New Guardians

Spider Entry 27

Down the rabbit hole proved no less amazing and head spinning then Alice’s. Sure climbing down in the sewer wasn’t a promising start, but the Gyro-Car racing through the tunnels of Grand City was sweet. I hope Jaeger didn’t pick that all up when he contacted me mind. I won’t want him to think me unprofessional. Nah I’m sure I pulled it together by then.

When the ride stopped we reached the Street King’s underground base. Well playground maybe more accurate. A abandoned subway car factor and depot turned into a IRL battle map. Terrible T and I were introduced to some of the SK elites and I learned their benefactor is called The Mechanic, but the truth is certainly that’s just a pseudonym for MODOK. Daemon wouldn’t reveal any big master plan they are working towards, just to have the freedom to use the entire city as their playground. I highly doubt a ex-Nazi supervillain comes out of retirement and possibly out of death to just help create the top gang in Grand City. As they pull out the blood kits to write the power packs to our DNA Jaeger tells me the team is close. The packs are impressive they are self-power through bio-electrical conduction.

Once news of the New Guardians immediate arrival sounds Daemon shuffles Terrible T and I off into the building to stay safe and watch. Ultra-Girl dramatically bursts in and demands their surrender. “The mechanic” appears on all of the arena screens and now we know for sure its MODOK. The Street Kings and turrets open fire as Jaeger and Dynamo catch up. I sneak away and suit up. Better to let Terrible T think I’m a coward then learn I’m The Spider. Jaeger was kind enough to stash my Web-Blasters, but while Dynamo is having fun playing solider running from cover to cover Ultra-Girl is getting lit-up like a Rockefeller Christmas tree, so no time I had to take out those turrets.

Once Overburn arrives the tide turns and we once gain put the Street Kings in their place. Then just like the third stage of New World Order we get a boss fight. The Elites. Overburn squared off with Ghost maker whose gun can turn some one else desolid. Gollum who is big and strong goes after Ultra-Girl. Their invisible sniper Dutch goes hard after Jaeger and Dynamo leaving me with the twin-bladed armored MMA fighter Bayoneta. Her flirting all most took the sting out of her energy blades, almost. Between Grossa and Bayoneta I’ve gotta try to not let this go to my head. Hey I’m all for strong women aggressively going after what they want, but where were these modern feminist at the last Sadie Hawkins dance? I’m literally sore to admit Bayoneta got the best of me and put me down hard. But not has hard as it was to believe that Price came to my aid. Even Providence saving me would have been less embarrassing after all my talk that we didn’t need him.

By the time I got to my feet again my teammates took down Dutch and Bayoneta and were already teaming up on Gollum. Getting pounded on repeatedly by Dynamo and Ultra-Girl couldn’t have happened to a nicer got. I leapt onto Ghost Maker’s back keeping his weapon out of use before he shunts Overburn into an alternate state of being again, but before we could take him down he turned insubstantial and fled. The Daemon took off too.

All in all not too bad for a few days’ work, nearly all of the street kings were arrested and the few left are not enough to be a real threat to the city for a while. Not defeated, but certainly broken. I found MODOK workshop. He was studying us for some time and I believe designing new suits to specifically to take us out. And then we found the mother lode, two giant vats of programmed nanites. Overburn entered the workshop just as I found the kill command to destroy all of the nanites. Then the little bit of good well I was feeling towards Price after saving me was torpedoed by his greed. He wanted to keep the nanites for Price Industries. We called the others down to make a group decision. I explained that if these nanites fall into the wrong hands and can be used to make another gang of Street Kings or worse.

Overburn was trying to sell them on how one day they could be used to cure cancer. I nearly barfed in my mask. He was actually starting to win the vote with Ultra-Girl and Dynamo on his side, when the truth was the nanites aren’t the scientific breakthrough needed to cure disease or world hunger, they’re the raw material to use once the break through happens and to Price it’s just an extra 3-billion dollars. With pressuring and questions for Lex Price Overburn revealed his true identity as Lex to Ultra-Girl and Dynamo.

Ultra-Girl took it well, if you don’t take into account the look of betrayal on her face and punching Overburn through a wall. Ultra-Girl hit the kill switch on the Nanite tanks and the meeting was adjourned!

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New Gaurdians Issue 25
Mayhem

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Cover: The New Guardians face off against the Outsiders

Team Entries
The Jaeger Entry 25 The Spider Entry 25 Overburn Entry 25 Dynamo Entry 25 Ultra-Girl Entry 25
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New Gaurdians Issue 23
Red Rain

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New Gaurdians Issue 22
Shadows of the Past

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New Guardians Issue 21
The Wall

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Ultra-Girl and The Jaeger are now safely back on Earth teleported from the galactic bounty hunter Key’loc. After six hours of silence and reflective thought during the travel back Ultra-Girl breaks the stillness by mentioning it’s nice to be home again and if Jaeger thinks her bounty of 24 fire stones was a lot. Jaeger having lived a pretty normal life up until a few months again is staggered by what he just learned. He starts to ask some questions for clarification, but quickly stops himself admitting he can’t handle learning anymore right now.

Their communicators chirp and its Ezekiel and The Spider worried about their sudden disappearance and loss of coms for over 12 hours. Ultra-Girl assures them everything is fine and they’ll be back at the crash pad soon. Ultra-Girl asks Jaeger to not tell anyone about what he learned. The Jaeger agrees.

Back at the crash pad Ultra-Girl stumbles for a good excuse and blames a bad battery in both their communicators. Neither Ezekiel nor Spider believes it. Dynamo doesn’t seem to care either way. Ultra-Girl and Jaeger allow The Spider and Ezekiel to worry about more bounty hunter attacks on Ultra-Girl rather than have to explain the last 12 hours. House arrest is shot down, but Ultra-Girl agrees to stay in her secret ID until The Raven returns and can figure out who is behind the bounty.

