Stirling City Stories

The Other Guys #12
Irregular Circumstances: Into the Tunnel

The two groups of heroes stared at each other for a few moments and Captain Awesome went back to countering the sound of the fire alarm. The Truth, a notoriously bad liar, says she’ll have a quick look around to make sure there aren’t any more guards (but no-one believes her, and she just goes invisible and observes everyone). Eventually Bob is able to explain, roughly, why he (and Obfuscate and Blue Steel) have just shown up. Obfuscate then hurries into the penthouse suite of Klaus Richter and, after examining the ritualistic markings still in place, is able to determine that he was in the middle of a ritual to open and stabilise an inter-dimensional gateway. Or something to that effect.

Obfuscate then started going through Richter’s notes and so The Truth “returned” from scouting (much to no-one’s surprise) to lend a hand with the texts in German. Between them, they notice a strange note about a “special delivery” that was made to a certain warehouse in West Larston a few days ago. Bob suggests that tey should check out what this could mean, but sends Blue Steel off on a secret mission of her own before they all set out.

Captain Awesome arrives at the warehouse first and reconnoiters the area. He comes to the conclusion that it looks empty. Which is correct. When the others arrive, in Bob’s shiny new hummer, The Truth then looks around the place and also finds it do be empty on the inside, as though it has never been used. She does find signs that the place has been searched recently, as well as signs of a battle in the warehouse.

Everyone then enters the warehouse and has a look around. They are able to discover a cleverly hidden switch which opens a sliding trapdoor above a secret ramp. This leads down to a dark subterranean tunnel wide enough for a car to drive down.

Bob soon finds the light switch (sending lights flickering into life ahead of the heroes) for the tunnel and Captain Awesome summons his bike (Eddie) and then they all start walking (or riding) down the tunnel. Blur scouts ahead at super speed and finds the first lot of guards (who are stationed roughly 1 mile down the tunnel). They heroes make a plan and then Obfuscate and The Truth lead the attack relying on their invisibility. Things looked worrying for a little bit, but the heroes triumph in the end. The Truth then foams up the guards (who were all wearing the same body armour as the guys back at the Gralein Building) and then they continued down the tunnel (after Bob had armed himself with a dropped assault rifle).

Blur soon found another guard post and once again the two stealthy heroes (Obfuscate and The Truth) moved forward to deal with them first. This time around the group tactics worked a lot better and the guards went down very swiftly.

The second group of guards had been stationed in front of a room at the end of the tunnel. This room contained some seating and two armoured cars… as well as an elevator. Getting into the elevator they found that it only went to one other place (UP!) and so that’s where they went, with everyone making sure they were taking cover in case guards were awaiting them when the elevator doors opened.
The doors opened to reveal a dimly lit metal gantry, some massive machinery (making a huge amount of noise) and, distantly, the sound of approaching feet…

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The Other Guys #11
Irregular Circumstances: The Other Other Guys

As the reports began coming in, relating the enormous inter-dimensional portals that had opened up in Berlin, The Eagle turned to Captain Awesome and beckoned for him to follow. The master magician had been feeling a mystical force building in Stirling City (a great force, to be felt all the way in New York), centred on the Gralein Building, and he felt that it needed to be investigated. Captain Awesome instantly agreed to check things out while the rest of the heroes, who were assembling at that moment, headed straight to Germany.

A silent wire shot from the opposite building, latching onto the Gralein Building roof. Moments later The Truth swung from across the alley, her movements silent and assured and utterly unseen to anyone else. Pausing on the rooftop she mentally reviewed her plan of action: find Klaus Richter, head of Dynamic Solutions Advanced Solutions Department (whatever that meant) and discover what secrets he was having hidden that would cause three people to wind up dead behind a Dynamic Solutions disposals facility in Silicon Valley.

