New Guardians

Institute for Geological Exploration
Session 11

Scene 1. WAR ROOM

Centurian is sitting alone in the War Room, seemingly in deep thought.

“Sir, a silent alarm has been triggered at the Institute of Geological Study. It appears as though the signal was specifically routed to this location instead of the campus security for the institute. Should I disregard this message?”

“I should mention, there is some additional data, noise on the signal, sir. I have displayed the data on the screen to your left.”

Scene 2. INSTITUTE OF GEOLOGICAL STUDY

Crouched in the shadows in a security room is Raven Girl. The soft green glow of a computer terminal highlights her profile in the strip. She switches off the terminal screen and looks around the room. There are two guards laying on the floor, they look to be unconscious. She steps lightly around their forms and silently leaves the security office.

Scene 3. THE WAREHOUSE

Seen around the corner of a large box from above, five men are moving around below. Three seem to be working on computer terminals, the soft green glow of a computer terminal only slightly giving enough light to make out their masculine features. Something on their faces reflect some of the green glow from the terminals.

The other two men are moving quickly from shadow to shadow seemingly searching for or placing something into the shadows. While they are moving quickly, with purpose, there does not seem to be any urgency to their movements.

Scene 4. SECRET MILITARY BASE (FLASHBACK)

In a large hanger of obvious military origin stands a group of highly decorated officers all looking at another highly decorated officer. There is no text bubble for this scene, but the singled out officer looks angry.
The next panel shows the officer, now dressed in a blue jumpsuit in manacles. The name stenciled across his back is: Xandros. He looks anything but repentant.

The next panel shows him mopping a floor and there is a computer set up at a desk in the corner. A wicked smile is played across his face.

Scene 5. THE AGENTS

It is late in the evening and the campus is mostly dark when you arrive at the building. There is one main entrance and a loading dock at the back of the building.

The interior of this building is filled with mechanical devices, crates, and husks of geological surveying robotic equipment. Along each wall are robotic arms and what looks to be prototypal geological equipment for testing new designs. All along the wall are large rocks of various material ranging from granite to obsidian. In the center of the warehouse are several computer terminals and stacks of crates.

There are five men in the room. They are dressed in military-looking uniforms without rank or branch affiliation. Each of the men have mechanical devices with flashing lights connected to their heads over their left ear and metallic left arms. Each also is carrying a sidearm.
When you enter the room one of the five flips a switch on the terminal he is standing at and the lights turn on and the mechanical arms around the room whir to life.

Another of the men reaches over to his mechanical left arm and presses a button. At that moment, many of the crates around the room begin to shudder and break apart.
Fighting ensues.

Scene 6. CLEAN-UP

When the dust settles, sirens can be heard in the distance, getting closer.

Searching the computers will indicate that a program was uploaded to the central machine. A copy can be made.

The uniforms the agents were wearing are definitely military in nature, but do not denote any rank or other affiliation.

The night guards from the security room are well, just unconscious. They seem to have been hit by a high current electrical signal which rendered them unconscious and caused them to lose some short-term memory of about one hour.

Scene 7. RESEARCH

The program is quite sophisticated. The key to the data encryption turned out to be “Xandros”. After the file was unencrypted, determining its purpose was simple. The new software had four modes which could be activated (this includes remote activation):

1. Return to location
2. Go to a location
3. Attack Mode
4. Defend Mode

Gabriel Price was once invited to the military installation, Avalon to assist a Captain Xandros with some high powered processor chipsets. The design was what would be considered “top-of-the-line” and highly experimental technology. However, based on the captain’s knowledge, Mr. Price felt that perhaps the military had more knowledge than they were willing to share about this cutting-edge technology.

The name “Xandros”, along with the reference to “Avalon Military Base” will bring up an article making mention of a highly decorated science officer of the Air Force, but most of the article is classified. The non-classified section states that Captain Xandros was assigned to a special project at the military installation on the island. The end of the article states that he was remanded to an un-named military prison.

The Military base, Avalon, on the Island deemed a military no-fly zone some years ago and was made off-limits to civilians at the same time.

Scene 8. REVELATIONS

About two weeks ago Raven Girl noticed some strange radio signals being broadcasted and returned from several sites throughout the U. S. The signals moved from one location to another. The latest location was the Institute of Technology here in Grand City. She went to investigate and found that there were several men messing around with some of the equipment. It didn’t take too long to remotely hack into the terminals to find that they were uploading what looked to be a virus to the mainframe. It also looked like they had modified several of the pieces of equipment in the warehouse.

The two security guards were down hard and seemed to be deeply unconscious. In the event that the men were able to do the same thing to Raven Girl if she interfered with their nocturnal activities she modified the silent alarm and activated the signal.

After tonight’s encounter, either the frequency has changed or it has ceased to be broadcast.

Scene 9. AVALON

Once the PCs get in touch with the Commanding Officer of the Avalon Air Force Base, Colonel Irons, they are given this information:

About ten years ago, Captain Xandros was stationed to the cybernetic research department here on Avalon. We invited Mr. Price to our base about six years ago when we ran into a little trouble with our processor chips. In short, Captain Xandros was tasked with assisting military personnel with recovery and mitigation of wounds taken in combat. His specialty was prosthetic limbs. He was given a contract, partially funded by taxpayer money to develop replacement limbs and technological replacements for damages to our soldiers sustained during fights.

Unfortunately, two years ago it was discovered that he had gone ‘above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty’ and had begun to experiment on undamaged personnel, hoping to enhance their physical prowess by replacing what he called ‘weak flesh’ with mechanical implants.

Because of his crimes against military personnel and his expenditure of unallocated funds he was remanded to a high-security military prison. Six months ago he broke out of the prison and we have been searching for him ever since. At the time of his break-out, several other inmates and guards also disappeared. If the guards departed with him, he had at least thirty men help him escape. Also, just after his escape, a platoon of highly skilled army personnel went AWOL. At this time it has been classified as a coincidence, but personally I found it to be highly suspicious.

I would be happy to show you his lab and experiments, but just after he was arrested, his lab self-destructed, killing three lab technicians.

The whole situation is intolerable. Xandros is probably the most knowledgeable man on the planet in regards to bio-machinery and cybernetic implants. I am afraid that without his willingness to share his knowledge the damage to his lab and research has set back our ability to help physically challenged soldiers, or anyone else ten years.

Scene 10. ALARMS SOUND

Just as Colonel Irons finishes speaking a general alarm sounds. “That’s not good” he says. Then with a nod of apology he rushes off shouting commands to his underlings.

Fighting ensues.

View
The Chameleon
Session 12

Scene 1. A DARK NIGHT

A long panel shows Raven Girl running, the view is down an alley between two buildings. A scene of a building, close-up, followed by another view down an alley and Raven Girl still running.
The next panel shows Raven Girl at the end of an alley looking toward the frame, a smile on her lips.

The building on the left has, in big letters across the top of the building “Grand City Archives”. The front door is cracked open slightly.

The next frame shows the door closed and through a darkened window the circular light of a flash light shining on a far wall can be seen.

Scene 2. ON PATROL

Centurian, Afterburn, and Lady Azure are flying through the night sky. Centurion is explaining something to Afterburn.

Let talking ensue.

While flying over the city, near the river, the sound of an explosion is heard, followed rapidly by a second explosion. Neither sounded extremely powerful, but it was definitely an explosion none-the-less.

Upon reaching the site of the explosion the heroes see:

“The railway’s bridge over the river is missing. There is smoke rising from either end of the bridge. There are three persons at the river.”

As you get close, you see the three better:

One is a large green humanoid. He is approximately 10 feet tall holding a large wooden club.
The second is a mutant, dog-faced, with an alligator’s tail, and a lobster claw for his right hand.

The third is a bug-eyed, shaved-headed man hunched over with oversized hands and feet.
Meanwhile…

Scene 3. PAPERWORK

Raven Girl is in the shadows (above or around the corner) watching six mutants going through paperwork. They seem to have a purpose and are using some kind of device to capture data.

Let fighting ensue.

18 seconds after the fight starts, the sound of a passenger train can be heard hurtling toward the river.

The villains will flee.

Scene 4. THE NOTICE

Over all communicators this message is heard: “Strange creatures have been sighted in Grand City’s Central Park. Reports of violent actions are beginning to come in.”

There are several strange beings in the center of the park. Several women and children appear to be held against their will or too frightened to run away. There are a few men laying in the park, unconscious or dead.

Scene 5. CITY COUNCIL

“Mr. Price, your assistant, Ms. Sinclair has prepared your documents and submitted them to the council. We were just asking her if you’d be available to host the Holiday Parade. What do you think? You are, after all, one of our biggest sponsors.”

Scene 6. CHIEF EDITOR

“Mr. Leads, how long have you been working for us?”

The chief asks Mr. Leads to get the scoop during the parade.

“That’s great, Mr. Leads. Also, if you can get a picture of the Guardians when they arrive I’d like to put them on the front page.”

Scene 7. NEWS REPORT

“In other news, the mayor has asked the Guardians to attend the Holiday Parade to honor them for the great help they have been during the city’s needs.”

Scene 8. UNEXPECTED VISIT

It is late in the evening and Raven Girl is perched high in the city as usual, listening for tell-tail signs of trouble. She notices, however, a figure wearing all black walking among the shadows of the city. While his features are hidden from view, Raven Girl does not fail to notice the cat-like grace with which the man moves through the city. It appears that Ronin is back in town…

Fight?

Ronin tells Raven Girl where the Chameleon will strike next.

Scene 9. GRAND CITY CENTRAL PARK

“You should welcome us to your town” a morbidly obese, green skinned woman says loudly to those who have gathered to watch the scene unfolding before them. “Invite us over for tea, you know?” She takes a deep breath, seemingly tired from her recent energy expenditure. “We would not want to feel like ‘Outcasts’ among you!”.

Let fighting ensue…

View
New Guardians Issue 1
Dawn of a New Age

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Issue Cover: Space view with earth to the right and the Original Guardians to the left. The Guardians are reaching out to the Earth in the fashion of God reaching out to Adam.
Issue Title: Dawn of a New Age

Background and Time Line

Panel opens to night time city view. Caption reads
Moonhaven – November 2024

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Next panel opens to an underground base. The iconic symbol of the Raven embossed in the floor

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A lone figure sits in a high backed chair in front of several monitors. Multiple news cast are on from around the world. A few headline snippets can be “heard” emanating from them.