A little more than a day later Amanda Waller Amanda_Waller.pngvisits the apartment of Wolfgang Maximilian Schafer a.k.a The Jaeger. She has gotten the captured alien bounty hunters to talk and they confirm Ultra-Girl was their target and that other bounty hunters will come to collect, but they don’t know why. Waller presses Jaeger for answers. First appealing to his sense of civic duty and that these alien threats are to be feared, but he refuses saying he gave his word not to tell. Waller leaves him with a threat that he and his entire family will be closely watched by the government. After she departs Jaeger learns that teams of soldiers were in position to capture him in case he tried to flee.

Jaeger calls a roof top meeting with Ultra-Girl who arrives out of costume. He warns her about Amanda Waller and that the U.S. Government may go after his family. Ultra-Girl come across uncaring making remarks about his parents being old and doesn’t his loss of memories about them make it less likely for him to care about them. Ultimately she isn’t going to turn herself into Waller because of a few threats. The Jaeger is upset and teleports away.

The next day at Empire High during lunch Stephanie, Derek and Xander are talking about the upcoming science fair that could lead to summer internships at OmniCorp. Providence Pope gets her hopes ups up that track and field star Mile Rinehart is being kind to her. This quickly changes into embarrassing her in front of the school. Alex fearing Providence will use her powers steps in followed by Zack Pope. With one social scene diffused another springs forth. Zack is confronted in the cafeteria by the football captain TD and several members of the varsity team. Zack has missed two practices and is told to be a team player and not to miss anymore. Zack verbally spits in TD’s face and announces he no longer cares about football, there are more interesting and exciting things in life. Besides committing social suicide he also makes an instant enemy with Stomper.

Marcie and Alex are surprised by Zack’s rebellious display. Marcie admits she has a small crush on Zack and Alex offers to help her get closer to him.

The next night Alex is finally invited to one of the “special” meetings that Lainie, Becca and Marcie has been going to for over a month and the reason they have been spreading that strange Sign all around town. Lainie made it clear that Alex must be on time or she won’t be invited again. Fifteen minutes before Alex is to meet up with the girls for the meeting Spider climbs through her window and reveals that he has known her secret identity for a while. Spider says he is worried about her and wants to know what really happened during the 12 hours she disappeared.

Alex proposes an exchange, she’ll answer that question if Spider takes off his mask. Spider reluctantly agrees, but says it’s a big moment. Two others besides the Raven know his identity, but both of them figured it out, this is the first time he has chosen to reveal it to anyone. Looking at the clock Alex urges him to get on with it. She is generally surprised to learn The Spider who is always so confident is actually the science nerd sophomore from school Derek something. Derek feeling a big weight off of his shoulders starts to get comfortable in her room wanting to talk more, but Ultra-Girl ushers him out saying she has plans tonight and he can come back in a few hours to hear her story about the missing twelve hours. Gus.jpg

Alex barely makes it to her friends in time. They drive to an even more run down part of Kings Row. She meets a big lumbering kid named Gus who opens the door to an old Thai restaurant long ago abandoned. Everyone gathered seems to be from different walks of life, but despite that get along. Alex is introduced to the group’s charismatic leader Joshua. Joshua.jpg He gives a speech to the five new comers to the meetings.

Humanity was always meant to be something great. We have evolved from single sell organisms to top of the food chain on this planet, uncontested by leaps and bounds above all other life here. Yet something is missing. Sure we have fast cars, 5,000 cable channels and instant access to every useless thought someone ever thought and posted on the internet from our phones, but I couldn’t help feeling a little emptiness inside, like something was missing.

What if I told you that the human potential hasn’t been fully reached, that we were designed for more?

Sure we know it’s possible with meta-humans we see all the time on news feeds, but they’re called meta-human for a reason. Their mutations separate them from the human race. What I’m talking about isn’t a small subset of the human species that spurs off, no I’m talking about a true greatness in all humans.

It’s there, inside of me, inside of you (points around the room). It’s there and when released it’s magical. I know we have this potential inside of us, I’ve seen it first hand, but we are stifling it and killing it within us and we don’t even know it.

Did you know that there are now over 2.3 million more time the electro magnet waves with in our atmosphere there was a thousand years ago? Before any of you new comers rolls your eyes and say this is just another global warmer speech hold on. Because what I’m going to tell you is it’s not just are world, but our human potential that is dying. Every advance in technology puts us further way from connecting to our true selves and reaching our full potential. The how, whys and proof of this is out there, I’ve seen it and those who are dedicated and ready will be shown.

Then he asks to learn what lead the newbies here tonight. Three of them nervously answer that their friends brought them. Once strange girl Pauline [add art] delivers a much more detailed answers. Her voice and facial features never changing throughout the tale:

She talks about how she hates being home when her mom’s boyfriend is over so she walks around the city at night. I wasn’t paying attention, well I normally avoid being near lots of people, especially bars and stuff. But I was looking at the moon and it was so big that night and felt like if I walked a little further I could stand right under it, but the buildings kept blocking it, so I cut through an alley. Then before I knew it two men grabbed me, so much liquor on their breathe it made my eyes water. They beat on me until everything went black. When I woke up, I felt calm like everything was going to be ok somewhere, which made no sense. I looked up and saw the sign and new I’d be ok. I started drawling it everywhere.

Joshua says and that’s how I found you.