Blur watched his dad, Scarlet Streak, disappear with a flash of magic as he was whisked away to help save the world. For years his dad had avoided joining the Heroes’ League because he was afraid it would drag him away from his family (like it was doing now) or get him killed (like it did to his mentor). Yet when the whole world was in danger, how could his father not respond? Not and still hold his head high, at any rate. Now the job of finding his mother, Water Sprite (and the rest of the Stirling City Irregulars) fell to Blur. His father had told him not to look, but he must have known Blur wouldn’t listen to him. Besides, he could feel magic being worked out in the city… maybe that was where his mum was and maybe, just maybe, he could save her.

Blur arrived at the source of the magic working in next to no time. The Gralein Building, which had been in the news a bit last year. Slipping in unseen, he grabbed an available elevator and headed to the penthouse, since the magic seemed to be coming from up near the top of the building. Soon he had found that the source of the magical emanations was coming from behind a guarded door… guarded by men with assault rifles and no fear of shooting 13 year old boys! With the first volley of killing shots arcing towards him, Blur was pushed aside by a previously unseen figure who then collapsed (having taken the brunt of the gunshots himself). With no time to check on the valiant man, Blur began dodging attacks and disarming his opponents as best he could, while desperately trying to think “What would dad do now?”

Both The Truth and Captain Awesome (from their separate locations in the Gralein Building) heard the muffled gunshots and began moving to investigate their source. The Truth arrived at the scene first and, unsure what was going on, tried to evaluate the situation before beginning to take down the guards by stealth. Captain Awesome, being a far less stealthy operator, barrelled down the fire escape stairs and rana round until he found a startled guard, with whom he tussled with until finally dropping the man with a well placed blow from his guitar. He then moved on, looking for trouble, only to find his old friend Jack (the owner of the Magic Bar) bleeding from gunshot wounds in the hall. Of course he paused to heal Jack before going on.

Meanwhile, with the coast clear, Blur had moved into the guarded room (and evaded more guards), to discover an ebony skinned man performing a magic rite. With guards all around, it was only the timely intervention of The Truth and Captain Awesome that ended the magic ritual and saved Blur’s life.

While The Truth quickly ransacked the suite (discovering that the strange ebony skinned man was actually Klaus Richter, and also discovering that the armoured guards also had ebony skin) Captain Awesome and Blur trussed up the guards. Captain Awesome also nullified the sounds of the blaring fire alarm that The Truth had set off earlier to get aid for the fallen Jack.

As the three heroes who were brought together by fate exited the penthouse suite and began planning their next move (as either individuals or a group) there was a sudden flash of light and a billow of smoke and there, before them in the hallway, stood a man dressed as a stage magician (who Captain Awesome recognised as Obfuscate), a hulking blue robot (who Captain Awesome recognised as Blue Steel) and a sharply dressed man (who was unrecognised as Bob). After a moment of stunned silence, Bob’s gaze fell on Blur and he uttered, in shock, “What are you doing here?”

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Stirling Heroes #71
World at War Prologue: Quickdraw's Revenge!

Continuing his research into the arcane, and trying to put the whole “illegal animal testing” thing behind him, Alek Tron settled in to begin scanning through the numerous scanned mystical texts that he had just acquired. He was so engrossed in his task that he didn’t immediately notice when the temperature took a sudden dive and it was only several minutes later when he happened to take notice of his breath steaming in front of his face. With the base’s computer unable to find anything wrong, Alek quickly ascertained that there was some malign force attacking the base. After teleporting to his secret lab (usually only used for “illegal animal testing”) and changing into his Arc-Angel form he began trying to figure out what, or who, could be making his regular base so cold (the cold wasn’t penetrating down to his secret lab). After ruling out yetis and ice giants he stumbled across some old case notes that mentioned Quickdraw, a ghost who had managed to kill HuBot by freezing him solid!

Figuring that he was on to something here, The Arc-Angel returned to his chilled base (although this no longer concerned him in his altered state) and was immediately attacked by the enraged ghost Quickdraw. The Arc-Angel soon realised that the ghost would be almost impossible for him to defeat by himself, so he contacted the other Stirling Heroes and requested their immediate assistance.