  • Monitor 02: Another in a series of large scale high tech theft…
  • Monitor 03: Still we see meta-violence on the rise in…
  • Monitor 04: The Wizard of Wall Street, Malcom Merlynn acquires Q-Labs in…
  • Monitor 07: The Middle East continues to destabilize due to…
  • Monitor 08: Breaking News!! The Reach Ambassador..

With a few quick keystrokes the news cast on Monitor 08 moves to the primary display.

The scene is the Reach Ambassador shaking hands with the Secretary of State in the White House press room.
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The voice over reads;

It was an exciting day in Washington as a provisional trade agreement and peace treaty was signed giving the Reach permission to build an embassy on US soil. The agreement goes into effect Jan 1st and will surely herald a new age for mankind.

The Raven slams his hand on the console and stands. After a moment he hits a few keys and a display pops up. A moment later a voice is heard. Its digital signature seen on the screen.

sound_wave.jpg – “I was beginning to think you had forgotten about me.”
The_Raven.png – “What, were your feelings hurt?!”
sound_wave.jpg – “Sir, you know that’s not possible.”
The_Raven.png – “Nor do I care… It’s time.”
sound_wave.jpg – (after a short pause) “I see sir. I’ll finish preparations. When can I expect them.”
The_Raven.png – “Soon”.

Raven disconnects the comm then heavily falls back into his seat.

“All too soon…”

Panel opens to day time city view. Caption reads
Grand City – Early December 2024

Grand city.river

Next few panels show a montage of new heroes in Grand City.

Intro Ultra-Girl Intro Overburn Intro The Spider Intro Iron Tiger
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With each solo hero receiving an invitation to the VIP only pre-opening of the Guardian Museum (formerly the Gallery of the Guardians) they arrive separately to the event.

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The cocktail hour is being held in the courtyard outside the main doors and they are minutes away from opening them to this private VIP audience. A slightly inebriated young heir, Alexander Price, takes the podium to say a few worlds to the press and sponsors. He is interrupted by a few Jackal gang members high and empowered by Boost.

The heroes are there in plain close and independently get into costume and respond to the threat, while young Price seeks safety inside the museum after narrowly being missed by a thrown table.

During the fight Ultra-Girl and The Spider are the first to acknowledge each other as not enemies and try to work together. Iron Tiger holds off 4 Boost powered gangers until one lands a lucky punch and sending him flying. Overburn rockets into the fray and immediately gains media attention. When asked if this was his team and if they were the New Guardians, he let the attractive female reporter believe that to be true.

Although NOT a team, they defeated that gangers and each took their leave in different directions. Some were half-way home when they were transported to an underground facility.

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After a few unsure moments the large titanium doors opened and a single figure entered the room introducing himself as Ezekiel and explained he was the one that teleported them to this facility under Grand Bay Peak. Also that They were standing in the Embarkation Room of the Guardians omega site. Pre-operational designation… The Crash Pad.

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When they start asking why they were brought here, another figure steps out of the shadows. Apparently in the room with them the whole time. It was the Raven. A renowned hero and believed to be the worlds greatest detective. The Raven was clearly disappointed in a couple the “guest”, but stated his intent.

That he had been watching them all for some time and he was giving them a chance to make a real difference. With the absence of the worlds greats heroes, evil was clawing out of the shadows and starting to spread. That new meta’s were being discovered at an alarming rate. And the arrival of the The Reach seems all too… convenient.

The world doesn’t know it yet but it needs help. It needs a new team of heroes. It needs New Guardians!

The Spider, and Iron Tiger jumped at the chance. Feeling that this was indeed their calling. The two the Raven was least happy with were less receptive but for different reasons. The Spider was able to convince Ultra-Girl to stay and Overburn accepted as he stated “they would be lost without my leadership.”

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With that there was a tour of the facility which ended at the Danger Room and the “team’s” first danger room session. A session which Overburn expertly navigated, often leaving his team far behind to struggle. In the end, The Spider and Ultra Girl made it to the end as well, but when the Spider went back to help Iron Tiger, he and the martial artist became trapped. At the end of the session, Ultra-Girl cold cocked Overburn for leaving them behind, and the two fought until Ezekiel and The Raven showed.

With tension high Overburn is the first to leave, followed by The Spider and then Ultra-Girl. All teleported to location of their choosing. Only Iron Tiger stays behind to re-run through the Gauntlet danger room session again.

In the communications center The Raven sits heavily in a chair, viewing Iron Tigers Danger Room session. Ezekiel enters.

EZ.jpg – “Sir. I could not help notice you seemed unusually… surly… with the recruits."

– "I take it you are not pleased.”

The_Raven.png – “What! Did Price program you to be a shrink as well as a nursemaid!”
EZ.jpg – (long pause) “No sir, he programed me to count. It seems not all answered your call.”

– (another long pause) “Will these be enough for what is to come? Will they be ready?”

The_Raven.png – (with a sigh of a man more tired than words can relate)

– “They will have to be.”

Final panels show the grey pants and black shoes of a man walking down a hallway.

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Next Panel show the inside of a dark room and the silhouette of a single door. Footfalls can still be “heard” approaching.


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Next panel shows the door opening and a male figure entering the room. As he does large monitors above turn on. Seven in total.

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Once they have all turned on their illumination reveals the face of the lone man. He was one of the VIP’s at the Guardians Museum Attack. Hansom African-American male in a grey suit, wearing horn rimmed classes.

A voice from the middle monitor is heard.

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Monitor 04 – (calm male tone) “The Light has Come. Spokesmen please report”
Spokesmen - "I’m sure you have all seen the news. While, true several… heroes… appeared it did not seem as they knew each other nor did they work well together.
Monitor 06 – (forceful male tone) "Yet they foiled the destruction of the Gallery!

– It should be in rubble now!!

Monitor 02 – (calm female tone) “Still a curious group that gathered. The insect had inadvertently caused us a set back prior, one that wears the mantle of the tin can, a tiger prowling the streets…”
Monitor 03 – (erie male tone) “And the Girl! Lets not forget the Girl! So pretty, so exotic”
Monitor 06 – (forceful male tone) "Pathetic, your appetite for the flesh continue to show your weakness!
Monitor 04 – (calm male tone) "Brothers! Sisters. Let chaos reign elsewhere, for here we should always have order.

– In the void a team was bound to rise… eventually. This is not unexpected but it is Too Late. Together we have already achieved much, and the final Undertaking is nearly within… Reach.

– Spokesmen, continue as planned but monitor these… heroes. Lets see what they do.

Spokesmen – “We Serve The Light”
Monitor 01

Monitor 02

Monitor 03

Monitor 04

Monitor 05

Monitor 06

Monitor 07

– “We Serve The Light!!”

Monitor go out, panel goes dark.

End Issue #1

View
New Guardians Issue 2
The Return of Centurion?

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Issue Cover: A wall with a fist through it.
Issue Title: The Return of Centurion?

Background and Time Line

Panel opens to day time view of a school. Caption reads
Empire Senior High School, Highcrest District, Grand City – December 22, 2024

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Next panels shows an Asian student meeting with Dr. Emma Queen, the stern looking school principal. As part of the admittance process, and being a full tuition student, she presents Michael Lau with his “commemorative” gold school pin. The pin is also chipped and servers as an electronic ID. He is instructed to “wear it proudly”. Which he does not.

Next few panels introduce Michael’s “Host” Sheldon Bac. Sheldon, a short geeky kid with thick classes and hardshell backpack, will be acting as tour guide today for the new student. Michael notices Sheldon has some greyish substance stuck to his hands that he keeps scratching at.

As they move through the school Sheldon points out the “Bad Girls”, one of which looks very familiar to Michael for some reason. They also interact with other students. Stephanie Adams, Quincy Silver, Troy Davies and Derek Drake.

Sheldon gives Derek a flyer to an up coming OminiCorp sponsored science symposium with an open panel and Keynotes by Professor Alistair Smythe and Professor Anthony Ivo. Derek however shows more interest and concern over the goo on Sheldon’s hands. Sheldon proudly explains that he has been collecting web samples of The Spider for weeks and thanks to some OmniCorp chemicals he got from his cousin, he was able to break it down into a liquid form. He proudly exclaimed he used it to coat his hard shell backpack.

The bell rings to start class before Derek could get more details about the chemicals.

The rest of the day continued as normal with a small difference. Sheldon, slightly embolden by his new “friend” Michael, decided to eat lunch in the quad. A mistake that would change his life forever. As TD and some of the other football players stopped him and forced raw turtle soup in his mouth.

When Michael and others intervened, Derek got a sudden and horrible feeling something very bad was going to happen. As he was set to create a distraction he saw Sheldon use a Boost inhaler. Unlike the others Derek had seen, this one glowed slightly. Having an idea of what was about to happen he pulled the fire alarm and disappeared in a empty room.

Shellback.png There was a tense moment while Michael interpose for Sheldon until a scream brought all eyes back to the turtle soaked geek. It was then all saw the traumatic transformation of this short little nerd, into the 8’ tall creature the media now refers to as Shellback.

Both crowd and creature were stunned for a moment before Shellback recovered enough to remember his rage and begin directing it at Troy. Fortunately The Spider was on the scene and quickly grab the beast attention. With people being to flee both Iron Tiger and then Ultra Girl where also able to make appearances. Once again the heroes taking on a threat as a team.

The fight did not last long and Shellback regained enough control of himself to try and get away. An attempt stopped short by a kick from Iron Tiger

The three hung around just long enough for authorities to get close and then once again went their separate ways.

Eventually they all met back up at The Crash Pad, although Ultra Girl was nearly an hour late. She was struggling with whether or not to show up at all. A fact that got no sympathy from The Raven, who sent the young heroes through a number of seemingly no win scenario’s in the danger room. Followed by grueling agility, endurance and strength test. He seemed to have an idea of everyones physical limits and pushed each young hero to them. They were half way through endurance test when he was called away.

Testing done the heroes were chatting about their scores, and the fact that Ultra-Girl could lift a Tank!! When The Spider’s watch goes off with a police alert of a Code 808. The code for a Meta-Human Disturbance near a bank downtown.

Teleporting there they see the bank robbers, a simian based meta and rock based meta, being taken down by the Meta-Human Task Force. Both robbers try to surrender but are simply lit up again by the MTF and their eight chambered Variable Assault Rifles.

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The Spider wants to intervene but Iron Tiger says not to. That the criminals are getting what they deserve. Another barrage of fire to the other criminal who was trying to surrender ends the conversation and Spider leaps in between one of the downed crooks and the MTF. Iron Tiger scoffs and climbs to the roof.