Next all five of the newbies are taken one by one to see something in the hallway. Alex uses N-Ray vision to watch the face of those going first so she can better fake it. On Alex’s turn she is shown to a wall covered by stringed tarp, it’s lifted to reveal a golden yellow Sign painted on an interior brick wall. TYS_sticker.pngShe is told to stare at it. Alex doesn’t feel anything, just before turning away it looks like it moved, like instead of being paint on a wall, it is actually a thousand golden flat backed beetles that shifted in a wave. This spooks her. She looks again with all of her super-senses and sees only golden paint on a brick wall. She tells Joshua what she had seen and he looked surprised, but quickly recovers.

The meeting is winding down with members talking about where next to spread the sign. It’s announced that that Donnie, who is absent tonight, has proven himself and is preparing to ascend soon to the next knowledge level. This is met with good cheer from the veteran members. Lainie speaks to Joshua and Alex listens in with super hearing. Lainie asks permission to sabotage the All County Science Faire coming up, to show people that technology isn’t the path to the future. Joshua encourages her and leaves the decision and specifics up to her.

Alex and Marcie go to fetch the car. One the way they talk. Marcie shares that her first time seeing the symbol on the wall was strange and different from what Lainie and Becca experienced. To Marcie it was like she discovered a coldness was inside of her that she never knew, and then by looking at the sign she felt warm. Alex suggested maybe she is special and that’s why it was different then Lainie and Becca. Alex having done well in the meeting, has a great rest of the night with the girls, she is even given the shotgun seat. The Spider waits around for several hours and gives up on Alex.

The next day at the Pope residence Derek talks Providence into not to giving up on her science project for the fair. Zack continues to put Providence down and wants Derek to do his homework. Derek suggests that Zack can help Providence with her science project about draft and lift, by building cool model jets.

Max Schafer takes a missing person’s case working for Mary O’Harre. Ms._O_Harre.jpgHer 17 year old son Peter O’Harre Jr went missing eleven days ago. Police labeled him a run away and have dropped activity on the case. Peter O’Harre Sr. was a State Police Officer who died in the line of duty 9 years ago. Her son Peter has had a rough time of it since. She says he is a good kid, but always had trouble keeping friends, hasn’t really had a best friend ever. Peter had been melancholy for some time, but he finally started to perking up during the last two months and going out with friends again. She works nights and didn’t ask who and risk upsetting him.

Max searches Peter’s room and finds that he has gone through a lot of different phases and styles over the last few years. His closest is a collage of stickers, ticket stubs and effects of his past phases. An overwhelming amount packed into a tiny space, most of which culture wise mind as well be alien to Max. According to file dates on his laptop Peter hadn’t used his computer in two months. Max also finds a writing kit, which is odd for a teenager. This was news to the mother.

Max goes to Peter’s High School FDR and speaks with students and teachers. Max discovers that Peter did try hanging out with emo, stoners and straight edge groups, but never fit in. He starting spending time alone in the library or in the science lab. The only student said to have hung out with him in the last four months is Christopher Rodgers. He has already left for the City All County Science Fair that’s going on today, actually right now. Max heads there.

The Grand City All County High School Science Fair is sponsored by OmniCorp and hosted at the Fairview Civic Center near Atlas Park. Any high school student in the county can participate, but the Governing committee chooses what areas they are displayed in. The better the exhibit the better the location.

Two of the three entrances has PVC pipe portals with hanging yellow towels that you have to walk through to get to the metal doors.

The exhibit hall is large and separated into a few sections. The more basic collections of underclassmen simple science fair projects like baking soda volcanos and potatoes batteries are grouped in the back. The more interesting ones are given more space towards the front halls. Providence and Zack arrive together to set up their booth. Providence decides to go have a look around. Meanwhile Alex is given her part to play in the sabotages. She is to paint the “Sign” onto retracted solar panel curtains and await Lainie’s orders to cut the cable and release them.

Max arrives and starts looking around for Chris Rodgers. Providence and Max stop at most booths to observe the exhibits. Some are simplistic while others are very impressive. They run into each other while observing David Kemp’s Static Electricity Clean Energy Battery. He was the student who set up the strange devices at the doors to capture static electricity. At the end of the day he will attempt to power a single light in the building to show it works. Max asks Providence about Christopher Rodgers and she leads the way to him, but she is distracted by Derek’s Air Pollution Chemical Scrubber entry being judged.

Max meets with Christopher Christopher.jpgwho is showing the science of temperatures effect on molecules through magnetics. When asked about Peter Chris says that there were friends for several months and actually started this science project together. Then a couple months ago, he started being distant and said he didn’t want anything to do with science anymore. Their conversation is interrupted by the judges. Just then high above on the cat walks Lainie out of breath shouts for Alex to cut the cord and release the curtains. She does. The cheap mock up solar panel curtains made by Empire High senior Kevin Finkman drop down with hand painted versions of the Sign. This causes a reaction from some, but is ignored by many. Then a few lights go out and some students lose power. A super volcano display only pitifully spews out yellow foam. Lainie seems satisfied and pleased.

Then an explosion rumbles the hall as a gout of flame bursts through the false floor and sets a man’s cloths on fire. A second explosion follows seconds later. Alex looks around and can see pockets of fires spreading. Lainie swears this is not part of the plan, but she did plug the propane gas line that was running to several exhibits. A man runs to the door and is electrocuted into unconsciousness when he touches the door. Lainie is shocked and says Becca distracted David while Lainie switch his power source battery to reverse. The intent was for people exiting to get a small shock. Alex tells her to turn off the static power battery and Lainie agrees. Alex takes an arm glove and turns it into a make shift mask and leaps into action.

Max rushes into a restroom and changes into The Jaeger. Zack runs through flames catching on fire, but is unaffected as he absorbs the heat energy and busts into a maintenance room to change. Providence takes a fire extinguisher off the wall and puts the fire out on a male student.

