwarf resisted and left to aid his companions, but not without some emotional cost.

Ilsa flew through the doors of the airport, knocking out a revolving door, and entered the limo before the doors could be closed. Solar looked into the limo shortly after, and noted that four of the people inside were the ones who were standing by the windows, but the spokesperson was missing. In his place was a man of similar height, weight and hair colour, in a similarly coloured suit, but he was obviously not the same man. Solar looked around to see who else was
leaving, and saw many cabs full of business folk heading in different directions. Solar chose one at random and followed it.

White Dwarf bounced through the airport lobby, out the opening made by Ilsa, lectured the passengers in the limo, and slammed the door forcefully, before following Solar. Ilsa rode in the limo, and accepted a glass of champagne. A young Asian woman, who had originally been one of the four silent suits, now took the role of spokeswoman and conversed with Ilsa.

The cab went to a park, where the passengers got out to feed ducks. The limo went to a Greek restaurant, where the passengers went out and had a meal. Ilsa had no money, and so waited on the roof of the restaurant. Some hours later, four out of the five suits left the restaurant. The heroes gave descriptions of all involved to the police.

The next day, the weather went back to normal, and news broadcasts mentioned briefly that three local banks had been purchased by Olympia Financial. High ranking negotiators from these banks’ headquarters were unable to attend the meeting in person, due to flight delays.

Some days later, White Dwarf received an invoice from Olympia Financial for limo repair.

Cookbook's Big Score

A blast sounded across the downtown area! On a street overlooking Emerald Park, Cookbook leaped from the debris cloud, carrying a hockey bag stuffed with gold!

Unfortunately for the anarchist, Pacifier and The Grey Patriot were nearby. Pacifier stopped the car Cookbook had commandeered immediately, but Cookbook escaped by throwing one of his smoke bombs! Pacifier and the Grey Patriot were baffled for a moment, but then spotted the contrail left by Cookbook’s rocket pack!

Pacifier took to the skies, while the Grey Patriot hopped a cab. Luckily for the Loyalist Avenger, the cabbie was both enthusiastic and skilled (though he was taken aback when the driver plunged into the Skyplex Mall in order to get back in the chase!)

Pacifier caught up to Cookbook quickly, and grabbed onto his jetpack. Cookbook threw two grenades down onto the city, trying to distract Pacifier, but The Grey Patriot shot them from the air! Then Pacifier spun the anarchist about, to keep him occupied.

Near to passing out from vertigo, Cookbook pulled himself together just long enough to throw an explosive putty onto Pacifier’s helmet. The armored protector was stunned, though he did rip Cookbook’s jetpack apart in his shock.

As Cookbook plunged to earth, the Grey Patriot prepared to catch him. Cookbook activated his parachute first, however, so the marksman was free to shoot the hockey bag free of Cookbook’s body, and catch it. The anarchist, however, headed into the nearby alleys.

A bad move, as the Grey Patriot, half ghost, was not frustrated by walls. He caught up to Cookbook quickly, and then brought a large billboard down with a pair of well-placed shots from his mystical flintlocks. Pacifier landed soon after.

Cookbook struggled, but he was unable to prevail against the pair. Pacifier’s sonic stunner sent him reeling, and then a shot from the Patriot incapacitated him (without serious harm).

Pacifier called the police. As the pair waited for Cookbook to be taken into custody, three men in purple suits showed up. The leader claimed to be Jareth Dunsany, and asked for his gold back. A quick call to the police confirmed that it was the Castle Building which had been broken into, and so the pair handed over the loot. Dunsany thanked them and departed.

The cops showed up soon after, and took Cookbook in. They did, however, mention that they weren’t pleased with the heroes handing over evidence, even if it was to the rightful owner.

Talismonger Must Die!!!

When Alec O’Connor, the star forward of the Longshoremen, disappeared off the field during a match, it was inevitable that Talismonger would get involved. The fact that Flashpoint was at the game was an unexpected bonus.

Talismonger quickly cast a spell to locate the soccer star, and the two leapt off in hot pursuit. As Flashpoint approached the van driving madly towards the docks, rockets were launched from it at the surrounding buildings. Talismonger flash-froze the rockets, while Flashpoint grabbed O’Connor and cut him free of us bonds.

At that moment, a distant figure launched a high-tech net at Talismonger, catching him and shocking him with high voltage at the same time. Luckily, Flashpoint was able to free Talismonger, but when the two set off to apprehend the shooter, he disappeared in an explosion that left an anarchy symbol behind.

The two heroes made up their minds to track Cookbook to his lair. Talismonger homed in on him, and then teleported them to…a black room filled with water to knee-height. Cookbook’s voice filled the blackness, taunting Talismonger. Then the room exploded into flame!

Between Talismonger’s reality-warping presence and Flashpoint’s quick reactions, the two were unharmed, and began looking for an exit. Flashpoint found a hatch on the ceiling, and managed to get through it without setting off the explosive that Cookbook had rigged.

The heroes emerged into the cargo-monitoring station of a ship, whose now-empty hold they had just been in. Cookbook once again mocked the duo, setting off charges to rip a hole in the hull and flood the compartment. Talismonger used his magic to keep the water out, while Flashpoint identified the ship as the William Baldwin, and determined that it was holed, and most likely at the bottom of the lake.

