Childhood's End

1.01 - The Silver Storm

Everyone was in the Galleries of Neumond shopping for the holidays when a storm of silver energy erupted from a nearby van. The storm granted everyone in the area superpowers.

Stealth, who was already a hero, donned his suit and sprung in to help out with the disaster.

Push and All-American Man discovered their powers and began to help out as well.

Three of the people caught in the storm began to terrorize the Galleries. The heroes sprung into action and put each of them down in turn. These people were Death Magnetic, Lord Etheric, and The Mongoose.

After the fight, Stealth returned to the Stealth Cave, only to discover that Push had followed him. Stealth decided to let him enter the Stealth Cave and join forces with the new hero.

All-American Man was still on his own at the end.

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1.02 - Trails

In the wake of the Silver Storm, the Galleries are buried in rubble. The news media have been making reports over the past 24 hours about the emergence of super humans. Caleb Gardner of the evening news reported from the scene of the battle about the destruction and asked the question, “How did this happen?” This seems to be the big question on everyone’s lips.

However, over the radio waves, shock-jock Colin Hoke asks, “Is this the end of it, or the beginning of our problems?”

After arriving at the Stealth Cave, Stealth and Push began to settle in the for the night, with Push practicing the use of his powers.

All-American Man arrived at his own apartment, in need of new clothes after destroying most of his in combat.

That night, Stealth went on patrol, looking for evidence at the Galleries as to the arrival of super-humans in Neumond. He found All-American Man’s security pass for the Gold Club, where apparently he worked as a bouncer.

Returning by morning, Stealth went to bed for the night, while Push went home so his parents wouldn’t be suspicious of his disappearance. Sneaking into his basement bedroom, he changed into his real clothes and walked out for a mid-afternoon breakfast. Here we met Push’s parents Katheryn Christy Fields and Amos Ismael Fields. Katheryn asked young Benjamin if he wanted some breakfast while Amos asked him if he’d finally gotten laid.

Later that night, when Push had returned to the Stealth Cave, both he and Stealth agreed to go on patrol. Push found trouble first, seeing a man and a woman trying to break into the offices of Red Shift Energies. Using his new comlink, Push called for Stealth to come help out. Landing near the would-be thieves, Push announced his presence and quickly discovered that the man was a size-changer, much like All-American Man. Growing to thirty feet, the giant criminal knocked Push into a nearby strip club, the Gold Club. Dolph happened to be working that night and realized that trouble was afoot.

Quickly grabbing some stripper clothing, Dolph turned into All-American man and entered the fray. Push and All-American Man fought against the giant, who grew another thirty feet, for some time before finally taking him down.

Inside the building, Stealth snuck up behind the woman and saw her downloading some files from the main computer before trying to head back out the building. A small battle ensued between Stealth and the woman before Push arrived and helped to take the criminal down.

Handing the would-be criminals over to the police, Stealth and Push lifted off to fly back to base, carrying All-American man in tow. Arriving at the Stealth Cave, All-American Man was given his own room and accommodations.

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1.03b - The Power Source

The wooden doors slammed open as Susana stormed out of the meeting. Following in her wake was her assistant, Content Not Found: herschel-simpson.

Dr. Rosario. Do you really think you should’ve called the board members ‘incompetent blogs of fat’?

Susana Rosario turned on Herschel with an eye full of hate and loathing.

Of course I should have, you incompetent idiot! Do you have any idea what my research into the creation of black holes could produce? do you? We could have limitless energy! End famine! Explore the stars! But NOOO! Those idiots in there would rather sit on their fat hind-parts and just let science chug along doing nothing.

Finishing her rant with her finger pointed in scorn at the doors she had just walked through, Susana turned in a huff and continued her dramatic exit, with Herschel following closely behind.

One Month Later…

Dr. Susana Rosario worked with a socket, getting that one last bolt into place. Finally, she stood back, wiping the sweat from her brow, and looked at her work in appreciation.

It’s done. Finally, it’s done.

Looking up towards the top, even Dr. Rosario had to admit that her robot looked fantastic.

Android 3

Game Notes
After nearly two weeks working with Stealth, Push and All-American Man are sitting down to breakfast in the Stealth Cave when the cave warns them of someone standing outside the ship. A young woman looks directly at the security camera, having figured out the location of the Stealth Cave. She even bypassed the locks and got inside. Push and All-American Man figured that she must be decent, because the cave allowed her in.