The civic center melts into total chaos as people are trapped in this giant inferno. To make matters worse the super volcano is pumping out a cloud of gas that is causing the surrounding people to pass out. Derek shots its toxic chlorine gas. Alex leaps in to help the fallen and immediately her lungs and nose starts to burn. Seeing the doors aren’t safe Derek tells Stephanie, who is in a nearby booth to stay put and he goes to help the fallen people in the poisonous gas cloud.

The Jaeger starts leading people to an exit, once there he uses a blast of TK to blow away the doors and allow people to exit. Dynamo runs to another door to do the same. The gas cloud is growing quickly and taking down a lot of people. Alex tears it open and crimps the pipe before destroying the motor. It’s no longer pumping out new gas, but the existing cloud continues to spread, but grow weaker. Derek manages to get a few people out before temporary losing consciousness. Providence went under a table and changes into Ms. Mystic, confused why the fire sprinklers haven’t gone on yet, she fires a magic missile at an overhead spout. This releases a gush of water putting a fire out, but then the water pressure is quickly lost.

Lainie shouts for David Kemp to turn off the machine, he does but the power is still going as its connected to the building’s power. Dynamo smashes the battery to pieces and the doors are no longer electrified. The Jaeger uses waves of solid force to slow the spread of fire at the exit. Ultra-Girl using super senses detects two people that were in the gas the longest and need the most help she yells for Jaeger to assist. He determines they need constant chest compressions or they’ll die. As the cloud of poison gas approaches he can either get himself to safety or save the two critically sick people. He uses TK to slide them out of the building while he is over taken by the gas and falls unconscious, his shadowed face disappearing. Stephanie grabs him and drags him towards the door, seeing Max’s face.

Ms. Mystic is over taken by the gas while focusing on saving others and is rescued by Alex. Eventually everyone is evacuated from the building. Alex immediately bounds far away. A minute later she gets a call from Marcie asking if she is ok and that the gang needs to meet up and talk, she sounds very upset. Alex says she quits and hangs up.

Once EMS arrives and takes over the scene Jaeger heads to the crash pad along with Dynamo and Ms. Mystic. They observe the news coverage and wait for word on casualties. Ultra-Girl doesn’t respond to any hails from the team and The Spider says he is in the hospital checking on friends. The Spider arrive later and is told by Providence that Ultra-Girl was there, but know isn’t answering calls.

The casualty totals come in: 1 dead, 21 in critical care and 46 with minor injuries. The media and police are unclear on who is responsible, only that they left a calling card, the Sign. Ezekiel doesn’t have that Sign in the database, but Jaeger thinks it looks familiar, but can’t place it at the moment. Over the next few days the event gets less and less local coverage other than the New Guardians saved it from being a disaster.

The Spider drops into Alex’s room as she is packing a duffel bag. She says she will make good on her promise and tell him what happened with the bounty hunters, but for now she has to leave and trust her that she is safe from that. Spider asks her why she needs to go and she says its her fault people were hurt at the science fair, but she can’t say more right now. She needs to time alone and will be back in a week or two. Spider says he’ll hold her to that schedule and leaves.

A short time later Amanda Waller arrives at Alex’s house and drops the bomb that she knows Ultra-Girls secret identity along with The Spider. Waller insists that Ultra-Girl comes with her to talk about the aliens. UG agrees on one condition that she have gourmet French cuisine for every meal. Waller shakes her head and agrees.

That night Derek is awaken from bed by sounds in his closet, he opens the door only to have Shadow Dancer fall into his arms. She has grievous puncture wounds in her abdomen.

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New Guardians Issue 20
Wanted

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Ultra-Girl upset at The Raven’s non-urgency to find the Guardians she flees the crash pad and leaps away. Upset and trying to literally leap away from the emotions swelling in her mind Ultra-Girl bounds across the city. Before she realizes where she is going she is at Malcolm Merlyn’s Penthouse balcony. As she is debating leaving, figuring he is likely not home anyways she hears his soothing voice, “Ultra-Girl, are you alright?” MM.jpg

Ultra-Girl apologizes for just showing up, but she didn’t know where else to go, he welcomes her always and she hugs him. Once inside she tells Malcolm all about The Raven having found a hidden space station which has something to do with The Guardian’s disappearance a year ago. Ultra-Girl is upset that The Raven wants to just wait and gather more information. Malcolm appears surprised at all of this news. He asks a few questions about the mysterious space station and The Raven’s involvement with the New Guardians. Ultra-Girl talks about how it was The Raven who initially gathered the New Guardians together and has been mentoring them, but she doesn’t feel it’s very successful. Iron Tiger left, Overburn was in, then out and now back in. They speak about Lex Price and how Ultra-Girl was hurt by the rude comments he made to the press about her and the New Guardians. Malcolm shares some wisdom of how to filter out the negative comments from strangers trying to make a splash in the news.

Once everything is shared Ultra-Girl tells Malcolm that he can’t tell anyone about what she has shared, it’s a secret. Malcolm promises to keep it of course. Malcolm points out that he has to agree with the Raven he doesn’t want Ultra-Girl to rush into an unknown danger, especially one that was able to stop the original Guardians, but he’ll use his satellites and resources to try and find out more. He continues to encourage her to be a symbol that the city can rally behind, something the world hasn’t had since The Guardians’ disappearance. Grateful Ultra-Girl pledges to help him if ever he should need it. Hearing a police siren in the distance she excuses herself. Once Ultra-Girl leaps away Malcolm is deep in thought, then smiles as an idea comes to him.