Talismonger suggested they leave the room, which they did by a hole Talismonger created in the wall, avoiding the certainly-boobytrapped door. The next room had electrified floors, but Flashpoint spotted something wrong, and used an insulated chair to move around, while Talismonger merely flew.

Growing tired of both Cookbook’s death traps and his heckling, our heroes decided to leave the ship entirely, preferably on to Cookbook’s true location. Upon attempting to locate the anaarchist, however, Talismonger discovered that a magical ward had been placed over the ship by none other than the Goblin King. The faerie magic was insufficient to keep Talismonger from tracking Cookbook to his lair, however.

With his nemesis’ hand in the plot revealed, Talismonger considered for a moment. He drew forth a black pearl, and warned Flashpoint “When I say run, run.” He then opened a hole in the side of the ship, and hurled the pearl at it. The spell of disenchantment worked long enough for the pair to escape. They made a beeline for Cookbook’s lair, but he had already left, leaving them one last surprise (which again failed to harm the agile Flashpoint).

Not Street Legal

The mayor has been attacked at the opening of the Gateway City Auto Expo! Reports say that a gang of thugs busted in with souped-up cars, took control of the Expo, and forced Mayor Bennett to take refuge in a back room.

Pacifier, January and Reflex responded to Nick Tyler’s call for supers to help deal with the ringleader of the gang, described as “wearing a Trans Am on his chest”. The heroes entered the Millennium Center behind a SWAT team led by Tyler, making short work of the guards there. They then went in search of the mayor, while Tyler and his crew began retaking the Center.

Entering the New Car display hall, the three crossed it in a blink, confronting a group of the gang members blocking access to a door. Pacifier took them down with one of his Electro-Nets, but they delayed the heroes long enough for others to come up behind them. The heroes had to fight the gangers (armed with some kind of energy-slug shotguns) off, but between Pacifier’s electro-nets and Reflex’s explosive discus, they soon had the upper hand. January took a hit from one of the guns that left a hole in her midsection, but she shrugged off what would have been a lethal wound for the living, and kept going without a blink.

Working their way to the room where the mayor was holed up, they met up with thicker opposition, though no more challenging. Bypassing the gangers with a display of athletics, Reflex came face-to-face with the gangleader, who called himself Motorhead. The gangleader came out swinging, but Reflex dodged away while keeping up a line of banter.

Meanwhile, January had supercharged herself, and came flying in. She altered Motorhead’s metabolism to take away his unnatural strength. Unfortunately, his technokinetic control made the alteration a brief one. Regretfully, January drained Motorhead’s energy, bringing him low within moments.

In the meantime, Pacifier mopped up the rest of the gang members, who were no match for his sonic stunner and electro-nets. Reflex broke from the fight with Motorhead to assist Chief Manning and her security detail repel the attacks of the animated office machinery who were swarming the barricades where Mayor Bennett and his entourage had taken refuge.

With Motorhead down, the rest of his gang surrendered. Deputy Chief Tyler caught up with the team just as the mayor congratulated them on a job well-done.

Hard Day's Fight

The heroes were called on by Captain Henderson of the GCPD as support in a hostage situation. An armoured man had taken BioNext Medical Research hostage, and wired several floors with explosives in order to prevent being disturbed.

January, Talismonger and Keil, the Last Caveman responded to the call. After conferring, Talismonger used his magic to determine the location of the bombs. In addition, he determined that the building had not been fully evacuated, which Henderson confirmed. Keil snuck into the building to begin evacuating people on the sly. Talismonger had another idea.

The Master of the Mystical pulled out a flying carpet and moved to the window of BioNext. He got Hardcase’s attention by shouting at him. This provoked a rocket shot, which did more damage to the building opposite than to Talismonger. The Irish Conjuror kept baiting Hardcase, distracting him from Keil’s activities. Unfortunately, he also enraged the desperate criminal, who was trying to keep Dr. Timothy McGregor working on something. Talismonger was “taken into custody” by Henderson (who was annoyed at the hero’s lack of consideration for the dangers, even as he admitted the distraction worked).

While this little drama was going on, January had made Hardcase an offer: allow them to evacuate the civilians, and they would let him be. She went into the building, and began evcuating the upper floors (while Keil worked on the lower ones).

When they had the building almost evacuated, Hardcase ripped a hole in the wall, and left, with Dr. McGregor (chained to some kind of briefcase) over his shoulder. The heroes swung into action. Tailsmonger teleported in front of the thug, while Keil mounted Talismonger’s flying carpet to swoop above and behind the powersuited criminal.

Talismonger rushed past, throwing his own teleportation amulet around Dr. McGregor’s neck and transporting him back to the police base camp. At the same time, Keil leaped on Hardcase’s back, trying to subdue the thug. When Hardcase fought back, Keil decided enough was enough – he ripped the armour apart like he would fighting a clubtail. Talismonger tossed a charm that paralyzed the man in the suit.

Unfortunately, this left Keil in mid-air, holding on to a no-longer flying suit. Keil, in a stunning feat of acrobatics, brought himself and the criminal safely to the gound, while Talismonger prevented the bottom half of the suit from crashing and exploding.

The two heroes returned to the base station with the criminal in tow. They handed him over to the authorities, and Keil issued a final warning: “Do not defy my chief – this jungle is under the protection of Keil!”. This set Hardcase off, and he was hauled away ranting and swearing revenge against the Last Caveman.


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