Later on, the heroes were at the science convention called, “The Future, Today!”. Benjamin and Sara were having fun being around other geeks and science nerds. Doph was busy with a security side job. Everyone was enjoying themselves for the most part when a presentation started by Dr. Susana Rosario on the future of robotics. The robot ended up going rogue and attacking the pavilion. Our heroes sprung into action, eventually taking the robot down when Gadget Girl broke past its firewalls and turned it off. During the fight, a new hero was discovered, Content Not Found: raven.

Back at the base, the group tried to decipher what was going to happen with the robot, and what to do about the new heroes joining their ranks. A few days later, a news report by Caleb Gardner reported that another robot was attacking the city. Gadget Girl received a phone call from Detective Buckner, having given him her number at the previous robot fight. The heroes rushed to the scene.

Arriving each in their own way (All-American Man burrowed his way, erupting dramatically from the ground), the heroes set into motion to take this second, more powerful robot down. Push stayed airborne, shooting from the sky. All-American Man picked up sewer piping and smashed the robot. Gadget Girl tried to hack her way in again.

However, it was Raven, becoming a shadow and sneaking through the robot’s chassy, eventually blowing the head off from the inside. However, as she stood on top of the headless robot, it’s gravity-engine began to overheat. Gadget Girl realized the engine was about to go and yelled for Raven to get out of there. Push dove down at full speed, trying to make it in time, but was too late. The robot exploded, taking Raven with it.

However, Doph found Raven, a few days later wandering the streets. So, now the question is, how did she survive?

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1.03 - Gang Wars

The warehouse is ripe with the smell of salt water and day-old fish. The lights seem to be in need of replacing, along with several other repairs that could stand to happen. The boys look around, guns at the ready as Miguel walks towards the table at the center of the room.

Sitting at the table is a man who, in Miguel’s opinion, could stand to lose a few pounds. The huge white man known as Angelo sits casually in his newest Armani suit, with a lit cuban between his fingers. Seeing Miguel, the white man immediately smiles and spreads his arms wide.

“Miguel, I’m so glad you agreed to this sit down.” Nodding, Miguel sits at the other side of the table as Angelo passes him a glass of whiskey. Taking another drag off of the cigar, Angelo looks at Miguel and smiles as he offers the Hispanic gangster a cigar.

“Want a cigar? I figure that you and the other wetbacks in your crew didn’t get a chance to smoke one of these beauties before your mommas smuggled you here in old tires.”

One of Miguel’s boys moved to draw his gun before Miguel motioned him to hold still. Returning a cold smile of his own, Miguel accepted the cigar. “You called this meeting, gringo. So, what do you want?”

Taking another drag of his own cigar, Angelo smiled again. “I’ve come to offer you a deal, Miguelito. Here’s my offer; you and your boys get to keep running things the way you like down here on this end of town, and in exchange for me allowing this, you’ll pay me fifty percent off the top.”

Miguel choked on the cigar he’d been smoking. “What did you just say?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. Should I have brought someone to speak that muck of yours?” Angelo smiled as another insult was thrown in. “Look, it’s a simple proposition. You pay me fifty percent of your income, and in exchange, I allow you to keep working here.”

Miguel looked coldly at his long-time rival in the gang world. “Let me get this straight. You want us to pay you money to keep doing what we’re already doing?”

Angelo smiled. “Of course. Look, the fact of the matter is that the different gangs have been separate for too long. They need a central authority to make sure we don’t bump into each other. And, I’d rather have you lead your unwashed masses than have to send in one of my boys to do it.”

Miguel barely hid the shock of what was being said. “So, you come into my part of town. You insult my boys and me. And then you have the cajones to tell me that we’re working for you? Vato, you in my turf. What make you think you gonna walk outta here alive?”

At that last sentence, guns were drawn and cocked, all of them pointed at Angelo “Snapps” Provologne. Seeing the fifty-plus guns pointed at his head, Angelo smiled. “I think you’ll find things have changed a bit, Miguel.”

“You know what? I’m tired of listening to your crap. ¡Mátenlo!”

It took Miguel a second to realize that nothing had happened. Looking around at the boys, he saw that none of them were moving. They were stone still. Turning around to Angelo, he stared in surprise to see three guys he hadn’t seen before. Moving to whip his pistol around to shoot, Miguel yelped in surprise as a large tentacle came out of the shadows and took the gun away from him. Turning in that direction, he saw the most horrible thing in his life. A man with six tentacles where his arms should’ve been. The man smiled as he passed the gun from tentacle to tentacle, each one slowly disarming the weapon.