Ultra-Girl hangs back as she has a slight criminal record but rushing in as talking stops and the MTF, after shooting out street cameras, open fire on the Spider. Seeing that the MTF’s weaponry was quite impressive, Iron Tiger leaps into the fray.

Eventually the Heroes defeat the MTF who seem to be mostly offensive in nature. Ultra Girl also captured a MTF surveillance and showed it to the Spider. Eventually she released it as it self destructed.

Fight over the heroes called it a night and went to their homes.

The following day The Spider is eager to see his test results of the blood samples and boost sample he started the previous day. But not before Derek paid a visit to Mrs. Bac. and gained entry to Sheldon’s basement lab. He learned that the OminiCorp representatives, followed by the police had been there yesterday. Also that the Argus transport was attacked and Sheldon got away. In the basement, hidden behind self made poster of the Spider was a hidden panel. Inside Derek found two more luminescent Boost viles, as well as a hand full of assorted chemicals with OmniCorp labels.

Once in the lab of the Crash Pad, his discovery was so profound he had to call the team in.
The boost Sheldon had at home was clearly a new batch. Slightly less powerful but much more stable. The Boost Sheldon took was based on this new batch but it seem it was contaminated by a mild mutagen. Either by accident or tinkering, what turned him into Shellback was itself a unique concoction.

That aside was not the truly big news. In both Boost and the Super Boost there were identifiable traces of platelets with unusual properties. The computers were able to find an 18% Match Found for the blood type but when they try and open the details it will say Access Denied. After speaking with Ezekiel, who opened the file they find out that there are trace amounts blood that are an 18% match of founding Guardian member Centurion. That some how Boost was being made in part from his blood, blood similar to his.

This news was big, but surprisingly the Amazon Princess Ultra-Girl seemed more upset then excited.

Iron Tiger had already been beating the streets, and learn that there was a big shipment of Boost coming in to night and Tiny, a local gang leader was in charge of distribution. He didn’t know where to go to get more details but the Spider did. Kings Row.

The three set back out and after pound the streets they got an address for Tiny. An abandoned hazmat staging facility at the old harbor.

It was well guarded but after taking out the guys on the roof, and arguing over how to proceed, they finally decided to simply drop in on the thugs, introduce themselves and give the gangers a chance to surrender. A plan Iron Tiger thought was stupid, but went along with.

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The gangers didnt fire right a way as their leader Tiny, who was anything but, stepped out of the foremans office upstairs to greet the guest. He was not alone. The man in the grey suit from the Gallery Museum attack was there with him.

Mr._Grey.jpg He introduced himself as Mr. Grey and then said to Tiny ;
“My superiors have provided you with a means of wealth and building an army. Do not fail to deliver on your part of the deal. Now take care of this nuisance so we can get back to work”.

With that Tiny ordered his men to attack.confident they would crush the intruders. However that was not the case. One be one the gangsters dropped and Tiny saw that the heroes were proving quite capable. He was even hard quietly speaking to himself hoping his sister would arrive soon.

Tina_May_Bash.png Like a prayer answered she did just that, drping through the broken skylight. At that point the identity of both Tiny and his sister became known. Tiny Tom Bash and his sister Tina-May Bash. Together referred to as The Bashers , a powerful albeit under achieving, criminal duo.

Ultra-Girl initially squared off with Tina-May, Tiny Tom had eyes for Iron Tiger, putting his hand through a reinforced wall in his first swing. The Spider was left to handle the two remaining Super Boosted thugs, who did not seem to suffer from the same rage or endurance problems of the Jackle’s they faced only a few days ago.

The fighting seemed to be pretty one sided with the heroes getting the better of The Bashers. Ultra-Girl had grabbed Tiny-May after hitting her a few times putting her on the ropes. Tiny-Tom tried to help but got webbed for a moment, thanks to the Spider, while en-route to his sisters aid.

Eventually Tina-May went down and Mr Grey teleported away once got in the Spiders web. This left only the incredibly tough and upset Tiny-Tom, who after catching his breath seemed fresh as a daisy to face the heroes.

Showing amazing teamwork and skill, The Spider pulled high voltage line from the wall just as Iron Tiger drew Tiny’s attention. The Martial artist used Tiny’s own attack to help him get clear of the water the big guy was standing in. Tiny turned to swing on Ultra-Girl who had already causally walked backward beyond the waters edge. A moment of confusion was all he had time for before the Spider dropped the line in the water.

Vast amounts of electricity arched through the muscular menace as he attempted to step out of the water. Massive muscles tightening as he grimaced in pain until it was finally too much for even his body to handle. With a thud he fell to the ground. The power line shorting out a moment later leaving only the smell of burnt hair and wires.

The fight was over and the battle won.

View
New Guardians Issue 3
Hunters Mark

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Issue Cover: A nighttime city with a stylize skull and cross-hairs
Issue Title: Hunters Mark

Background and Time Line

Panel opens on view of a monitor. On the screen is a news cast of the Bashers Arrest and cleanup efforts.

Jillian Peaks Channel 10 News reports;
That was the scene yesterday in the old harbor district where the notorious gang leaders and metahuman criminals known as the Bashers were defeated and captured by a group of heroes some are now calling the New Guardians. This is the third such group sighting in the past week. So while the Spider has been active in Kings Row for a few months, it does now appear that he and his amazing friends are working together to keep Grand City safe.”

Monitor changes to the familiar silhouette of Monitor 4 of the Light meeting room. Next panel shows the room in its entirety and with Mr. Grey again standing in the middle of the room.

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L2 – female, a bit annoyed “And what of the Bashers? This Boost line was showing real promise. Not to mention they represent a significant prior investment that we wanted to recoup. The blood used in their creation was destroyed in their… spawning.”
Mr. Grey – “The Hero’s were thorough and destroyed all but a handful of the new product. There may be some of the beta still on the streets but neither can be used in reproduction. Which leads me to another problem. Their defeat of Tiny Tom has had an unwanted side effect. The extraction interface was fried and Tom is currently in a coma. (in a lower tone) They also ruined my favorite suit”.
L3 – slight eerier tone “mmm…with that much electricity, the priming agent pumped into his system is almost certainly inert. It truly would be starting from scratch once more, and there is no telling without testing if his blood still holds the qualities need. After all his sisters did not.”
L2 – “Speaking of, what news of her?”
Mr. Grey – “The loss of the mental bond they shared has made her quite… agitated. She thinks her brother is dead. Even halo’ed they are keeping her sedated”
L6 – forceful male “Nevermind the girl, with the event so close what are our options that would not show our own hand!”
L5 – happy and childlike voice “yes.. yes.. how do we bring some much needed chaos to the party? hehehe”
Silence… a sense of a tension in the air
L4 – “Erase your concerns, there are still options before us. Perhaps new opportunities as well. (Pause). Most heroes follow bread crumbs blindly to wherever they lead and tend to foul plans by luck. This appears to be the case here. So far all indicators point to their teaming by circumstance. Although skillful they are not yet a unit. Still, they have interfered too many times recently to be ignored. They must either be used, or disposed off. Agreed?”
L1 – Agreed
L2 – Agreed
L3 – Agreed
L5 – Agreed
L6 – Agreed
L7 – Agreed
L4 – “Good. For the Event we will make preparations for plan B for now, but I may have a thought of something better. Spokesman.”
Mr. Grey – ”Yes Sir”
L4 – “Keep tabs on the sister Bash, she still may prove useful and… easily motivated. As to our heroes, here is what you’ll need to do…”

The_Raven.png Next Panel shows the Heroes in the Embarkation Chamber of the Crashpad. Debriefing with the Raven.


MTF_Full_Force.png MTF

  • The team encountered the MTF and stopped them from continuing to brutalize a pair of meta bank robbers.
  • The tech they used was versatile and impressive.
  • The Raven seemed concerned by this but had them continue.

Boost.jpg Boost

  • They discuss the fact Boost had blood platelets that were an 18% match to Centurion’s and that it was being manufactured from Tiny Tom.
  • They had stabilized the formula and were rolling it out.

Bashers.jpg Bashers

  • Among their effects was number of chemical agents, several with OmniCorp ID lables
  • Flyers to the Reach New Years Eve party along with hotel blueprints and security details.


    Mr._Grey.jpg Mr. Grey

  • The mysterious guy from the Museum event was there and referred to himself as Mr. Grey.
  • He seemed to be employing the Bashers and possibly the brains behind the Boost.
  • He hinted out another task the Basher were to preform
  • He hinted that he was representing others
  • He has a grey rift based teleportation power and escaped capture


    After the discussion the Raven told the team he wanted to do more digging into the MTF as they are clearly a growing threat. Said the team did good and should go home. “After all its almost Christmas” Looking at the time the young heroes realized it was just after 11pm on Christmas Eve and quickly departed for respective homes.

Christmas day shows the youths about very different days.

The_Spider_Suit.jpg The Spider
Next panels show Derek trying to sneak out Christmas morning to find a gift for Aunt June. A news cast of a breach at OminiCorp Applied Sciences division on the TV in the background. Aunt June stops him to give him his gift before going back to baking her famous Christmas Cookies.
The gift is a re-banded watch that belong to his uncle. Derek is caught off guard by the importance of the gift and his guilt increase for not making the time to get her anything. Next few panels are of him going store after store (all closed) trying to find anything. He decides the Crashpad might have something suitable and heads to a Node for teleport.

Iron_Tiger.jpg Iron Tiger
We find Lau training with Master Da-Shi. The older martial artist does not seem to be taking easy on the youth tossing him around. Training is interrupted by the head of the temple, Master Na-Shi.

Master Na-Shi is concerned that Iron Tigers purely traditional values may inhibit him from following his true path. That he should endeavor to learn more of this city and its people he has begun to protect.

Following his Masters words Lau reaches out to Ultra-Girl but she turns down his invitation to hangout stating she has too man y gifts to open. He instead goes back to meditation.

real_life_x_23_by_the_red_jack03-d3f9ehj.jpg Ultra-Girl
Alex wakes later Christmas morning to a quiet cold home. She enters her foster mothers room to see her still in bed. Booze bottles on the nightstand. She moves into the room and pulls the covers up around her foster mother and whispers “Merry Christmas”.

Next panel shows her sneaking into a theater with Lanie and Marcie. They are sitting and the back row and Lanie is texting her “man” BeBo (a local thug) during the movie and being generally obnoxious to other audience members. She does show Alex “Something Cool”. She shares her text messages from BeBo with Alex where he mentions word on the street is there is a 1 million dollar bounty on the New Guardians.