The next day Ultra-Girl returns to the Crash Pad to get a new communicator after destroying the last one during the argument with The Raven. Jaeger.jpg The Jaeger watches her cautious return hoping to avoid the Raven. He assures her that The Raven went back to Moonhaven. Ultra-Girl is relieved. Jaeger tries to talk to her about the fight, but they don’t discuss details only how frustrating The Raven can be with all his secrets. The Jager is impressed on how well she and The Spider handle the pressure of being heroes at such a young age. Ultra-Girl still down on herself and doesn’t receive the compliment very well and continues to insist that she is a useless member of the team and how much Dynamo is better than she is. Jaegers’ lack of experience dealing with teenager girl self-esteem issues shows, but he does his best. This only results in annoying Ultra-Girl. She does ask him if his powers can stop her from having terrible dreams. Reluctant to use his new powers in this way he recommends she read some books on how to decipher the meaning of dreams.

Scene changes to Derek Drake in the Empire High quad is speaking to Xander Samuels the first time since the night of the party. Derek.Drake.jpg When asked how his dad took it Xander says, better then he thought. Because it was hushed up and no one was hurt, but Xander has been placed on “temporary company restricted access”. Derek jokes about a fancy word for being grounded. Xander asks how did the machine turned on? Derek says I don’t know and trails off in thought.

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That night The Spider sneaks into the OmniCorp Heavy Ion Collider, which now has increased security. The Spider is crawling along the ceiling and replaying the events of the night in his head. He reaches control room and is hanging upside down on a web slowly spinning and talking to himself. “Think Derek, you were in the control room with Xander, Stephanie, Alex & her two friends, no one activated the startup sequence, so then what initiated it?”

Derek continues to re-live the scene, the danger to the racers, the steps he took to power it down. Speaking to himself, “The Collider was powered down, but parts of it are slaved to activate when sequences are met…like a high influx of protons.” He moves over to another console with gas gauges. “The protons for the collider would come from hydrogen gases and detected here when enough protons where reached. But I looked at the hydrogen gas levels, it was empty”.

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The Spider begins taking apart a portion of the console, finds what he is looking for, a grey-green solar panel looking piece and says, “Unless it wasn’t protons from gas, but…Free Protons.”

Scene changes back to the crash pad. The Spider is there with his mask off in the science lab with the piece of the collider panel connected to a computer. Providence Pope is there too and they are in the middle of a conversation.

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After Providence leaves, Derek speaks to the main computer. Run a search for all files on known meta-humans with measurable proton signatures. After a few seconds 1 match pops up on the terminal, but reads restricted access. Derek still upset at almost killing a classmate, begins to hack passed the restriction.

A few minutes later he opens the report and is shocked to read who the subject is. Derek reads aloud. Guardian 001, Centurion. The file is an almost 12 year old report made by The Raven regarding if the Free Protons radiating off of Centurion is dangerous to humans. A single cell sample donated by Centurion himself revealed 3013 Protons per nucleus. count Derek continues to talk to himself, “That’s an atomic number way off of the charts, no wonder he physiological is so different then use mere mortals.”

The report continues noting the Free protons bleeding off of Centurion, which normally would be dangerous to those around him from chronic exposure, but the report’s findings show that the high energy and high velocity free proton once separated from its origin point become a lower velocity free proton which are absorbed by neutrons and become non-harmful.

The door opens and Ezekiel walks in. EZ.jpg Derek apologies, but had to know. Then he starts putting all of the pieces together of that night in his head, while Ezekiel is rattling off the importance of having restrictions to information. Then to himself, but aloud Derek says “How did I not see this months ago!”

The next day. A room full of uniformed analysts in large control room with a giant screen on the wall. The tab on the panel reads NORAD. A tech calls over his LT showing a UFO over the Indian Ocean. It then separates into seven smaller objects and traveling quickly in different directions. Following protocol they start contacting other nations to see if they are testing out any new low orbit aircraft. NORAD.bmp

Some time advances as one of the shapes which comes blinking in and out of radar from time to time gets nearer and nearer to the USA east coast. The officer in charge gives the order to scramble two birds from Andrews Air Force Base. The corporal says, “it’s too fast for a tomcat to catch it.”

The readers see a grey flying sphere with a green ring of energy around its middle section and three sphere shaped divots in the lower half flying over the east coast. The metal portion looks to have some type of light filigree on it. It’s making a scanning sound.

Meanwhile at Price Park Stadium, home to the baseball team The Grand City Grizzlies it’s a filled stadium just finishing the national anthem. Once finished the visitors, Bay City Hornets are wished good luck as the home team takes the field. The PA announces a special treat, throwing out today’s first pitch is Ultra-Girl. The crowd cheers for her as she steps out from the dugout. She continues to wave at the fans until the cheers quiet and then without ceremony or skill she tosses out a 121 mph pitch across home plate stinging the catcher’s hand. The crowd’s cheers turn to a roar.

High in the skies the sphere stops and sits still for several moments. The F15s race towards it. NORAD is awaiting confirmation from The Reach ambassador that it is not one of theirs. From the top of the sphere shots out a green beam and a swirling dark green worm hole opens. Sounds emit from the sphere and disappear into the worm hole.

As the F15 pilots are waiting for the green light, thousands of small black flies spill from its divots and stream down. NORAD gives the green light and the F15 fire a payload of rockets filling the panel with smoke.

At the stadium Ultra-Girl hears the swarming of flies first. Then a shadow is cast over the stadium. People panic as a million tiny flies fill the stands. sflies.jpg Ultra-Girl seeing that the flies aren’t harming anyone, but the panic will, she moves over to a microphone and tells everyone to try and remain calm. Eventually the swarm ascends once again and Ultra-Girl attempts to catch a hand full of the flies. The readers see the swarm return to the sphere, which is undamaged by the missile strike. Then it takes off and recombines with the other six sections in Space and takes off.