Turning back towards Angelo, he saw the huge Italian stand up. “You really should’ve taken my offer Miguel.” The bigger of the other three men’s hands started to glow.

“You really should’ve.”

Synopsis
Following a lead, Stealth checked out the warehouse slaughter. There he met up with Eddie Pollard, who told him that gangs had been dropping left and right in recent weeks.

Hitting the streets, Stealth found a thug, one of the last surviving members of the Tres Cruzes, who told him about Angelo “Snaps” Provolone, who had been meeting with Miguel Diaz. He thought that Provolone had something to do with the murders.

Tracking Provolone to his restaurant, which served as his headquarters, Stealth was able to get inside the building and sneak into the back. There, dressed as a waiter, he walked into Provolone’s office, but was caught. Trying to make a run for it, Stealth was confronted by two of Provolone’s new men, Tempus, Master of Time & Octaman. Stealth changed into his outfit, in front of the villains, and swooped into the air.

Circling, he tried once again to sneak into the building, after discovering that Provolone now had footage of Stealth’s real face. Making it to the computer room, Stealth disabled the computer and burned all the recordings.

Walking out of the room, he ran into Octaman, and the two had a drawn out battle before Stealth dropped the super-villain. However, on the way out, he met with Tempus again, and the master of time turned out to be too much for Stealth. He was captured and put in a holding forcefield in Maria’s basement.

Awarded 1 Power Point to Stealth. He will also start next session with an extra Hero Point.

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1.04 - Faith
Do YOU believe?

Prologue
The wear on the stone floor showed how long the cathedral had been here. Worn smooth over hundreds of years of use, they were a dull gray.

It’s funny what you think about, in the end.

The girl noted her interior monologue, as well as her observations on the floor as she kicked and screamed against the two men dragging her along said floor. While half her brain railed and fought back against what was coming, the other half hoping and praying that she would wake up any second now.

However, as the two men in red hooded cloaks dragged her through the long chamber, she began to lose hope in the second option. Finally, arriving at their destination, the two men threw the girl to the floor before binding her ankles, knees, and hands behind her back. They had already changed her street clothes with a simple white shift before even leaving her cell. Done with the binding, the two men picked the girl up and placed her on a stone slab at about waist height.

Oh gosh, oh gosh. They’re really going to kill me.

As the two men in red held the girl down, she looked up and saw a man in a similar robe, though this one was green. The man held a gilded dagger in his hands that seemed to glow. Staring down at the young girl, the man’s slitted eyes seemed filled with hope.

“We pray to the old gods, long forgotten by the weak and worthless. We offer this sacrifice in the hopes that you will return to us. Return! RETURN! RETURN!

The knife dropped suddenly with a sickening thunk sound. The red men released their grasp as the girl’s body went limp. Trails of blood flowed down the stone slab as the men in robes began to walk away.

Session Summary
Characters in attendance:
All-American Man
Gadget Girl
Push
Lilith Riddle A.K.A. Raven
Content Not Found: watchman

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1.06 - Faith pt. 2

Searching for answers to the fate of Raven’s colleague, the group visits the Temple of the Light, a fairly new church in Neumond. While their, they meet Alex, a young man who helps members of the church to find jobs. While being shown through the church, All-American Man suffers a slight injury, thus distracting Alex long enough for Raven to search the area.

After finding a hidden door, Raven quickly searches the long passageway and finds a large room with what appears to be a sacrificial alter of some sort. She takes a sample of what appears to be dried blood, then goes back to join the team.

After showing their evidence to Detective Buckner, they once again return to the Temple of the Light, this time in time to attend one of their sermons. The service is a very spiritual affair, which the group takes some interest in.

After the service, Gadget Girl searches Shepherd Jones’s office and finds a disturbing note. The others move to a secluded area, which allows All-American Man to burrow a tunnel into the chamber that Raven discovered earlier.

Upon entering the chamber, the heroes are stunned to see another sacrifice take place, which they are too late to stop. A young man, obviously a Stormer affected by the Silver Storm, is stabbed through the heart, causing the green robed figure to transform into a large lizard-like creature. The other people, some very high-ranking people in the community, turn to face the invading heroes.

A dozen surround All-American Man, doing nearly no damage, while the other heroes move to go after the lizard creature. Raven goes to remove the dagger that ended the Stormer’s life, but is blown back by some strange electric force. Push moves into an attack position, while Gadget Girl joins the group and sends the details of the situation to the police.