After the movie Marcie and Laine have to go home to their parents, and right after that Ultra-Girl gets a call from Iron Tiger who wants to hang-out. Embarrassed that she actually does not have any real plans for Christmas she quickly gives an excuse that she will be spending all day opening gifts. The conversation ends soon after.

CrashPad

Crash_Pad_Aquatic_Bay.png
At the Crashpad The Spider, with Ezekiel in tow is looking throw various items to try to find a gift. Through questioning it game up that the CrashPad has an aquatic bay. The Spider convinces Ezekiel to show him. Once there the Spider is amazed and shows his youthful side with an excited, and slightly goofy dance.

Society of Shadow

The Raven had set a number secondary security measures at what he decide were high value target tech companies. One of these had just been triggered at Western Technologies or WestTech as it was more recently re-branded to. The Raven was still dark on his MTF hunt so Ezekiel calls in the team to investigate.

Shadow_Dragon.png Onsite they encounter members of the Society of Shadows and its agents. Cheshire and one of the agent leaders seemed to recognize something about Iron Tiger, referring to him as “The Tiger”. Cheshire also says “the bounty on your lifes is too low for me to kill, I will merely need to leave broken and bleeding”.

This is the first time The Spider and Iron Tiger are hearing there is a bounty on their head. Ultra-Girl just nods and smiles thinking its cool.

Cheshire and Stone Ox along with several SoS agents battle the heroes while Bronze Monkey was ordered to complete the mission. Bronze Monkey, who seem seemed to be a Fan of the Spider and preferring to be called Brass Monkey, left annoyed and speaking in hip hop terms in spite of his strong Asian accent.

In the end Monkey completed his mission and the heroes were left rescuing civilians as the SoS set bombs to cover their escape. In the process two security guards were killed when a grappled Stone Ox intentionally kicked a mercury switch bomb, setting it off. He was taken to Argus personally by Ultra-Girl after she and Spider added in a few more licks on the downed assassin.

The next day the team still felt the emotional effects of having lives lost during the battle with the SoS at WestTech. Only Iron Tiger headed into the Crashpad as the others dealt with the unfortunate incident in their own ways. Once there, the monk trained martial artist worked with Ezekiel to learn “the internet” and to also review some of the tech that was stolen recently. He also crossed referenced some of the data collected by the Raven on tech thefts over the last 9 months.

OmniCorp – Dec 24th
After review he finds that sample hardware and specs were stolen the P-381 Tempest Assault Rifle and Smart Rounds were stolen. The rounds can be remote controlled with the LCD display on the Tempest rifle. The P-381 Smart Round, also called whistlers, had a flaw. It only held enough power for the guidance system for about a 30 seconds with a wireless range of only a quarter mile. OmniCorp has been unable to solve the power problem.

WestTech – Dec 25th
They created a new powerful piece of spy software called GhostWheel. The program can high-jack the video and GPS feed of any source and push it back to a center node or server.

Working with Ezekiel they theorized that put together this could be the makings of the perfect assassins weapon. Creating bullets that could travel around corners and even chase targets. The part that was missing was appropriate power.

As if on queue a Raven alert was sent from another high value target. Q-Labs. Quick research suggest they have just created a clean energy power-cell. One that can take a charge from impacts. Initial use cases where to play in coastal areas or high foot traffic areas so that it could turn the crashing of waves or the passing of vesicle/pedestrian traffic to power local device and buildings.

Feeling a potential a connection they go to call the team but just before Ezekiel says the silent alarm has been tripped and authorizes are also starting to mobilize.

It was noted the the MO was not the same in these to thefts but the toxin used at WestTech was used on some of the thefts earlier in the year.

Q-Labs

The Team meets up at Q-Labs and Ultra-Girl uses her “Amazon Intuition” to get a feel for the place. Her intuition tells her the location of the hostages and that the criminals seem to be waiting around for something. The team discussed the clear sign of a trap being set and and after much debated decided to work there way down the building.

OriontheHunter.jpg Once they engaged the 21 armed gunmen, they heard more talk about the bounty that these hunters were eager to collect. As the fight started two of the gunmen stood out. On as their leader, and another as something else. The latter individual soon revealed himself after taking a sniper shot on Ultra-Girl, which sent her flying back through the elevator shaft. Presumably out of the fight. This sharp shooter called himself Orion the Hunter, and he had used these criminals as bait to lure out the Spider. He didn’t care about money or the thugs, just wanted Spiders Mask on his wall.

There was some confusion and for a few moments there was a free for all with Orion, the gunmen and the New Guardians.
OmniCorp_Drone.jpg But that changed once the Orion’s reinforcements arrived. Two large mechs. Orion hinted that some REALLY did not like the Spider but the Mechs seemed focused on keeping others out of the fight.

With these new arrivals the gunmen fled the seen, with Iron Tiger picking them off as they ran away. Ultra-Girl took on the Mechs, with one destroying itself when it tried to ram her. The other was not lasting much longer. This left the Spider fighting one on one with Orion, with this Hunter pulling out all the tricks. Including his flying platform on which he tried to escape.

Through the air the two fought until the Spider sent spiked webbing through the craft causing the pair to fall to the ground. With great skill both rolled with the landing popping to their feet.

During this time Ultra-Girl had the attention of Malcolm Merlyn, and the hostages. She lead them safely from the building where the authorities and the media were waiting. After only a few moments of grateful citizen (and photos) she leaped backing into the fight.

The three hero’s finally corralled Orion and after a few exchanges, took him down.

Alone in the lobby they took a moment. Not only did they knowingly walk into a trap, they defeated the hunters with no causalities. Plus to their knowledge the power-cell technology was safe. After WestTech, this felt good. They felt good and aloud themselves to enjoy the moment.

Iron Tiger wanting to avoid the spot light headed back to the Crashpad, agreeing to prepare celebratory cups of hot chocolate. Spider and Ultra-Girl signaled authorities and met the press. When asked about the rumored bounty on the heads for the New Guardians, together they said defiantly “ITS NOT ENOUGH!!”

Shortly after they took their leave.

Final panels

The team being served hot chocolate by Iron Tiger and bounding over a job well done.

View
New Guardians Issue 4
Chaos Reign

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Issue_4_Cover_Chaos_Regin.png
Issue Cover: Blackcover with the image of a chaos symbol. The symbol seems like a window with a view of sky raining fire seen through it.
Issue Title: Chaos Reign

Background and Time Line

Grey Matters

Panel opens to a tech lab with CEO of OmniCorp, Reginald Samuels in conversation with Prof Alistair Smythe. Next panel sees them both turn in brief surprise as Mr. Grey steps into view from off panel.

Samuels recovers first and speaks.

Reginald_Samuels.jpg "I originally had my doubts you could pull this off but I’ve heard the news and now here you are.”
Mr._Grey.jpg Smiling as he holds out his hand revealing two flash drives

“Here I am. A few days late for Christmas but I hope you like them”

Reginald_Samuels.jpg Looks at Alistair who takes the drives then says

"Gifts indicate no cost, we’ve paid you a pretty penny for these items.”

Mr._Grey.jpg "A fair sum, but not as much as it could have been, provided you complete your part of the deal. Will weapon be ready for midnight fireworks?”
Both men look at Smythe who seems lost in a dark thought
Alistair_Smythe.png without looking up he says

“It will be ready”

Mr._Grey.jpg “Good, then if all goes to plan our transaction will be concluded. Until next time.”
Samuels and Smythe watch him leave
Alistair_Smythe.png “Why do you think he wants him killed?”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg “Don’t know and don’t care. Just ensure it can’t be traced back.”
Alistair_Smythe.png “Already done. On the chance he was successful I had some nodes setup. By tomorrow night I should have GhostWheel pushed to them. I’ll need a few days to work out the battery.”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg “You have until the 30th. I have an ideal candidate to test it on”

Friendly Invitations

Next panel opens to the outside of a Taoist temple.

Temple_Entrance.jpg


Master_Nan-Shi.jpg Next panel shows Michael Lau in monk attire moving through the temple halls. He arrives in one of the meeting halls and sees a group of monks standing around speaking to Master Nan-shi who waves Lau over. As he does so the others stop speaking and merely watch him approach with a mixture of expressions. Master Da-Shi wearing open disapproval.


Master Nan-shi quickly explains that the temple, along with several other religious organizations in the city, have been invited to the welcoming party for the Reach Ambassador. Each organization can only bring 5 delegates and the temple master was inviting Lau to be one of them. A decision that did not seem to be too popular. Now understanding the conversation he walked into, Lau accepted as graciously as possible.

Next panel opens to a slightly messy bedroom of Derek Drake.

student-asleep-at-desk.jpg
Derek is seen face down sleeping in a book. A small TV is on, and behind him the door to his room begins to open.

Grey_Alien_Mask.jpg The next few panels depicts a Grey Alien peaking its head into the room, then a panel of it slowly rising behind the sleeping Derek. A voice finally emits from the alien face.

DRAKE!! You have been selected to be probed in the name of Science”.

A startled Drake jumps back in surprise as laughter erupts from what can now be seen as a fashionably dressed male wearing an alien mask. The individual falls back on bed still laughing and pulling off the mask.

Xander.Samuels.jpg Next couple of panels show an exchange between Derek and one of his best friends Xander. Xander is recently back from his trip with his father to Europe. A trip cut short due to a recent theft at OmniCorp and an upcoming New Years Eve party for the Reach Ambassador. Xander knows his father is going to be networking the entire night and thought Drake would enjoy a chance to meet real aliens. Plus the Adams are supposed to be in attendance. There conversation is interrupted, as Good Morning Grand City comes on with special guest Malcolm Merlynn . They watch the segment at which point Xander adds rules to Dereks attendance. He cant bring up the Spider or Merlynn in front of his father. Drake agrees and Xander leaves.

Next few panels are a three pane split

Time Derek Michael Alex
10:00am Trying to sneak out the house and getting caught Meditating In the bed sleeping, clock in the background
11:00am Cleaned room but aunt June points to attic Training with Master Da-Shi In the bed sleeping, different position, clock in the background
12:00pm Clean attic and aunt June points to trash Cleaning and sweeping dojo In the bed sleeping, different position, clock destroyed in the background
12:30pm Heading out and contacting Ezekiel for a pickup Heading out and contacting Ezekiel for a pickup Drinking OJ from the carton as she watches a recast of Merlynn’s lunch invitation

After the team meets up at the Crashpad, and resolve the invitee / plus 2 issue, they plan to meet Merlynn for lunch despite Tigers concerns.