Within moments Shadow Stalker had teleported the heroes from the empty warehouse owned by Dynamic Solutions (where they had all recently gathered together to figure what to do next), allowing HuBot and Frostbite to charge into combat. Agent Gibbs chose to instead charge towards the fridge to secure a cold drink or two.

For a few tense moments the heroes struggled to deal with their incorporeal enemy, while in turn the deceased cowboy kept on blithely firing his spectral pistols into his hated foes. But then HuBot was able to connect with his plasma-tether-thing and then Shadow Stalker was able to posses the ghost (which was an odd turnabout to be sure). Thorn had chosen a stealthy approach to this combat, but stood ready to unleash her mental blast powers if needed.

With Shadow Stalker steering the ghost’s “body”, the heroes walked down to the holding cells in the hopes that the power nullifiers down there would hold the villain. Here they discovered that the prisoners (The Linebacker, Hunter, Hound and C-Dawg) had been suffering a bit from exposure to the extreme cold in the base. The heroes then determined to move C-Dawg in to share a cell with Hound so that Quickdraw could have his own cell. Frostbite moved into the cell to grab C-Dawg, but he resisted and fought back (even with his depleted capabilities). Thorn assisted by firing at the gang member. HuBot, deciding that Frostbite needed some more help, flung the ghost captive into the cell before changing gun modes to shoot at C-Dawg himself. Now inside the cell, Shadow Stalker tried walking through the cell walls and succeeded. Seeing that their plan was now going to fail, he walked back through the wall and was immediately thrown from Quickdraw’s ghostly body (as the cell’s nullifier succeeded in cancelling his powers this time).

Wasting no time, Quickdraw withdrew from the cell and blasted HuBot with his spectral pistol, dropping the synthetic human where he stood. Thorn was then able to send a vicious mind blast into the villain, causing his body to begin dissipating. Sensing that the day was lost, Quickdraw screamed out “I wanted to kill you mahself, but I will be content to leave you to them Shadow Nazis!” before firing a parting shot at Shadow Stalker and disintegrating into ectoplasmic vapour.

With the ghost gone, Frostbite was able to disentangle himself from C-Dawg and reseal the holding cell. The heroes, concerned about Quickdraw’s mentioning of the Shadow Nazis, decided to contact Professor Atom (who was, after all, an expert on inter-dimensional travel). They were able to catch him in the midst of war preparations.

He quickly told them how the tolling that everyone had heard in their heads (which confused Thorn, who hadn’t heard it) had been an alarm sounding throughout the entire world of an inter-dimensional breach. Already the MRC were teleporting all of their forces into Berlin, where several large portals were reported to have opened to allow thousands of Shadow Nazi soldiers to begin an invasion. The Stirling Heroes were then worried when they lost contact with Professor Atom in mid explanation. Luckily it was only because The Eagle had been teleporting the assembled Heroes’ League (and Professor Atom) to Germany. Strangely enough this interferes with phone reception.

With Professor Atom’s signal back up and running, he was able to briefly say: “There are thousands of them already and then there’s… I’ll call back when I can, we’ve gotta go.” And then his signal went dead again.

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Blue Steel #3
Irregular Circumstances: LA Steel

Frankie (aka Blue Steel) had been lying low since her misadventures with the Stirling Heroes. Prospects for the film had dried up and McT was starting to look for the next big thing… but then, out of nowhere, a producer had appeared and within a few months both Frankie and McT had relocated to Los Angeles where their film had final entered pre-production. Or possibly pre-pre-production. Regardless, it was now looking like getting made. Frankie was being paid well to make various prototype suits for filming (lighter suits, stockier suits, suits that could do different things, suits that were more/less reflective, etc.) and life was looking good.

