Following the saddening news at the end of the debriefing from Strong-Man (as Flicker was persuading HuBot to get away from the other heroes before he said something insensitive where they could hear him), Thorn was approached by Lieutenant Champion of the US Army (as well as a number of non-descript soldiers). It came as no surprise to Thorn when Lt. Champion asked, or demanded, that she turn herself over to him. While mentally contacting Shadow Stalker for back-up, Thorn refused to go quietly and prepared for combat.
With an expertly rolled jeep tyre, Shadow Stalker was able to knock down Lt. Champion, briefly distracting all of the soldiers standing with him and giving the teleporter a chance to whisk Thorn away to safety. But he hadn’t realised that Lt. Champion was being covered by more than half a dozen snipers who immediately began shooting the two heroes full of sleep darts.
Reacting quickly, HuBot got to Thorn’s side as Lt. Champion regained his feet, but was then ordered by the officer to grab Thorn (which he’d already done) and follow. Luckily Frostbite then showed up and told HuBot to get Thorn to safety. Faced with conflicting orders, HuBot did the only sensible thing: he jumped onto his rocket-gun and roared away to the secret base.
While Frostbite quickly captured Lt. Champion, Agent Gibbs had begun stumbling across concealed snipers and was soon making short work of the soldiers hidden amidst the rooftops. However, neither Frostbite nor Agent Gibbs were able to prevent Shadow Stalker (who had been knocked out by the sleep darts) from being hand-cuffed and dragged away.
Frostbite began tearing away down the street with soldiers chasing him, carrying the complaining Lt. Champion under one arm. He managed to lead the soldiers away from where he’d last seen HuBot (not that HuBot was there any more) and then was able to lose them completely before making his own way to the secret base.
Agent Gibbs, having taken out a few snipers eventually fell afoul of a sleep dart himself, but managed to regain his senses only moments after he’d been hand-cuffed. With the element of surprise, Agent Gibbs shrugged out of the soldier’s arms and leapt to freedom… or would have if his powers weren’t being nullified by the handcuffs. Luckily the fall from the rooftop didn’t hurt Agent Gibbs too badly and he was able to limp away (still hand-cuffed) before the soldier had followed him down from the roof.
Shadow Stalker eventually revived to find himself handcuffed and under guard. With a little effort he was able to teleport himself free of his bonds (overpowering the nullifying properties of the restraints). Before heading to safety he also managed to pick up Agent Gibbs and help the other hero escape from the unknown streets.
Back at the base, HuBot has been talking to The Arc-Angel, filling him in on what had been going on for the last few days (The Arc-Angel had been pretty pre-occupied with his sister). When Frostbite arrived with Lt. Champion, The Arc-Angel revived the soldier, who then explained again that he only wanted to bring Thorn in for a peaceful discussion. Thorn still doesn’t trust him.
After discussing the situation with Thorn, The Arc-Angel and Shadow Stalker teleport Lt. Champion back to Fort Claybourne, where they are able to speak to General Douglas (the base’s commander). He is plainly unhappy with how everything has transpired, but is unwilling to discuss any details with either The Arc-Angel or Shadow Stalker due to them not having clearance. Eventually they are able to arrange a meeting between the US Army and Thorn (being mediated by the MRC, whom Thorn would trust to be impartial), to be held on-board the MRC’s Sky-Eye.
Several days later, the Stirling Heroes teleport up to Sky-Eye and Thorn and HuBot are allowed into the meeting room (the others were denied access to the classified nature of the talks). Shadow Stalker, of course, immediately began spying on the meeting using his ESP.
The US Army representatives (who were three generals that Thorn had never met before, as well as Lt. Champion) explained to Thorn that although they had initially wanted to arrest her for the damage she’d done to The Bunker, they had now uncovered the depth of Dr Parnethakera’s plan (it turned out that Thorn and Bramble had only gone crazy because of the continued doses of enzyme, which had been altered by Dr Parnethakera to induce psychosis). All charges against Thorn were to be dropped and she was being given the option of either: a) honourable discharge, or b) redeployment to a new unit that had been put together to replace Project Mind Shadow.
Thorn asked for time to think about it and asked to speak to Captain Bernadette Foster (her handler). The army agreed to give her one week…