They get their separately with Ultra-Girl not only being a few minutes early, but arriving with Merlynn’s new book Order from Chaos, the Malcom Merlyn Story.

Lunch was proceeding well when an MTF probe arrived with a record message. They all watch and listen.

“Mr. Merlyn, the MTF has dedicated itself to protecting true humans from meta-human threats wither terrestrial, extraterrestrial or extra-dimensional. We were prepared to forgive you for hosting a party for these potential alien invaders, as our own government seems blind to their threat. However, we found your words on the news cast this morning disturbing and slanderous. Favoring meta freaks like these New Guardians over pure humans like us is insulting and requires an immediate response.”

There is a pause, before the recording proceeds.

“Effective immediately the MTF removes its protection from you and your Meta Loving Organization.”

Another pause but this time the Spiders Danger Sense goes off.

“Lets see how your heroes protect you, when trouble we could have stopped comes knocking”

With that there is flare of red lightening a short distance away as a group calling themselves KaoS Crew teleports in. Fighting ensues with Maul and Ulra-Girl battle quickly hitting the streets.

Scales and Spider seemed to be fighting at ta draw with Iron Tiger and Ultra-Girl getting the better of their partners. it wasn’t long before KaoS Crew had to flee via Priest’s teleport and leaving the defeated Maul to be taken away by Argus agents.

Raven and the Wall

Next Panel shows a facility surrounded by heavily wooded area. Caption reads December 27th, a government facility somewhere in Virginia.

Cadmus.jpg

Next panel shows an office with an African American woman sitting at a desk.

Its the Director of Meta-Human Affairs Amanda Waller. She is working at her desk and watching a recording Good Morning Grand City. She pauses apparently sensing something in the room. She causally walks to the bar and pours a drink before speaking.

Amanda_Waller.png Talking over her own shoulder “I shouldn’t be surprised you found this place, but… aren’t you a bit long in the cowl to prowling around.”
The_Raven.png Stepping from the shadows “Well if you kept your dogs on a tighter leash I wouldn’t be here. They are flaunting some serious tech. Terminus and Sky Raiders mostly. Last I heard that gear was locked up tight, yet somehow they found the key.”
Amanda_Waller.png taking a sip from her glass “Not one for small talk I see. Straight to business. hmmm. You know we are on the same side don’t you. We want to protect our nation. Our humanity. It’s not the first time a people have created warriors, needed monsters to protect it’s people. Its lifestyle.”
The_Raven.png “The MTF are becoming drunk with power. Sober them up or shut them down. Or I will… then I’ll be back and we can see how fast your are with that gun."

Waller wips around lightening quick with gun in hand. However the room is already empty.

Open Items and Loose Ends

The next few days finds the heroes following up on loose ends. The Raven has returned and informs them he has “rattled some cages” in regards to the MTF. No confirmation as to who funding them but strong suspicion. The team should continue to be weary of the MTF, and consider hostile until they prove otherwise.

They also debriefed about the recent Boost, Bashers, Bounty and the tech thefts. He confirms the 1million dollar amount is low and meant partially as an insult. Takes note that the Spider also suggest it may be to keep them busy. A thought that more mirrors the Ravens. He agrees that someone seems to be assembling a long range sniper weapon of some sort. The current frustration is to why? What does the Reach welcome party have to do with it. And who is the actual target?

With still no answers the Raven states the team needs to be at that even. If it is just an assassination attempt it needs to be stopped, if its something more it needs to be found out. As the Raven starts to plan how to get them into the event, each team member says they already have an in. He seems impressed but before he can respond Ezekiel announces that 4 robots are creating havoc at a local Great Buy. Patrons are tripped in their vehicles and within the store.

Focus Group

The team is dispatched immediately. Once there and observing from a short distance, they see signs that this is another trap and set to spring it. Moving in from 3 sides, they engaged the new Elite Slayer Bots. The bots wore better armor and had magnetic powers. Also a digitally distorted voice, emitted from which ever bot was nearest the Spider, to taunt him. The persons tone indicated this attack was personal against the wall crawler.

It also became apparent the robots were not the trap, they were the bait to draw in the Spider. The trap arrived every 30 seconds in the form of two self guiding smart rounds indirectly flying at the Spider.

After another minute and with Ezekiel’s help they were able to start a trace of the GhostWheel program and disabled the external cameras to create a blind spot for these long range bullets. The tide turned and all the robots were destroyed. The Raven came in over the come with the farthest address of the GhostWheel route the bullets took . Its 5 miles away from the Great Buy. Once they got to that address they were updated again to a call from OmniCorp security to the Grand City police. OmniCops were reporting that they have found the possible tech thieves which are in an unused OmniCorp facility. Conveniently enough this location just a few blocks away.

The arrived there and the OmniCops tried to say that the situation was now under control. The Heroes decided not to take their word for it and burst through a wall. Inside was a high tech lab containing Slayer bots in various stages of build. A number of high tech components are neatly organized through the facility and a lift has been extend up to the skylight. A twin turret device on top of it with the tips of the barrels sticking out through an open window pane. Two lab techs are the only criminals captured by the OmniCops. One mortally shot when the OmniCops entered the facility, and the other keeping quiet.

In addition to the 10 man OmniCop detail, Reginald Samuels and Alistair Smythe are in attendance. He has words with Ultra-Girl and the Spider as she destroys the Specter Sniper Turret and the partially constructed Slayer Bots. Finally he and Smythe leave, Smythe silent but apparently upset about something.

After Speaking to the police the team heads back to the Crashpad. Spider is not convinced the true villain was caught. The exchange of words during the fight with the digitally altered voice was very personal and hate field. Unless the voice belonged to the deceased tech, the other did not seem to have a personal beef against the Spider. Iron Tiger suggest they use the thing called The Internet. He recently learn you can find out almost anything from it. At first Ultra-Girl and The Spider exchange a look, then realized it was not a bad idea.

Leveraging Ezekiel to speed the search they came up with a list of articles where Samuels blames the spider for the Fenris fiasco and the major stock hit in Q4. The “smoking guns” were from two articles about Smythe loosing his father as collateral damage during the Fenris, Spider fight. Smythe also blamed the Spider and as the head of OmniCorp applied sciences certainly has the skills to build the Slayers and the Sniper Turret.

One of the articles was from a rag magazine with a picture of Smythe at his fathers funeral and called The Spider Killed my Father!!!. The second, from the Grand City Tribune, was more objective and titled CHAOS REIGNS at OmniCorp.

View
New Guardians Issue 5
Bedlam

New_guardians_logo.jpg
Issue_5_Cover_Bedlam.png

Issue Cover: A tall tower like building engulfed in flame. At the base small images of people can be seen fleeing from the burning building.
Issue Title: Bedlam

Background and Time Line

Panels opens to late an evening view of a large penthouse Balcony. A lone figure is seen holding a drink and looking out into the city. Caption reads
Dec 30th, 11:37pm Penthouse of Reginald Samuels

Next panel shows him lost in thought as a voice bubble reads from off panel,
“You should put on a coat Reginald, I hear its going to snow tonight”

Samuels turns to see Mr. Grey casually leaning against the railing a few feet away. Samuels covers his surprise with a drink and waits.

Mr._Grey.jpg “your eagerness to take out the Spider has cost us a valuable asset.”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg with a bit of bravado: “I could not give you an untested device could I?”
Mr._Grey.jpg "Ah but Instead you give us nothing.”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg “you know the weapon works, and we can build another. You’ll have your prototype in a few weeks, two months at most”
Mr._Grey.jpg "A few weeks is not tomorrow. You have a debt to us Reginald. A debt that needs to be cleared.”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg anger showing a bit in his face: “What would you have me do?”

Panel cuts to Xander walking towards the balcony door. He can just see a portion of his father outside and hears what he thinks is a conversation. However when he steps outside there is only his father there looking annoyed. When Xander asks who he was talking to, Reginald is evasive and retires for the night pausing briefly to look up as it begins to snow in Grand City.

Next page is a three panel split with a caption reading December 31st 2pm: Code 808’s

Spider.single.jpg The Spider, in an armored car chase down slightly snow laden street, against well armed thugs in matching gang colors. One firing some type of energy bazooka.
real_life_x_23_by_the_red_jack03-d3f9ehj.jpg Ultra-Girl in a parking lot standoff between a similar group of thugs and one remaining cop. An off duty cop got lucky and shot out the tires of getaway SUV but was now hopelessly outgunned until Ultra-Girl arrived
Iron_Tiger.jpg Iron Tiger taking on yet another similar group, this one robbing a bank. He takes out their getaway driver before an explosion and blaster fire sends him inside to confront the crooks

At the end of the panels we learn that this is the second wave the heroes have been involved in however the third wave of the day. They are fighting a criminal syndicate called Intergang. Known for their high tech weapons, large numbers and thuggish approach. They are running a Blistkrig on the city, hitting a number of high value targets (banks, jewelry stores, tech companies) at various locations and times trying to spread the cities defenders to their limits.

At the end of their fight, Ezekiel dispatches each hero to another 808 site.

Next panels show the heroes returning to their individual homes around 5pm. All seem a bit tired but go into their normal routines and try to begin prep for the night. Drake lays out his “borrowed” tux from Xander, Mike searches for his “misplaced” sash to for his formal robes, and Alex tries on outfit after outfit.

The reprieve is short lived as around 7pm the Raven calls the team on an emergency. Since the destruction of the Tempest Long Range Sniper Turret, the Raven has been monitoring other long range shooters for hire. He believe he got a hit on a gun for hire known as Ballistics. He sends the details to the team who make their way to the Kings Row address.

They stake out the place, an abandoned 3 unit loft, with Ultra-Girl using her vision to peer through the walls. A lone figure can be seen at a desk in the middle of the a room on the second floor. The large room is full of shelves and various junk.

They spend some time discussing how to approach with only The Spider seeming to feel the cold bite in the air. Eventually Iron Tiger heads to the roof and by luck doesnt trip an IR sensor. He calls the rest of the team up as he can clearly see Ballistics through a skylight. He is sitting at a portable terminal and protected behind some sort of energy screen. Again the team debates how to approach, this time from the roof near the skylight. During the coarse of their discussion the gun for hire notices them forcing the young heroes to spring into action.