Frankie was working in her workshop (her workshop; her own private, well-funded workshop!) one sunny afternoon when a sharply dressed visitor knocked on her door. He introduced himself as Bob and then proceeded to talk her into returning with him to Stirling City to rescue The Other Guys (who had gotten themselves into some predicament). Although she didn’t want to leave her old comrades in danger, she also didn’t know this guy from any of the other smooth talkers you were likely to meet in LA. With great reluctance he then explained how, basically, the world was doomed unless she came back to Stirling City with him. Sensing her reluctance he then shared (directly into her brain!) his visions of a world to come: a world with ruined cities and people being led away by ebony skinned soldiers to an unknown fate.

When she finally agreed, like Bob had known she would, he allowed her some time to contact McT (who was out in his new convertible) and let him know she’d be out of town for a few days. The she packed her field suit into a packing case Bob had arranged to get delivered before they were both driven to LAX for their pre-booked flight to Stirling City.

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Stirling Heroes #70
Irregular Circumstances: Joining the Dots

Outside the shattered ruins of C-Dawg’s house, HuBot quickly set about healing all of the injured people he could find (mostly C-Dogs, including Hound and C-Dawg). Then the police arrived and, to avoid complications, Shadow Stalker teleported the away with Thorn, Frostbite, C-Dawg and Hound. HuBot and Flicker remained on the scene to search for Agent Gibbs.

Back at the base, the two villains were quickly stuffed into separate holding cells before Thorn dug the information they needed out of C-Dawg’s mind. Francis Fabien had visited C-Dawg and had, after a brief tussle, left to investigate a certain warehouse. The warehouse was where C-Dawg had met with the people who had paid him to hit The Toadstool (though he didn’t know exactly who his backers were).

Back at the ruined house, HuBot was running into problems with authority as they were a little leery about him being around a whole lot of devastation (stories of Merton were still fresh to most people). Flicker had been unable to find Agent Gibbs and HuBot’s method of searching the rubble (by chopping it apart with his chainsaw) was a bit unsettling. Then Shadow Stalker returned and HuBot retreated (to chop up a fallen phone pole) while the police and EMS began picking through the rubble in earnest. In short order Shadow Stalker was able to discover Agent Gibbs with his ESP, so HuBot was back on the case with his chainsaw. With Agent Gibbs freed, HuBot shot the gibbon with his medi-shot… only to have the police begin shooting at him (and then a confused Agent Gibbs disarmed him and ran off with his multi-gun). Luckily the situation got sorted out before anyone except HuBot was hurt and then Shadow Stalker took the other two heroes back to base before more mayhem could ensue.

From the base Shadow Stalker is able to ESP the warehouse and (having found no sign of anything (or anyone), he is able to teleport the group. The warehouse looks new, practically unused. They find computers that have never been fully installed, empty desk draws (and fridges, much to Agent Gibbs frustration) and no sign of the building ever being used for a legitimate purpose. They did find signs of a pitched battle in the actual warehouse area (bullets hole and scorch marks). Frostbite was able to determine that Francis Fabien and the Stirling City Irregulars had been all over the place, but he could find no trace of them leaving the warehouse.

While Thorn attempts to contact Professor Atom (who doesn’t answer his phone, see Captain Awesome #5 for details) and then The Arc-Angel for help on detecting whether a portal was used in the warehouse, Flicker went off and did some quick research on the warehouse (on a nearby computer network). He was able to find, with a bit of digging, that the warehouse was owned by Dynamic Solutions!

Before the Stirling Heroes could decide on their next course of action, they all (except Thorn) hear the deep tolling of a chime in their heads.

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Captain Awesome #5
Irregular Circumstances: Back in Town

With a roar of his engine, Captain Awesome screamed through the interdimensional portal. Across his back was the Chime of Warning (which tolled a deep, resonating sound in his head as he passed through the portal) and before him, standing in the Dimensional Hallway of the Heroes Hall were The Eagle and Professor Atom. The World of the Jade Emperor had been a fun place, but they had no rock music and he’d felt his powers lessening the longer he’d stayed there. He was glad to be back.