Back at the Crash pad is Ultra-Girl, Jaeger, Spider and Ezekiel. The spider seems to reacts a little strangely to Ultra-Girl when she enters the room.

Ezekiel’s systems detected the same objects and movement as NORAD. The house sized object separated into 7 car sized spheres and spread out among the globe. After the events of the Stadium all of the spheres stopped and left orbit. Ezekiel’s satellites show it reforming in space and is quickly moving away and then gone. The heroes inquire more and based on the information surmise that the spheres were searching from something, but once stopped in Grand City all the other seekers stopped as well.

Ultra-Girl presents a few of the flies which were smashed but recovered. Unlike any known species of flies these have sixteen legs, two sets of wings and are mechanical. Their purpose is unknown Ezekiel will examine them in more depth, but based on the metal they are made of they appear to be of unknown alien origin.

A little time later The Spider speaks with Ultra-Girl in private and asks if she trusts him. She answers of course. Spider reveals that he knows she is Centurion’s daughter. It was so obvious, the strength, neigh-invulnerability, super senses, even her leaping defies known physics. She is shocked and halfheartedly denying it when he bluntly calls out her amazon intuition as N-ray vision. She concedes. Worried she hasn’t been hiding it very well Derek explains it was her Proton signature that gave it away. Derek says it’s like standing before superhero royalty and he doesn’t understand why she is keeping it a secret and he’d have t-shirts made if he was the son of Centurion.

Ultra-Girl says it not like that, she has never met her father and that he abandoned her, likely too busy being a hero to be a father. Furthermore she was left at an orphanage. Derek feels terrible for her and is crushed to learn that his hero is such a terrible person. She asks about Derek’s mother and father who have passed on. Derek promises not to tell anyone else about her secret, it’s up to her to tell them when she chooses.

The next night Ultra-Girl is leaping through the city while on patrol when she spots Jaeger on a roof top. She softly lands to say hello. Jaeger is looking down from the corner of the building to the street. Lights of cars driving by. When Ultra-Girl looks, it doesn’t seem to be anything special, just an intersection. The Jaeger was looking down on the spot where he shot the mind siphon and everything changed for him. Ultra-Girl asks how he is doing and about trying to reconnect with his family. He explains that being around them causes he mind to reel at identifying the lost memories and is traumatic for him.

Landing hard on the roof in perfect unison are four 10-foot tall “things” Arborgs.bmp. Followed by a man sized humanoid hovering two stories up. After a few seconds it makes some modem like sounds and they all attack Ultra-Girl. Jaeger hits one of the big robots with a telekinetic blast, which has little effect on it, but does get it’s an attention. If fires deadly beam at the Jaeger, different then the shots being fired at Ultra-Girl. Ultra-Girl manages to tear apart two of the robots while Jaeger goes after the man sized android, but the repeated shots from their arm cannons knocks Ultra-Girl off the seven story building and she goes unconscious. The Jaeger teleports away with Ultra-Girl, but the robots are quick on their trail. Calling for back up Dynamo arrives on his new bike and using the mounted cannon takes out a robot buying time for Jaeger to get Ultra-Girl back to the crash pad.

Dynamo takes out the last tall robot and the man-sized one flees. The readers know that while flying over a scrapyard the android sounds off another dial up modem sound and then collapses. Across the city the damaged robots also fall apart.

Back at the crash pad Jaeger and Ultra-Girl try to figure out what that was all about, but don’t have the answers. Ultra-Girl gives her thanks to Dynamo for the assist.

The next day Ultra-Girl and Jaeger have just finished chasing a stolen armored car through the city controlled by Joyride. Ultra-Girl had braced in front of the armored car creating a spectacular crash. With the vehicle ruined Joyride leaps into a nearby car, but as she tries to race off she discovers that Jaeger using telekinetic force has smashed the wheels. She transfers into another car, but Jaeger has done the same. This pattern continues following a half circle of cars across the intersection. Fatigued she slows down and is finally too exhausted to keep possessing new cars. Too tired to move, Joyride calls for a time out.

Just as the heroes are about to arrest her they hear screams from the gathered crowd. Turning around they see a motley collection of strange aliens with alien weaponry. xeno.squad.jpg
The small one has little tricorder device, pointing at Ultra-Girl and then looks to his companions and nods. They open fire.

Kig-Yar, the hairless jackal looking alien speaks through a garbled voice box translator for “it” to surrender. The red armored Septoid reptilian alien hits a switch on his pulse pistol which changes the lower barrel to the top and shoots Ultra-Girl with an electrical web beam that sends all of her muscles into uncontrolled spasms. This makes her an easy target for the large shaved ape alien War’ok to unload his pulse rifle. The Jaeger gets the attention of the Feljurian with a TK blast. It returns fire, but when passively reading it’s aggressive thoughts The Jaegers sees it’s twisted mind wanting to grapple him with his arm tentacle, then next its face tentacles around Jaegers head and then enjoy eating his face off.

Finally breaking from of the entangle Ultra-Girl flees for cover in a nearby construction site. The four aliens are relentless in their pursuit. Ultra-Girl managed to tear the alien gun away from the reptilian. Jaeger blasts back the tentacle faced Feljuian who lands next to a hiding civilian, it gets up and wanting a snack grabs the poor man wrapping it’s tentacles around his face. Jaeger manages to teleport the man out of the monsters’ clutches before his face could be eaten. Ultra-Girl grabs tentacle face and leaps him away from the crowd and into an office building. They battle with each other as Jaeger keeps the others busy.

Now rested Joyride exits the damaged car and tells Jaeger goodbye, he asks for her help. She thinks about it and floats off. Ultra-Girl and the Feljuian return to the street. The strange alien grabs a hold of UG and gets his face tentacles wrapped around her head. With a circular mouth of razor sharp teeth it begins trying to consume her face. Kig-Yar shouts for his companion not to eat the bounty. Jaeger teleports her out of its clutches. She is disgusted.