Ballistics.jpg

The Spider offers Ballistics a chance to surrender, to Iron Tigers continued frustration. Ballistics tells them he has been offered a 10million dollar bonus if he kills the heroes before midnight. A dollar amount that seems to please but the Spider and Ultra-Girl.
The moment of pleasure was fleeting as the assassin activates four Advanced Mobil Assault Turrets and the battle truly begins. Mobile_Assault_Turret.jpg

The heroes took out his portable bunker, and managed to knock him off his feet a few times, but the cyborg was tough and gave as good as he got. Taking down Iron Tiger and nearly The Spider with the aid of his mechs. Still, with Ultra-Girl staying in his face, The Spider was able to recover and together they were able to finish him off.

Worried that turning him in to the authorities would tip off who ever hired him, they took him back to the Crashpad instead. Learning that they had their on 3 celled detention center.

A debrief with the Raven and the young heroes head out to finally get ready for Reach New Years Eve Gala.

Drake

Next panels show Drake in a tux enduring a barrage of photos and fussing from Aunt June until a limo pulls up. Xander sticks his head out of the moon roof of the vehicle and promises Aunt June to get Drake home by 2am. She is a bit skeptical. Drake quickly slides into the vehicle and is surprised to see two very attractive young women in the limo drinking Champagne. They are introduced as Candy and Ginger.

Michael

Michael dressed in his formal robes of the temple and walking with Master Nan-shi, Master Do-Shi, and two senior monks. Master Nan-shi seems a bit excited about the event and mentions this will be good exposure for Michael. Master Do-Shi is silent for the journey to the event.

Alex

Grand_Pinnacle_Hotel.jpg Finally dressed she is seen leaping from her bedroom window shoes in hand. Finally dressed she is seen leaping from her bedroom window shoes in hand. She leaps rooftop to rooftop and final stops with shot of her on a rootop and the Grand Pinnacle Hotel in view.

The next panels show a dressed up Ultra-Girl walking towards a small private lounge within the hotel with guards at the door. She is cleared to enter and shortly Malcolm Merilyn appears and the two chat before heading to the event together.

The Event

Michael is the first to the event proper with Drake arriving later with Xander after leaving the “ladies” in the limo. Shortly after Ultra-Girl is announced as special guest along with the host Malcolm Merilyn.

Other notable moments and attendees.

  • Drake checked out the Gift Bag table, noting their his in hers versions.
    • Expensive Cologne/Perfume by Christian Dior
    • MiLife – Personal Recorder by OmniCorp
      • A number of people were wearing them with their personal feeds randomly displaying up on the monitors around the event.
    • $1000 Certificate of Donation in the guest name to a charity of their choose by Merlyn Worldwide
    • iPhone 17j by Apple
    • Godiva Chocolates
  • Reginald Samuels gives some praise to Drake and takes a dig at his son Xander.
  • Intro of Mayor Michael Stevenson, Governor Teresa LaSalle, Warden Hugo Strange
  • Intro of Anthony Ivo
  • Merlyn keeps calling Reginald “Reggie” which Samuels hates.
  • Merlyn calls out the Mayor in front of the Gov regarding “letting the MTF do your Job”
  • Samuels defends the Mayor and then leads him and Alastair Smythe off to discuss a new product.
  • Derek mistakes Stephanie for Eve while she is talking to Michael. The exchange upsets Stephanie but Drake doesn’t know why.
  • Michael Lau chats briefly with an inebriated Alexander Price. He is staring at Ultra-Girl and mumbling about what a bitch she is. Michael is not sure what to make of that.
  • Michael tries to ask out Stephanie who talks a lot about the Spider.
  • Drake tries to ask out Eve, who flirts back a bit and steals some champagne. She talks a lot about Iron Tiger the bad boy of heroes. Stephanie notices them talking and glares as Drake.
  • Ultra Girl is approached about a mod looking teenager with a bowl cut. He introduces himself as Nathan Edward the First but excuses himself once Merlyn joins the conversation and inquires who he is.

The Reach
Reach_Leaders.png

The Reach Ambassador arrives his chief scientist and a 6 member security detail. Ambassador 1105 is extremely charismatic and swarmed by notables and press at all times. It was only during the Reach Welcome Procession that Ultra Girl, standing at Merlyns right, was able to meet the aliens before she too was blocked by the crowd wanting to meet the extraterrestrial dignitary. After that she merely stayed nearby as the philanthropist walks the Ambassador around making introductions.

The Uninvited

klarion.png The party was in full swing around 11:45 when an odd adolescent boy begin moving through the crowd calling for his cat Teeki. Drake got a very bad feeling something was going to happened and slipped away to don his work clothes. Once hidden from he alerted Ultra-Girl and Iron Tiger of incoming trouble.

In quick order the heroes appeared and confronted who they knew, by reputation, was Klarion the Witch Boy. A “Lord of Chaos” and being of notable power. Once confronted uttered a spell the sealed the top floors of the building in a fiery force dome and summoned in his “chaperones”. A group known as Original Sin.

Wicked.jpg
Scorn.jpg
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The fight began when Klarion sent a wave of energy at the Reach Guards sending them flying into other guest all landing in a heap. Then Wicked sent her flying demons at the Reach Ambassador as Scorn rushed Ultra-Girl. The Spider and Iron Tiger engaged both Wicked and Taboo. Wicked landing a powerful blast of green magical fire on the Spider sending him crashing through the glass doors onto the rooftop terrace where other event guest were mingling. Taboo and one of the fire breathing demons in quick pursuit. Tiger leaped to Wicked who blasted him for his troubles while Ultra-Girl mostly ignored Scorn’s pummeling which only seem to make her madder and stronger.

Iron Tiger eventually called a switch to Ultra-Girl, while the Spider started to get the better of Taboo. Even making a deal with Klarion, who still seemed to occasionally calling for his cat, that if he found it they would leave the party and guest in peace. Klarion agreed.

While Tiger battled with Scorn, Wicked and Ultra-Girl had a whispered conversation behind Wicked’s green flaming mystic dome before the silhouette of them kissing could be seen. After which Wicked double teamed Iron Tiger with Scorn which finally caused Ultra-Girl to attack her. Knocking Wicked out.

Outside the Spider notice a cat’s meowing under tables. Tracking the sound he captured the strange looking cat to the glee of Klarion. The cat teleported into his masters hands and was immediately chastised for being a bad kitty.

Reunited with his pet, Klarion teleported his ladies to his side, dropped the flaming dome, and then teleported away.

With the barrier dropped there was a brief scramble as the Reach Guards rushed the Ambassador to their shuttle and took off. Likewise many guest began flooding down the stairs and fleeing the building. Ultra-Girl also left shortly after the Reach flew away.

Not all left quickly. Eve Adams ran up to Iron Tiger promising to thank him “properly” for saving her life while Stephanie approached the Spider in a more typical fan girl way. The two young heroes made quick exits after that.

Happy New Year
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Its moments before midnight and the heroes are individually making their ways home. Ultra-Girl leaping, the Spider swinging, and Michael in the van with the Taoist delegation. Midnight strikes and the three look to the sky and see it filled with fireworks each lost in their own thoughts.

Thoughts interrupted by a larger explosion that seemed out of place.

Final panel shows Argus Prison smoking and on fire, prisoners fleeing from a breaches in the walls and a high tech aircraft speeding away.

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View
New Guardians Issue 6
King of the Row

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Issue Cover: The Spider, Ultra-Girl and Iron Tiger standing in the middle of the street back to back with villian’s coming at them from all sides. (flying/leaping down, up and from both sides).
Issue Title: King of the Row

Background and Time Line

Panel opens to news cast dated Jan 2, 2015

News_Cast.png Grand City is still reeling from the recent assault on Argus and its subsequent jail break. While Argus Agents were able to recapture many of the lower powered menaces, there is still nearly 100 criminals that have evaded authorities so far. Fortunately some of the most fearsome and dangerous villains Such as General Xandros, the Chameleon and the currently unstable Permafrost and Red Death remain in Hot Sleep, deep in the bowels of Argus Prison.

Wait this just in… the New Guardians have engaged a bank robbery in progress. We take you there live.

Panel changes to fire fight between the cops and robbers.

Caption reads: First National Bank, Uptown

The heroes arrive to an unusual scene. Several heavily armed gang members with yellow skin and unnaturally large smiles have attacked a bank and taken some hostages. They are holding off police with the help of some plain-clothes looking assailants wearing varying Halloween type masks of heroes, villains and monsters. The masked women all have some type of jury-rigged acid squirting super soaker’s.

The police pull back as the heroes engage. The heroes draw fire quickly and identify the apparent leader of the attack, Big Dud.

Ultra-Girl approached the girls with the acid water-guns and notices that the equipment looked a bit fragile as it was made of plastic and held together with duct tape. The acid reservoir was also taped haphazardly to their bodies. Taking much care, she was able to subdue the women and remove the packs without the acid leaking onto the women.

Iron Tiger focused on the gang members putting them down hard and fast. This gets the attention of their leader Big Dud who brought the fight to him.

Dr._Fenris.jpg The Spider did his best to draw attention and give the hostages an opportunity a change to flee. His sharp eyes and danger sense alert him to a new threat sneaking into the fray. Dr. Fenris was prowling in the shadows trying close the distance to the Spider. Fenris, ignoring the bank robbery in progress, makes a direct line for the Spider who is ready for him. This leaves the other heroes to mop up the bank robbers.

The battles are fierce with Ultra-Girl and Tiger getting a handle on the robber, while the Spider and Fenris battle on the rooftops. The Spider, stunned by a particular vicious assault from Fenris, finds himself at the wolfman’s mercy. Trying to appeal to the man inside the monsters cause’s the beast to falter for a moment then enrages him. Instead of a bite from the powerful jaws of Fenris, the Spider is instead flung across the rooftop and through the wall of the bank.

On the street Ultra-Girl as successfully neutralized the women with the acid sprayers, keeping them from harming themselves as the Tiger drops the boss Big Dud. The gang members ordered the remaining masked normals to engage the heroes as they try to escape. Ultra-Girl destroys the engine in one vehicle as Tiger takes out the driver of the other.

In the Bank Fenris and Spider square off again, this time with Fenris taking a battering from web blast. Fenris seeing the tide turning on the street, says “Another time Spider” and quickly flees the scene.

Panel changes to The Crashpad.

The Raven and Ezekiel debriefing the team.

The_Raven.png The team first talks about the robbery and the yellow skinned robbers. The Raven tells them this is most likely the work of an insane criminal known as MadCap. One of the two most deadly escapees from Argus. The other escapee to look for is a serial killer known as Jonny Wendigo. He tells the team that these two need to be a top priority to re-capture as they have no regard for human life. The body count is sure to go up as long as they are free.