The Eagle and Professor Atom helped him get the chime of his back and then they all carried it (carefully, although it seemed to be almost indestructible) into The Eagle’s arcane laboratory, where Captain Awesome was invited to hang around for a while…

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Obfuscate #1
Irregular Circumstances: Las Vegas Interlude

This is set several days before the events of Stirling Heroes #69.

Obfuscate is worried about his friends... but LAS VEGAS

Obfuscate is in his dressing room getting ready for his show. He’s been doing well out in Vegas. He plays to sell out crowds most nights and his name is up in lights. His real name, that is, not his superhero name.

Then a scruffy looking man in a trench coat starts speaking to him. The man introduces himself as Bob (no last name, apparently), and requests that Obfuscate return to Stirling City to help out Burnished Dawn, Black Ghost and Lightning Hachi. Obfuscate is happy to help his friends, but doesn’t know if he can trust this Bob fellow. Bob then gives Obfuscate a brief view of the events to come: flashing images of armies of ebony skinned soldiers walking through the smoking ruins of a city; lines of prisoners being led off through a great shimmering portal; the shattered remains of several prominent international, and national, landmarks. Bob then sinks into a chair, exhausted from the effort of sharing his power.

Obfuscate agrees to return to Stirling City, and Bob mentions that now he has to find Blue Steel.

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Stirling Heroes #69
Irregular Circumstances: C-Dawg's House

As they are getting ready to leave the bar Agent Gibbs leaps into view and so they all take it in turns catching him up on what has transpired. In turn he looks longingly towards the bar. By the time they’ve finished, they have decided that Mutt isn’t needed after all and so Shadow Stalker teleports them all to the C-Dawg’s neighbourhood.

Shadow Stalker then uses his ESP to scout the nice suburban house that C-Dawg uses as a base for the C-Dogs. It’s a quiet enough street, but the house in question has three thugs out the front doing a poor job of concealing assault rifles. There are also three big, black SUVs in the driveway. Going for sneakiness, the Stirling Heroes decide to take the back entrance where there is only the one gang member present. En masse they appear in front of this guard and manage to keep everything quiet… until the guard sees Agent Gibbs and freaks out. HuBot then silences him, but none of his methods are particularly stealthy.

With the guards from the front of the house converging on them, Shadow Stalker teleports the heroes (minus Agent Gibbs, who was on the roof, and Thorn who was being stealthy) into the living room of the house where they find Hound reporting to C-Dawg himself.

In the ensuing battle HuBot and Frostbite took the brunt of the high powered assault rifles (sending HuBot to death’s door), while Thorn picked of gang members one at a time and Shadow Stalker did his best not to get shot to pieces. Agent Gibbs also found himself on the wrong end of heavy assault rifle fire and it briefly looked like the Stirling Heroes would meet their fate in this suburban house. But then HuBot recovered and used his multi-gun to accelerate the healing of both Frostbite and Agent Gibbs (but not Shadow Stalker, who had by now been knocked out).

With the gang defeated and with the sound of sirens in the distance, the heroes were then able to capture the fleeing C-Dawg just moments before one of HuBot’s grenades detonated, leveling the house and burying Agent Gibbs beneath the rubble!

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The Arc-Angel#10
Irregular Circumstances: For Science!

The Arc-Angel is busy in his lab, studying the arcane books recovered from The Toadstool, when he is forced to divert his attention to answer the phone (as Alek Tron). It’s a call for HuBot, of course, from Tron Labs… but the news is dire!

Apparently an anonymous person has sent various media outlets a statement claiming that The Arc-Angel has created the new superhero Agent Gibbs using illegal animal experimentation. Tron Labs obviously wants HuBot to distance himself from this potential PR nightmare (HuBot makes enough of them on his own). Alek promises to pass the information along.