UG continues to be hit by the powerful pulse rifle wielded by War’ok. Set for another blast that could finish Ultra-Girl a bulldozer from the construction site slams into War’ok. Jaeger and Ultra-Girl look to see no one in the drivers’ seat. It crackles with blue energy and they see Joyride float out of it and looking at Jaeger she playfully says, ”Remember you owe me one” and takes off.

This proves to be a tide turner for the heroes. UG not wanting to get near the Feljuian begins throwing cars at it. Once by they drop the alien bounty hunters. The small one Kig-Yar attempts to escape but is captured by Ultra-Girl. She questions him, but translating through the vox on his belt he invokes some strange intergalactic bounty hunter rights and then shuts up. The Jaeger and Ultra-Girl examine the device it was pointing at UG before the fight when Argus troopers arrive.

Amanda Waller arrives in a second helicopter with a hazmat team where she takes over custody and says unidentified aliens go somewhere else. When asked where she says it’s classified. She asks UG and Jaeger if they communicated with the aliens. Jaeger shares that they seem to be bounty hunters after Ultra-Girl. Waller says if they are sentient enough to communicate then she has ways of making anything talk. Ultra-Girl palms the tricorder device before Waller kicks them out of this now quarantined crime scene.

Back at the Crash Pad Ezekiel examines the device and learns it’s a tracker that works with a transceiver that the mechanical flies can implant. He finds the tracker inside of UG’s left ear and extracts it.

Without knowing why bounty hunters are after UG, but believing more will come Ezekiel suggests she stay at the Crash Pad, at least till The Raven can be reached for advice. The Jaeger agrees and she relents. Ezekiel loves the company but after only a day she is going stir crazy. Ezekiel reports some meta-human disturbance at the Twin Pines Mall. Reports of assault on mall security officers. GCPD has been dispatched. He pauses for a moment and brings up a news report.

From The Daily Sun Digital there are posted cell phone footage from people inside the mall with some bad audio. Several strange figures moving about in the background, one in the foreground is humanoid with pointy ears, a shaved head minus a long pony tail and parts of his body replaced with cybernetics. One hand has a sword another has a 3D hologram of Ultra-Girl from the baseball game and he is screaming at patrons asking where is the one you call Ultra-Girl.

It looked like at least a half dozen scary figures; one looked like a blob monster, another was a blue female then in one frame was a winged something swooping overhead. Ultra-Girl says she is going, Ezekiel doesn’t argue be summons the whole team.

Scene for the readers before the heroes arrive. Inside the mall, people are panicked and Raze is frustrated. Looking at a blue skinned shaved head women he says, “Galaxta is there still nothing from that tracker?” she says, “No still nothing Raze.”

He looks over at a slim green alien female with twin antenna and says, “Nihla, tell me again why we are looking for our bounty in this market place?” [Nihla says] “Well when you sent me out to scout I found a group of young adults and asked them where do young earth females congregate. At first they didn’t answer and asked me about Cosplay, whatever that is, but eventually directed me to the mall. “

The five heroes arrive at the mall shortly before the police. Many of the mall patrons have dropped prone and are too afraid to move. The bounty hunters are still asking about UG. Leading the charge she says you’ve found me, now what. Raze tells her to surrender quietly and it won’t be so painful for her.

Unimpressed by Raze she declines. He introduces himself as Raze ”leader of The Reavers, the best mercenaries and bounty hunters in the galaxy!” Nihla chimes in, “Um Raze not to correct you or anything, but isn’t Key loc still the best bounty hunter or did he retire or something?” Rolling his eye and trying to stay calm, “I meant as teams go we are the best, the best team of hunters.” She says, “Oh, alright great, sorry I said anything.”

Raze makes introduction of his team:

The_Reavers.jpg

pointing at a pink winged avian alien named Fletcha. Then a orange skinned alien with one eye called Cy. A slender green skinned girl with twin antenna called Nihla. Next to her is a red/orange blob named Slug. Next a large grey furred alien who is the 9 circuit champion Roarstarr. Followed by a six armed women with six swords named Hex. Then lastly his right hand woman Galaxta who has blue skin and cybernetics. Raze orders her to get the ship ready, as this won’t take long.

She leaves and the fighting begins. Overburn squares off against the winged alien Fletcha. Dynamo squares off with Cy, Ultra-Girl with Roarstarr, Slug and Nihla. The spider faces down Hex and Raze. Nihla says, She likes Ultra-Girl’s garment. Surprised UG says thanks. The Jaeger fires a ego blast at Nihla which gets her and Slug’s attention. Cy seeming pleasant enough gives Dynamo the chance to retreat, they only want Ultra-Girl. Dynamo itching for a fight declines.

The spider quickly traps Hex in a web and then keeps Raze busy. Nihla’s strange alien martial arts quickly gets Jaeger on the ropes and he is forced to keep moving. The Slug travels by a hover disc and keeps pace with him. After taking a few blows Overburn takes out Flectcha which gets the ire of her previously calm boyfriend Cy. Ultra-Girl in a stalemate with Roarstarr throws him through a wall into the dressing room of a Hawaiian shirt store and gives him over to Dynamo while she helps Overburn with the flying brick Cy.

Dynamo pounds Roarstarr a few times before he even gets up, but when he does he grabs Dynamo and uses him as a battering ram through several different storefront walls and pillars. The Spider dispatches Raze and when he goes down hard, he instantly teleports away. Slug finally gets a hold of Jaeger and toxins from his touch starts putting Jaeger to sleep. Fletcha gets back up and seeing UG about to land a haymaker on Cy attempts a grab by, but UG holds her ground. Overburn shoots her out of the sky once again and UG finishes Cy hard and he auto-teleports away.