They review a list of the known escapees and then consolidated time lapse footage showing Argus was infiltrated by FrostByte the day before the breakout, lead by Coldhearted and targeted to free the Bashers, Komodo and Stone Ox. Also it seemed Intergang was aware the breakout was going to happen which means their December Blitz was at least a partial ploy to get men inside. Who ordered the job and why is still inconclusive.

[[New Argus Break Out – Jan 2025]]

EZ.jpg Next the team recap’s the failed assassination attempt at the Reach Gala. They are still unclear what the goal of the attack was. The lead on Ballistics had also reached an interesting dead end. Raven recovered one of the battle drones from Ballistics hideout and Ezekiel had done some analyze on it. The drone matched one of 10 drones reported as stolen from an OmniCorp storage facility in AZ last year. The Raven does not like the fact that OmniCorp’s name keeps popping up. Its too convenient, and there is no clear motive. He looks at the Spider but addresses the group when he says “we need to keep our eyes on them just in case they are trying to hide in plain sight.”

The Raven leaves to handle some other business, and the team continue to talk about the Gala. Tiger is upset with Ultra-Girl for making out with Wicked and leaving him to take on Scorn and Wicked. Ultra-Girl tries to explain she was trying to get Wicked to surrender but Tiger isn’t buying it. The Spider tries to intercede but Iron Tiger simple turns and walks away.

Panel changes to a familiar high tech lab with Reginald and Alistair working.

*Mr. Grey steps into view from off panel. *

Mr._Grey.jpg “Do you have the data.”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg handing him a flashdrive “It was very difficult getting the spyware onto the console and having it run without being caught. Secret Service swept the systems 3 times before we could safely activate it the trojan.
Mr._Grey.jpg “That was your problem, and look how well you over came adversity.“ (taking the flash drive) "We are very proud of you, and better still, your debt is clear.”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg a bit upset “Then this is goodbye.”
Mr._Grey.jpg smiling “I prefer to say… until next time”
Reginald_Samuels.jpg “Prefer what you want, but I’m saying goodbye.”
Mr._Grey.jpg still smiling “As you wish.” turns and leaves through a grey portal.
Panel changes

A few days pass with the heroes taking care of their personal lives. There is a montage of Michael at the Taoist Temple, Derek spending time with Aunt June and hanging with his childhood friend Xander, then finally to Ultra-Girl visiting with Malcolm Merlynn his party.

Panel changes to a large, spacious highrise apartment.

Caption reads Penthouse Suite, Grand Pinnacle Hotel

At the party there are a large number of Grand City’s influential players. Including Reginald Samuels and his guest Justin Hammer, young Alex Price who is unhappy with Ultra-Girl’s arrival and takes a verbal stab at her and Hammer.
Malcolm_Merlyn.jpeg Merlynn comes to her defense and excuses himself with Ultra-Girl in tow to speak privately. Warden Strange and Amanda Waller are also present. Price and Hammer continue to talk up their entries for the upcoming “Argus Bake-Off” to the warden and Waller. However Waller seems to take a keen interest in the fatherly relationship between Merlynn and Ultra-Girl.

It is during Ultra-Girls private exchange with Merlynn that all nearby TV’s, as well as a jumbo-tron on the street corner below change their display.

Panel changes

An a piece of paper is taped to the lens saying “We Interrupt your Program” with happy face that has a bullet hole drawn in the forehead.

A sultry woman’s voice is then heard: “Good Day Grand City, we interrupt your regularly schedule program for something faaaarrr more interesting.” (Tonight Show music plays)

madcap.gif Male voice – _“Heeee’s Zany, heeee’s wacky, he’ll melt your face with burning acid!!! Madder than a hatter and more captivating than a strait jacket… heeeerrrss MadCap!!”

MadCap then rips the paper away from the lens and runs to sit behind a desk. He pushes an applause button on a nearby sound board. There is a MadCapper woman sitting on the couch in an evening gown.

MadCap – applause track still playing “Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are too kind. Its good to be… “applause track still playing so he hits the button again.
MadCap – ”its good to be…” He tries to turn off the applause but the machine wont stop so in a rage he brings up a hammer and smashing it repeatedly. Then simply pushes it off the table.
MadCap – “Ahem, as I was saying, its soooo good to be out. Only been out for a few days and I’ve already met more people than I have in the last 8years. I tell you Dimples, solitary confinement is no way to meet people” laugh track goes off and a shot of Dimples holding a smaller sound board.
MadCap – double takes then laughs “oh Dimples you are a riot!! But seriously folks, I’m only out a couple of days and in some desperate need of a little green so I send a couple of friends to withdraw a bit of mad money.” Pauses for laughter, but not hearing any he shrugs and continues.
MadCap – ”But these Juvenile delinquents you call heroes harass my dear friend Big Dud. These New Guardians have jumped my friends sending them to the hospital! As you will see here in this highly accurate crime scent reenactment."

Panel zooms in as MadCap pulls out a diorama of Big Dud in a suit with a briefcase standing in front of a Bank. He is walking away when paper cutouts of the “heroes” jump him and continuing to beat him up as he cries for help. Then a wolf comes by and takes the briefcase of money. The panel zooms back out to Madcap as he unceremoniously dumps the diorama into a trash can.
Soundtrack – (aaaaaawww)
MadCap – “RIGHT!!! And I got to be honest Dimples… I was pretty CROSS about it and I might have done something very bad.”
Soundtrack – (booooooo)
MadCap – “I know, I know" (Smiles) “BUT it was then I turned that frown upside down and had a great idea!! What Dimples? What did I do? Oh. Well, I may have contaminated the water supply in one or more of these locations with CHEMICAL-X.”
Screen – about 200 locations quickly stream up the screen like credits
MadCap – (with a smile) “It a kill ya!! Now, all these young heroes need to do is be at this location"
Screen – Address appears on the screen in a different location than he is pointing to
MadCap – “after 8pm tonight to find the cure and the list of contaminated locations.” (Angrily) And if I see even 1 flat-foot within 5 miles of this location, I’ll destroy the cure and you can watch as innocents die!!!”
Screen – MadCap then pauses and looks bored as a fast speech announcer says ”This event it open to the public, and it is encouraged that the heroes enemies, other villains, or simply violent loving spectators attend. This address and plan may have been leaked to the underworld and social media an hour before this broadcast.
MadCap – “Ok?… OK!! See you tonight HEROES!”

Panel changes to a small park in the middle of several blocks

Caption reads Kingsrow

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By the time the heroes converge on the address in Kings Row there hundreds of civilians are already loitering the streets, rooftops windows and balconies. The police have setup a 5 mile perimeter and are trying to to stop any additional spectators from entering the area.

A lot of cheers go up once the heroes get to the fountain in the middle of King Park. There are some boos too and wishes for them to loose. It takes only a few moments after their arrival for a makeshift air balloon to come into view. Speakers blaring rocky music.

MadCap has arrived announcing the start of this spectacle.

As if that was what they were waiting for, nearly a dozen bystanders left the crowds and rushing in from various sides. Their laughter, leaders and the sound of their Boost ampules identified them as the hyenas. The first group the heroes had fought together.

Next up were the DestroyerBots that had plagued the Spider. They had barely dropped the last Booster, when these robots joined the fray carrying in a large shipping container. Fortunately the heroes had turn most of these hastily assembled robots to scrap when the door of the cargo container went green allowing a confused Shellback to exit. He had some type of collar around his neck and seemed to have been “worked” on. The Spider tried to get through to Sheldon but it was clear he was not home.

The fight with the monstrous snapping turtle was fierce and unrelenting. Ultra-Girl took several big hits from the behemoth that would have completely crushed anyone else. All the while MadCap cheered, booed, ate popcorn and contributed some some blow by blow commentary.

Still, with much effort the heroes put down Shellback and engaged the host of this “Side-show”. MadCap was not without his own tricks, and with a blast of gas from his gun, “Sunshine”, he was able to “suggest” that the Tiger fight the Spider instead. The Spider kept his distance from the Tiger until he could catch him in his web. He knew it would not hold him but just needed to buy some time to refocus the Tigers fury.

The Tiger was able to shake off the effects of the suggestion just as the Spider managed to web up MadCap. It was with much joy the Tiger pounced turning the manics lights out.

View
New Guardians Issue 7
Burn't Out

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Issue Cover: Overburn’s helmet engulfed in flames.
Issue Title: Burn’t Out

Background and Time Line

Lex_Price.jpg Panel opens with Lex Price moving quickly through the office with two assistance trailing him. Young Price is late for a meeting with the Board of Directors and Director Waller for the initial review of the Price Industries entry into the Argus contract “Bake Off”. Price is annoyed as Overburn was supposed to escort the caravan when it left in an hour but there seemed to be a mix up and his “product” was shipped early and en-route to the testing site.

He yells at the assistant asking “what do I pay you for” before firing him and then walks into the conference room. The assistant mumbles this is the 2rd time he’s been fired this month, and dejectedly walks off.

Inside the Conference room the “Sizzle Reel” had just ended as Price sweeps into the room as if perfectly timed. All smiles and enthusiasm he talks a moment to self promote and talks about the marvel of Price Industries under us leadership.

Amanda_Waller.png Amanda Waller acknowledges that the former Price would have never produced so innovations for the government and hopes Lex and deliver on what the junket shows. Lex assures her the prototypes will be ready to dazzle at the “Bake Off” in a few days. Waller seams pleased and wishes Price luck. Then noticing Duncan Leeland approach she says to Price “looks like soon we could have trusted Guardians of our own, and not some young costumed vigilantes we can only assume have the peoples best interest at heart.” Price agrees with the statement wholeheartedly as Waller takes her leave.

Duncan, a minority board member, tries to get some time with Price but the young executive starts to blow him off. Mr. Leeland mentions it was his auditors that found the off the books Price estate which does get Prices attention and sincere gratitude. He tells Mr. Leeland to schedule a meeting to discuss whatever it is he wanted but now was not a good time and leaves the room.

Leaving in a rush he is half-way down the hall when a rugged man in his mid 30’s falls into step with him. Price stops in his tracks saying “WHAT!?”. To which the man introduces himself as Doug Johnson. He is one of the pilots for the prototype. He had gone over the manual and logged tons of hours in the simulators. He had some notes he wanted to share with Lex on how to improve the prototypes. Not only is Doug supposed to be with at the hanger with the other pilots waiting on the prototypes, he is offering ideas on how to improve on Lex’s designs. Lex looses it and fires Doug on the spot and walks off.