Furious at being judged by the common man, The Arc-Angel immediately begins seeking a way to clear his name from these “spurious” (although entirely accurate) claims. He briefly attempts to enlist the aid of a publicist from Tron Labs, but they want nothing to do with him. So, figuring that it is best to put the whole matter to rest with a written statement, he proceeds to type out a statement of his own, in which he explains how he has done nothing wrong and how Agent Gibbs was just a fortunate discovery while he was in Africa…

The general media opinion of his statement is that he’s lying. Poorly.

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Stirling Heroes #68
Irregular Circumstances: C-Dogs.

With the trail dead, The Arc-Angel declared he would investigate the occult texts left behind at the crime scene for any clues. With Shadow Stalker’s assistance he transported the large collection of esoteric books back to base.

While this was taking place, Frostbite had told HuBot (and Flicker) what was going on. Thorn mentioned that they should perhaps look into what taxi company Francis Fabien had used when he left The Toadstool, so Flicker took the initiative and remotely accessed a nearby computer terminal. From the computer terminal Flicker was able to find the most prominent local taxi companies and was then able to hack into the network of the top Google result, Stirling City Cabs. In the Stirling City Cabs network, Flicker was able to uncover recent passenger information and was able to determine that Francis Fabien had not only used this company on the night in question (which was convenient) but had taken a cab to Tennel Enterprises. When Flicker mentioned this to HuBot, the synthetic man recalled that this was the company that Francis Fabien worked for and was also the pace they had taken Sveln and Njordos.

In short order the Stirling Heroes had teleported to the reception area at Tennel Enterprises where the receptionist was able to arrange for Mr Jones from security to come and see them. Mr Jones in turn escorted the Stirling Heroes down to the basement headquarters of the Stirling City Irregulars where they met Eric Tennel, the CEO and owner of Tennel Enterprises. Eric Tennel was pleased that they were looking into the disappearance of Francis Fabien and the Stirling City Irregulars.

While Thorn checked the security footage (courtesy of Mr Jones; it showed the Stirling City Irregulars leaving the building using chromed jet bikes) Flicker proceeded to use the computer facilities (mainly their large computer table) of the Stirling City Irregulars to bring up their most recent files and documents. All of these files related to the homicide at The Toadstool, with the most recent documents relating to ballistics reports (the bullets used were unique in construction) and witness statements (people had seen C-Dogs gang members leaving the club around the time of the shooting). Flicker was also able to find a note mentioning a known C-Dogs hang out, a lowdown bar in Denning.

Moments later Shadow Stalker had teleported everyone to just outside the bar in question (Flicker caught up a few seconds later, as usual). HuBot immediately entered the bar and asked for information, while Shadow Stalker made straight for a bar stool. Thorn, having become invisible, also entered the bar to provide back up. HuBot’s sudden entrance and request for information made the bar fall silent. Then Hound stood up from a table and Mutt stood up from the bar (and Junkyard Dawg return from the bathroom) and demanded that HuBot accompany them outside.

The resulting brawl did indeed take place out in the street, although all of the Bar’s customers were affected by HuBot’s opening flash-bang. Hound and Frostbite wrestled for a while and Mutt took the fight to HuBot. Thorn was rendered blind and deaf by the flash-bang (as was Flicker) while Junkyard Dawg tried to close with Shadow Stalker (who in turn secured himself a drink and captured the bartender, who was a good source of information). With the fight turning against them, Hound raced away on his cybernetically enhanced legs with Frostbite giving chase moments later. Catching up to the gang member in an alley, Frostbite found the confined quarters a hindrance and was soon overcome by Hound’s relentless attacks. When Shadow Stalker fond the unconscious alien Hound was long gone.

Meanwhile, Thorn had been able to pry some valuable information out of the mind of Mutt. It turned out that The Colt had come to this bar after information and had also ended fighting some members of the C-Dogs (with the other Stirling City Irregulars also). From there the heroes had gone off to see C-Dawg himself. So, with Mutt to lead the way, the Stirling Heroes set off to speak to the leader of the C-Dogs.

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