Nihla squares off against UG. She asks why they want her. Nihla doesn’t know, Raze handles the business, but she does know UG is worth 24 Fire Stones alive. Nihla assumes UG must be some kind of dangerous criminal to be worth so much. UG is surprised at Nihla’s kindly demeanor compared to some of the other Reavers. Without malice Nihla says that she has never lost a one on one fight so don’t feel bad when I defeat you, and then attacks.

On the other side Roarstarr throws Dynamo across the mall through a wall and into a greeting card store. Hex finally breaks out and causes The Spider to go on the defense. Overburn targets Slug giving Jaeger time to catch his breath. UG not wanting to hurt Nihla tears a chunk of a pillar and raises it over her head trying to scare Nihla into backing off. Nihla giggles at this threat and then apologizes not wanting to be rude. UG says she’ll toss this pillar on her. Nihla leaps up and shatters the pillar into dust before landing again.

Nihla uses some advance pressure point jabs to weaken UG. Having enough she punches Nilha sending her stunned and flying. Before she can get up again Overburn switches targets and blasts Nihla while still on her back. UG scoops her up to protect her from any further Overburn attacks.

As Nihla comes around again UG comments that even though defeated her record still holds, since she wasn’t defeated in single combat. Nihla thanks her for that. Shortly after the Spider knocks out Hex and she auto teleports away. Galaxta from their ship sees they won’t win the fight and starts to teleport the rest of the team one by one. UG says how she likes Nihla’s green skin and lets her in on a secret, UG’s skin used to be blue. Nihla asks what is she, but is then teleported away.

With the The Reavers gone, they still don’t know why someone has a bounty on Ultra-Girl, but she is over hiding in the Crash Pad.

The next day while UG is on patrol she catches Jaeger following her. Just as she is confronting him a lone bounty hunter steps from the shadows. Key_loc.jpg The Jaeger accurately guesses this is the famous Key’loc. They battle with the bounty hunter who uses an assortment of key weapons from explosion keys to trapping them in energy cages that Jaeger can’t teleport out of him. Finally having both temporary trapped he teleports the heroes away in to hardened energy cages in his ship. The cells fill with gas knocking them out before UG can break free.

They awake manacled with inhibiter collars that drains their powers. Six 9’ tall robots with two arms, but their legs end atop a single sphere. Along with Key’loc they are being marched down a corridor of a dark grey metal walls lined with ornate filigree. They enter a large throne room with grand windows showing they are in deep space.

Six more robots flank a large humanoid man in ornate blue armor and a purple cape. Xonerax.jpg He looks mostly human except his oversized brow and white orbed eyes. In a deep voice he gives thanks to Key’loc and presents payment. A robot opens a case of large diamond like stones that burn with fire inside.

“Well deserved after so many others had failed and she is unarmed, good because I want to kill her myself.”

Looking at Ultra-Girl he introduces himself, “My name is Xonerax, the last of the Xengarians and you are on board my ship The Equinox. I have gone through great lengths to find you Ta’karian and today will be my first step for vengeance!”

UG asks why does he want to kill her, what has she done? Furious that she would say that he explains that his people where near immortals that lived for thousands of years. A peaceful people who had evolved past war and conflict several millennia ago. Until the Terminus came and wiped them all out. Not just their home world, but entire solar systems and then the dimension itself. Xonerax used to be a trans-dimensional explorer seeking out knowledge and true understanding of the multiverse in his ship the Equinox. After a 200 year journey he attempted to return home and found the entire dimension destroyed and consumed by Lord Omega and The Terminus.

All the rage thought bred out of his people was merely only suppressed and it had boiled to the surface and erupted like a great volcano. He tried a direct assault on Lord Omega’s floating home Abolition, but never got close to the destroyer of worlds. Xonerax had since spent centuries looking for a way to exact retribution. He attempted to track The Terminus invasions and spy for a moment when Lord Omega would reveal himself or even his daughter Ledra. Over the centuries he even tried a few times to save the doomed people targets by his forces, but Omega’s war machine is limitless.

Recently while exploring a dimension under attack Xonerax learned that Lord Omega had a granddaughter and that she did not reside under the protection of Abolition. “I’ve searched the last three years for you, scanning worlds upon worlds for Ta’karian DNA and now I have you. Know when I kill you, Lord Omega will finally feel a fraction of the pain I have endured.”

Ultra-Girl is truly saddened to hear what befell his people, but tells him that Lord Omega wants her dead, she was on Earth in hiding from him. Xonerax refuses to believe it, and asks why Omega would want his own heir dead. UG explains that Lord Omega only wants a male heir. One of his Xonobots confirms through its advance sensors that she is speaking the truth. Upon hearing this Xonerax loses it, smashing pillars and firing a gauntlet laser beam destroying a favored relic. He storms up to Ultra-Girl and wraps his hand around her throat, lifting her off the ground and squeezing. She is too tough for her neck to break, but she could be killed by suffocation. Realizing that killing her would be doing Lord Omega a favor he releases her. Exhausted from disappointment he lumbers back to his throne.

From there he pays Key’loc another fire stone to take them both back to earth. Key’loc anxious to be away takes them to his ship and separates from the Equinox. Once away from Xonerax Key’loc takes off their chains and the three of them ride six hours back in silence.

Once back in Grand City Key’loc having heard who Ultra-Girl really is says the should be glad that Lord Omega isn’t in the habit of hiring bounty hunters, less she have to see him again. Jaeger and Ultra-Girl are teleported back to the roof top they were captured on.

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