All-American Man swiftly takes out half of his dozen opponants, while Raven recovers and barely dodges an attack from the large lizard. Acting on reflex, she swiftly attacks the thing, managing to imbed it into the cavern wall. After this stunning attack, the remaining members of the strange cult surrender and are swiftly arrested by the police.

Gadget girl senses something strange with the alter and dagger, so she notifies Mars Tech, who send out a team to extract the strange device. The alter seems to be sending some sort of signal to a non-terrestrial source.

The Children of the Light, stunned by the sudden intrusion of the police and Mars Tech, are not sure what to do. They believe, with the arrest of their Shepherd, that their faith is somehow destroyed. Many feel like it will be a long time before they can feel secure in their faith again.

Feeling satisfied in their victory, but a bit uneasy about the way things turned out, the group heads back to their base to rest up.

Heroes in Attendence
All-American Man
Gadget Girl
Lilith Riddle A.K.A. Raven
Push

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1.07 - Gang Wars pt 2

Summary

After escaping from Angelo “Snaps” Provolone, Stealth returns to the Stealth Cave. Upon entering, he sees the newest members of the team; Raven, Gadget Girl and Watchman, making a bad first impression. Raven sets out for work, slightly annoyed at Stealth, and heads towards the business district of Neumond.

Coming through a side street, she comes across a disturbing scene. 2 large groups, one about a dozen Russian men the other about half a dozen Italians. Suddenly, a blinding flash of light comes from the Italian group, announcing the arrival of 8 newcomers. Raven stares in awe at the sudden appearance of Octaman, The Mongoose, Lord Etheric, Lightshow, Gargantua, Cannon and Angelo Provolone.

Angelo steps forward, cigar held in 1 hand and a devilish smile on his face. “Gentlemen, you have 2 options. You can either join my organization and become my boys, or you can die. It’s that simple.” After the enthusiastic refusal of the Russians, Angelo sighs. “Kill ’em,” he says, disappearing in another flash of light. The group of super humans begins attacking the Russian gang, quickly gaining the upper hand.

Raven puts in a call to the Cave, telling the group about the situation. Gadget Girl is the first to get there, setting up her cameras to let the people see the action. The rest of the group gets there soon after, arriving with All-American Man delivering a nearly useless attack to Gargantua. The others all go below to take care of the others, focusing on the weaker members first to thin out their numbers.

From out of nowhere, a strange new Stormer appears near Gadget Girl and Raven, but passes by them to launch an attack at Tempus, which the time-bender easily avoids. The new hero, Spirit Wolf, lands on the ground like a ninja, going back on the offensive against the villains.

Not long after the battle begins, Octaman, Lightshow, and Lord Etheric are taken down, leaving only Gargantua, Tempes and Cannon. Through the combined efforts of Watchman, Push and Gadget Girl, Tempes is taken down, finally showing that he can be beaten. Cannon, despite being taken on by 3 heroes at once, still manages to stay in the game, seemingly unaffected by anything that is thrown at him. Gargantua is kept busy by All-American Man, but is taking little damage as well.

Finally, the giant is taken down by an amazing shot from Gadget Girl. The humungous man goes down, pinning Push under him. Now, with only Cannon left, the group turns their attention to him. Showing his nature as a true coward, the plasma-thrower vanishes in another blast of light.

With the battle over, the Police and Maximillian Mars arrive to clean up the mess. The passed out villains are taken into custody and taken away. After talking things through for a while, the Knights of Neumond as Mars likes to call them, go back to their base.

Epilogue

A burst of energy, and the fight was over. Cannon had managed to escape, again.

“Well, how did it go?”

Cannon turned around and saw “Snaps” sitting in a chair with a glass of wine in his hand. “It went fine, till ”/campaign/childhood-s-end/wikis/knights-of-neumond" class=“wiki-page-link”> they showed up. The others all got captured, even Tempus, for all his talk of being the ‘master of time’."

Rage and fury curled Snaps’ face as he stood and threw his glass into the fire. The alcohol burned in a burst of flame.

“Now now, Angelo. Is that any way to appreciate a Lafite Rothschild Pauillac?”

Turning around, Cannon and Snaps observed the newest person to enter the room.

“Your supers failed, Mars.”

Maximillian Mars stepped out of the shadows, a smile playing on his lips. “Failed? Is that what you think? I’d like to think of it more as an amazing success.”

Snaps furrowed his brow in anger at the quadrillion-are. “What do you mean success? My boys are dead. Most of that group you gave me are now in jail. How was this a success?