Panel Changes to vehicle chase in Midtown

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Eltoro.headshot.jpg Scene changes to a car chase in progress. A Price industries armored transport is barreling down the street with El Toro riding on top and Volt flying along side. The vehicle itself seems to be surround by some type of force field and driving with more maneuverability that one of its size should have. Still it seems to ram into vehicles in the way with Volt adding blast to authorities in pursuit.

The Spider and Ultra-Girl are first on the scene and down the street of the approaching chase. The Spider recognizes Volt and El Toro and starts to form a plan of approach with Ultra-Girl when OverBurn flies overhead and lands on the building across from them looking at the speeding mayhem. The duo pause waiting for some type of acknowledgement from the Price Industries bodyguard but he never looks their way. Ultra-Girl thinks he might still be mad about the fight they had. She confides in the Spider that she had been meaning to apologizes for her part in it but OverBurn never returned. The Spider mentions that perhaps she will have a chance after they stop this robbery.

Still with no indication he sees the New Guardians, OverBurn assaults robbers blasting El Toro off the roof of the vehicle. Only a hair behind him the Spider and Ultra-Girl join the fray with Ultra Girl jumping in front of the moving vehicle and lifting it above hear head to stop it. It is then she sees two terrified guards inside the car and the strange energy on the steering wheel as well. OverBurn yells at Ultra-Girl to put the car down carefully, will tossing a dig at her. The Spider verbally comes to her aid while fending off Volts attacks. Adding that OverBurn is taking being a “company man” bit too far.

Joy_ride.jpg Ultra-Girl puts the vehicle down carefully and as she does it yells at her for ruining things. The energy then leaves and takes the energy form of a young girl. Volt calling out to her names her as Joy and later clarified as JoyRide, daughter of Volt. JoyRide jumps into another vehicle taking control of it and tries to ram the Spider who had web blasted Volt. The Spider is too quick and leaps out of the way.

OverBurn blasts a downed Volt, causing El Toro to charge him. Surprisingly Overburn simply lowers his head to brace for the impact. Impressively he remains standing but both he and El Toro are worse off from the collision.

Ultra-Girl subdued the vehicle JoyRide had jumped into and freed the soccer mom within. This causes JoyRide to yell in frustration and in concern over her mother. JoyRide quickly flows out of the car she is in and into the back of the armored vehicle. Ultra-Girl calls she’ll get her as OverBurn seems alarmed and yells out “No no no”. It is unclear what he was more concerned about, JoyRide or Ultra-Girl.

Joy_Ride_Guardian_Suit.jpg The Spider continues to try and manage El Toro as Ultra-Girl approaches the armed vehicle. OverBurn however moves to the still downed Volt and has her covered when the cargo doors of the armored car open and powersuit, with the JoyRide field around it flies out.

The team learns that the heist was for these new power suits that Price industries created but now JoyRide is prepared to fly away with one of them. OverBurn threatens to blast the unconscious Volt which starts to make JoyRide panic, but an outburst from the Spider and Ultra-Girl emboldens her to call his bluff. Much to the announce of OverBurn, he does not blast the unconscious Volt and instead demands JoyRide exit the suit.

Thinking JoyRide might need something else in the vehicle Ultra-Girl hops in and sees there are 3 more suits locked in individual bays like multiple batteries in a recharger. Trying to temp Joyride to surrender Ultra-Girl starts pulling on components nosily as if breaking vital components the crook might need. This tactic only seemed to alarm OverBurn who grew absolutely irrate and ordering Ultra-Girl out of the car. That and Ultra-Girl does damage on of the recharging bays.

JoyRide takes advantage of this distraction as an opportunity to take off. An angry OverBurn again yelling at Ultra-Girl to stay out of the vehicle before blasting off after the stolen suit. Left to police up Volt and El Toro, the starting duo again mention what a jerk OverBurn is.

It is not long when an Argus craft arrives with troops and Amanda Waller. The Troops Halo and collect the ex-cons while Waller walks up to the Spider and Ultra-Girl. An imposing women in person her scrutiny gives them the impression she doesnt miss much. She mentions she had hoped to meet the “New Guardians” face to face one day. And passes a veiled warning to the Spider about OmniCorp’s interest in him. Before he could probe more OverBurn returns completely ignoring the duo announcing to Waller JoyRide was denied the suit but got away. The other three will be operational for the “Bake Off”. She comments that Price is lucky to have someone as competent as OverBurn in his employee. She then turns and leaves. Spider and Ultra-Girl also depart seeing that OverBurn is not in a talkative mood.

Panel changes to a montage of images

Next couple of days see heroes about very different days. Price preparing for the “Bake-Off”, Drake doing chores and the Spider staking out the Iris home, and finally Alex hanging with her friends, but getting tired of them so Ultra-Girl pays a casual visit to Malcolm. Malcolm invites Ultra-Girl as his guest to a weapons display to which she agrees.

Panel changes to Crashpad

Its the night before the “Bake Off” when the Raven calls the two heroes in. He explains there has been some chatter that the Argus Bake-Off will be hit but someone. Although this is supposed to be an undisclosed location, there will be a number of high ranking civilians as well as government officials there so this would be a high prize hit.

The Spider doesn’t like the idea of being so far out of the city with Dr. Fenris still loose but agrees. Ultra-Girl agrees pretty quickly and says she will make her own way there. The Raven stares at her for a moment but says nothing. Then to both simply says good luck and leaves.

Panel changes to an empty airfield somewhere outside Grand City

The are about 30 guest at the event with some press, VIP’s and government officials. The Spider is “hanging” out nearby catching up on homework while Ultra-Girl has front row seats as Malcolm Merlynn’s guest. A fact that is not lost on Waller. Other notables are Warden Strange is also there with some aids. Also Justin Hammer and Lex Price being the only two bids left standing after some unfortunate accidents caused the other three bidders to pull out last minute.

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Guardsmen Battle-Suit. At 1billion dollars per suit this body armor could be mass produced to augment Argus agents giving them the extra stopping power needed in numbers that will make a difference. An Army of SuperAgents, vetted by government to serve the people of this fine nation.
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The demo is impressive with the suits showing that they are quite maneuverable and can pack a punch. Doubtful they could go toe to alone against a major villain but their Auto-Lock feature allows the suits to synchronize their attacks on a single target.

Once the Price demo concluded there was a number of claps and mummers with spectators looking largely impressed. Hammer continuing loud clap long after everyone else had stopped. He his speech summed up the difference in his approach. That why have 20 agents that could barely hold their own against a true villian and only be good for picking up the trash the New Guardians left on curb, when you could five HEROES like these.

With that a sonic boom is heard as eyes go skyward seeing a single object flying inbound moving at incredible speeds. It lands with a sense of power and strength that awes the crowd. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the future of homeland security. I give you the Justice Hammer!!” With that the unit stands and slow approaches the crowd.
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After a quick display it is clear the Justice Hammer is faster, stronger and more heavily armed and armored than the Guardsmen. It also has some design elements of earlier Afterburn model suits. The Hammers pilot, disgruntled and recently fired Doug Johnson calls out Prices pet Overburn and the two Guardsmen to a battle. Price accepts the challenge and makes a call on his mobile as he walks to his private lounge to witness the fight in comfort. Overburn must have been close has it was only a few moments after Price left that the Corporate hero arrives.

Justice_Hammer_Attack.jpg The initial assault of from both sides was fierce with the Hammer’s heavier firepower and armor taking the advantage. While the Justice Hammer was knocked back OverBurn was knocked down. Doug Johnson’s bravado might have gotten the better of him as the Guardsmen were able to keep him from taking advantage of their downed leader. With a powerful blast managing to knock the Hammer off its feet in time for OverBurn to unleash a Tri-Beam into the fallen foe. And just like that, the battle was over as the Justice Hammer lay sparking slightly flat on the.

Or was it?

In bound ships flying fast below Radar caught and held the attention of all. Most were curious if this was another part of the exhibition. Only Waller and Duncan Leeland, seem to frown at the approaching vessels. Duncan leans speaking low so that only Waller could hear.
Duncan: “Your mad dogs coming to chase cars Waller?”
Waller: “It was suggested we stop feeding strays. I’m sure they are merely sniffing for a meal”
Duncan: “If they start to bite, then they can get their three squares in the pound.”

While the conversation was very low, Ultra-Girl caught some of the exchange. Also from his hiding spot the Spider did not need his senses to tell him trouble was coming, but for the moment continued to watch from his concealed location. Unfortunately, due to the damaged power bay the Guardsmen were low on juice and had to retreat, initially leaving OverBurn to meet these new comers alone.

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It became clear pretty quickly that the MTF had arrived to make a more physical statement cause both the Spider and Ultra-Girl to step forward. OverBurn still feeling OverConfident with his rapid defeat of the Justice Hammer used his large area blast. This injured several for the agents and cleared made OverBurn threat. The MTF in response moved forward and spread-out their formation, then fired their “Brick Busters”, dazing the armor clad OverBurn.

Fortunately the Spider and Ultra-Girl were there, taking the focus and cutting down MTF numbers. This gave OverBurn time to recover and then three soon made short work of the MTF. Once again the battle was over but a new crisis emerge.

The Justice Hammers pilot, Doug Johnson begins to scream in pain. Ultra-Girl approaches and scans him seeming that faulty value broke from the suits power core. Surprising still is that it seems the suit is powered by a Terminus anit-matter fuel cell which has been compromised and the reaction was building. Currently the only thing containing its radiation was the suit but that could not hold for long and opening it here would expose more lives to the exotic radiation.

Not seeing many good options OverBurn scoops up the Hammer pilot and all. He then blast off towards a nearby mountain range trying to cover as much distance as possible. The radiation is already working through Doug’s body and his skin starts to crack, cinder and smoke. The radiation levels are becoming too high for OverBurn to safely handle and his suit systems are showing signs of failing. Doug is not longer screaming in pain and appears to died.

Pushing on, OverBurn fines what he was looking for. A mine shaft where they do ballistic testing. With much regret and a yell of frustration OverBurn tosses the Hammer of Justice down and blast the opening shut just before the explosion.

Back at the airfield the military have moved in quickly and collected MTF agents. Justin Hammer blames Price for the incident saying that OverBurn’s use of force was excessive for an exhibition. Price, surprisingly, is not around to give a statement.

View
New Guardians Issue 8
Uninvited Guest

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Issue Cover: A high school party with many kids wearing Empire HS gold pins. The Spider and Iron Tiger are standing awkwardly amongst the crowd. No one seems to notice them.
Issue Title: Uninvited Guest
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Background and Time Line

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