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
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.
|"I originally had my doubts you could pull this off but I’ve heard the news and now here you are.”|
| 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”
| Looks at Alistair who takes the drives then says
"Gifts indicate no cost, we’ve paid you a pretty penny for these items.”
|"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|
| without looking up he says
“It will be ready”
|“Good, then if all goes to plan our transaction will be concluded. Until next time.”|
|Samuels and Smythe watch him leave|
|“Why do you think he wants him killed?”|
|“Don’t know and don’t care. Just ensure it can’t be traced back.”|
|“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.”|
|“You have until the 30th. I have an ideal candidate to test it on”|
Next panel opens to the outside of a Taoist temple.
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.
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.
“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.
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
|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.
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.
|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.”|
|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.”|
|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 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.
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.