Mars smiled and focused on the throbbing vein in Snaps’ face. “You really should calm down, Angelo. Your heart isn’t what it used to be. But, you asked how I consider this a success? It’s simple. We managed to prove that the supers make an excellent army. The fight with the ”/campaign/childhood-s-end/wikis/knights-of-neumond" class=“wiki-page-link”> Knights of Neumond just drove the point home. Trust me, there’s not an army on the planet that won’t want some of our supers. MARS Tech will make a killing."

Snaps’ eyes went wide with disbelief. “You mean to tell me that my boys are dead, all that money was spent, and it was just so you could sell some weapons?”

Mars’s smile just made Snaps fume even more. “Cannon, kill this idiot!”

Cannon didn’t move. Snaps stared in anger at the bulky energy-wielder. “Did you hear me, boy?”

“Oh, he can hear you, he just can’t do much about it right now.” Snaps turned towards Mars as the genius rolled his sleeve up, showing a glowing, miniature computer on his arm. “You didn’t think I’d take the time to create the ”/campaign/childhood-s-end/wikis/01%20-%20The%20Silver%20Storm/new" class=“create-wiki-page-link”> Silver Storm, and not build in a fail-safe?"

Snaps was still speechless.

Mars smiled. “Cannon, kill Snaps.”

A burst of energy, and the discussion was over.

Heroes Present
All-American Man
Gadget Girl
Lilith Riddle A.K.A. Raven
Push
Spirit Wolf
Stealth
Watchman

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1.08 - Super-Friends
Who needs enemies?

Prologue

Coolant dispersed from the tubes as the hoses disconnected themselves. Servos whirred as the metal arm reached inside and pulled out one small vial. Behind reinforced glass stood several men, one of whom was working the controls to the mechanical arm. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he carefully moved the precious payload to its container.

“Be careful,” said the man standing behind, overshadowing. “That vial’s worth more than what you’ll ever make, so you can guess how I’d feel if you dropped it.”

Not even taking his eyes off of the metal arm, the man gently laid the vial in its bedding of custom foam before letting go of the controls. Once that was done, a panel opened in the wall, and the box, foam, and vial came sliding out. Stepping out of the shadows, Maximillian Mars retrieved the vial and held it gently.

“Gentlemen,” he began. “We’ve just made history. This vial contains one of our most powerful designs. I have no doubt that many a small army will pay through the nose for it.”

A group of men came walking, two of them carrying a large box between them as they walked down the plank to the truck.

“Boss wants this package delivered to the Vault as soon as possible. We don’t stop for nothin’.”

The other heavily armed men all nodded in agreement as they climbed into the truck. Pulling out of the parking lot, the truck sped down the road, intent on its goal.

Two blocks down, though, they ran into trouble in the form of the Knights of Neumond fighting off against Death Magnetic. The battle had halted all traffic, making it impossible to get through.

“Gah!” screamed the driver. “How’re we supposed to get to the Vault with this crap going on?” His question was answered as his truck suddenly lifted into the air. The would-be security guards realized that their trip was going badly as they saw Death Magnetic’s outstretched hand guiding the heavily metal truck into the air, before attempting to swing it at Push. As the truck flew through the air, the men tumbled in the truck head over heel, and straps that had been considered tight enough for a drive came loose, causing the cargo to fly out the back of the truck before it was caught by All-American Man.

Inside an apartment right on the edge of the fight stood a young man watching the battle rage on. He especially paid attention to Push. Loathing and hating boiled up inside of him as he saw the hero fighting.

That should’ve been me. It should’ve been me.

He saw the truck flying through the air to be caught by All-American Man, as he figured that it would be. However, he was surprised when a large metal box landed in his living room through the other window. His eyes widened as the box’s custom made locks had been disabled by Death Magnetic’s powers, causing it to open.

Pushing the lid aside, the young man looked down as a voice whispered in the back of his head.

Destiny is finally fair.

Summary

The Knights of Neumond, arrive at the scene of a plane about to crash. Push, acting quickly, catches the plane in the air, pulling it to a stop and holding it in the sky.

Suddenly, he is knocked aside by a fast moving object slamming into him. The plane drops only to be caught by a strange new hero. This hero, wearing what appears to be a last-minute attempt at a Superman costume, easily carries the plane down to land it safely on the ground. He tears the side of the plane off and tosses it aside, endangering several window seat passengers.

The media, instantly intrigued by this real-life Superman, totally ignore the Knights, focusing on him instead. He goes on to give a speak that is point-for-point the story of the man of steel, even calling himself Kalel. The city eats it up, all claims of his falsehood being overridden by people’s desire to see Superman. The knights return to the Cave to get away from this obvious fraud, but he is on every channel. He has been going around the city saving people, but doing so in a sloppy manner that puts people at risk.

After watching the TV for a while, the team is amazed when this Man of Steel comes crashing through the roof! He throws himself into a heroic pose and blatantly offers the heroes to join him as some sort of “Justice League” as if it is his decision to make. The group is less than receptive to this idea, and Kalel is confused by their unwillingness to join him, for some reason deliberately avoiding Push in any way. Looking confused and angry, he takes off again, leaving another hole that the Cave needs to fix.

After some time, Gadget Girl is able to analyze Kalel’s DNA and discovers that he is not actually a Stormer. He seems to have had his DNA altered to specifically become a Superman. The change is not permanent, however, and he will lose his powers in about a week. No one on the team seems upset by this knowledge. They debate whether it would be a good idea to even let him have that week, seeing as his exploits put as many people at risk as they save.

Gadget Girl is selected as the “bait” since Kalel seems to have a thing for her. She not outside a minute when he flies by and grabs her. He takes her in a flying “date” over the skyline of Neumond. It seems to go well, until Gadget Girl turns down his offer of becoming his Lois Lane. In a fit of anger, he drops her and flies off, for some reason thinking that it is all Push’s fault. Gadget Girl is saved by Raven, who takes her back to the Cave, where the group decides that Kalel needs to be taken down.

The group goes to visit Mars Industries, where Maximillion tells them that the chemical that changed Kalel was made by his company. He helps Gadget Girl to make a ray gun that would disrupt his solar charged powers. With this ace in the hole, the group may be able to defeat Kalel.

When the group takes their positions on a rooftop for the battle, they are surprised when Kalel shows up before they are ready. The group, with Gadget Girl hiding out of sight with the ray gun Kalel, focusing only on Push, almost completely ignores the rest of the group. Push, using his power over gravity, holds the superman down where the rest of the group can hit him.

After everyone helps to wear down Kalel, All-American Man grabs him and tries to hold him in place so Gadget Girl can get a shot off with the ray gun. Though the giant is blown away, about 2 miles away, his actions still allow Gadget Girl to get a shot at Kalel. He goes down and the rest of the team is able to hold him until the Mars can arrive with a cell that will hold him until his powers go away.

Heroes in attendance:
All-American Man
Gadget Girl
Lilith Riddle A.K.A. Raven
Push
Spirit Wolf
Stealth

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1.09 - Lightning Strikes Twice

Prologue

As he ran down the gleaming hallway, his breath began to come up short.

I should’ve kept in better shape.

He realized the oddity of that thought entering his mind at this moment. He was, after all, running for his life.

Turning a corner, he slammed into a wall and kept running, desperately trying to make it to the exit and his car before he was discovered. Clutched in his hand was a small vial, containing what seemed to be a cloud of silvery particles floating around.

Sweat dripped into his eyes as he started running down the stairs. He knew better than to try for the elevator. They’d catch him too easily that way. Knocking someone over in the stairwell, the man tried to offer an apology as he continued running. This was too important, it had to get out.

Finally, he saw it. His hope of making it out alive. Driving himself into an all-out sprint, the man finally burst through the doors and pulled out his smart phone. He didn’t stop running as he began to dial the number, but he knew that now that he was out of the cell-jamming building, he had to risk it. He had to make the call. Someone had to be told.

Then his whole world went sideways. He saw the ground in front of him turn to lava, the light poles to snakes, and his legs to cement. He knew his moment had come. Still, even though he couldn’t see the phone, he told his fingers to press down, praying they were in the right spot.

Then his mind went blank as the monsters began to swarm over him, tearing his flesh from his bones.

Two people walked over to the small scientist curled in the fetal position on the pavement, screaming in agony.

“Will his mind survive?” Maximillian Mars stepped out of the shadows and looked down at one of his formerly best scientists.

“It doesn’t have to.” Lord Etheric stepped to meet Max and glared down at the pathetic scientist who’d worked for the industry for so long he’d thought he worked for a family.

This is what you get for working for the MAN!

It never occurred to Etheric that he now worked for the man also.

Mars bent over and took the vial from the scientist, straightened his suit, and turned back towards the research center.

“Make sure that it doesn’t.”

Etheric simply smiled.

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