Stirling City Stories

The Other Guys #10
Sandy: To Save the World

Having helped make Hunter’s Dojo secure, which Alice Hunter was grateful for, The Other Guys had proceeded to help out the citizens of Stirling City where they could. Being without Obfuscate (who’s show was playing a limited season in Las Vegas and was currently unavailable) or Blue Steel (who they hadn’t heard more than a few sentences from since she “helped” the Stirling Heroes out a month or so back) meant that the others were limited in their options, but they still made the most of things. Burnished Dawn was indispensible in healing the injured; The Black Ghost could easily walk through collapsed walls to reach people trapped inside buildings; and Lightning Hachi was kept busy fetching supplies and scouting out trouble. All in all they were doing good.

It was in the midst of this that a man, Bob, walked up to Burnished Dawn and asked for the assistance of The Other Guys in saving the world.

Once The Black Ghost and Lightning Hachi had returned Bob went on to explain that he had seen a dark time coming. He had seen the city reduced to smoldering rubble and the people of the earth led away in chains. He hadn’t seen everything, he claimed, but from he had seen he knew that to stop this they had to rescue Nova from Dynamic Solutions. Bob then explained that Dynamic Solutions was a scientific research company in Stirling City and that Nova was, form what he remembered from a few years earlier, a young hero.

Agreeing too help, The Other Guys sprang into action. Lightning Hachi began by scouting out the outside of Dynamic Solutions. He found it to be a fortified structure more akin to a military base than a research facility. There were guards around (wearing armour similar to that worn by The Larston Guardian) and they carried strange bulky looking guns.

When they got closer, The Black Ghost then scouted the inside of the building (well, the two basement levels at any rate). He found more guards and heavy security features as well as several prisoners. The first two (each held in a separate cell) were Professor Emil Erhardt and Professor Takinawa. Both looked worse for wear and Professor Erhardt claimed to have not even known he was in Stirling City. The other prisoner, held in a bizarre contraption by his hands and feet, was Nova (or so The Black Ghost assumed).

Their first plan was to teleport in and grab the prisoners and escape, but Burnished Dawn soon discovered that she was blocked from teleporting inside the building. So their second plan was for The Black Ghost to disable the building’s power supply so that Burnished Dawn could then teleport in and grab the prisoners. Lightning Hachi was to provide support to Burnished Dawn.

After a bit of a false start, with The Black Ghost almost being caught by guards, The Black Ghost was to figure out that Nova was being used to power the building. He was then able to roughly disguise himself as a technician so that he could close enough to pull a thick cable out of the back of the bizarre contraption holding Nova. Immediately the lights flickered and died and Burnished Dawn teleported herself and Lightning Hachi to within a metre or so of The Black Ghost.

Then the guards, who were not hampered at all by the darkness or by Burnished Dawn’s blinding light (when she raised it) began attacking. Miniature rockets came firing out of the guard’s bulky looking guns, hitting the heroes (only) and incapacitating Lightning Hachi straight away. Burnished Dawn and The Black Ghost fought well, but in all too short a time they too had fallen before the overwhelming firepower at the guards’ disposal (fire power that greatly resembled the power of a multi-gun, if only The Other Guys had ever seen one in action). They were knocked down and they were restrained with power dampening devices.

Outside, Bob nodded and headed off into the city. Everything had turned out as he knew it would.

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Frostbite #1
Sandy: Tangled in the Undertow

While ensuring that the New Larston Bridge remained sturdy following Superstorm Sandy, Frostbite took sad notice of fresh bodies showing up. These bodies weren’t all tumbled around and only looked a little dishevelled, so Frostbite found it hard to believe that they were victims of the storm. They also seemed to make a sort of trail.

Leaping from dry point to dry point, Frostbite made his way upriver for maybe a mile until he caught sight of a man holding a young woman’s head underwater. In anger he leapt to attack, grabbing the villain in his strong arms to prevent any further actions. To his surprise, the man’s form changed to water and he flowed out of Frostbite’s grasp and then returned the attack, all the time demanding to know what Frostbite was in strangely accented English.

They fought for a few moments, but eventually the villain slipped away into the still swollen river and disappeared, leaving Frostbite to make sure that the rescued victim was all right.

Later, when recording the encounter for the Earth Front databases, Frostbite would discover that his opponent had been none other than the mysterious Undertow, a cold hearted killer who had never been caught.

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The Arc-Angel #8
Sandy: Street Demons and Surprises

While aiding those injured by the ravages of Superstorm Sandy, The Arc-Angel was alarmed to hear a collection of gunshots going off. They sounded not far from where he currently was so he set off to see if there was a problem. Flying swiftly, he soon found the source of the gunfire. A group of more than twenty young men were gathered on a roof listening to a strange demonic woman telling them to go and murder in her name. Before the men could do as the demon commanded, The Arc-Angel swept in and lay about with his lightning, felling the criminals before they could do more than scream: “For the Street Demon!” Such was the ferocity of The Arc-Angel’s attack that he was even able to overpower this Street Demon before she could counter-attack.

The situation contained, The Arc-Angel contacted Shadow Stalker to help him to transport the demon but before his eyes she transformed from the unconscious Street Demon into the unconscious Ange Tron (his sister)! Without explaining everything (not that he knew everything to explain anyway), The Arc-Angel then got Shadow Stalker to teleport himself and Ange Tron back to the containment cells in his base (Shadow Stalker then went off to get HuBot’s assistance in taking care of Street Demon’s minions).

When Ange Tron regained consciousness, she claimed no knowledge of what had transpired (and, grudgingly, The Arc-Angel believed her). She was, however, quite put out at being held captive by a “hero” and threatened legal action from her brother when he discovered what had happened.

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Stirling Heroes #59
Sandy

With Vaigraz free and in space, the Stirling Heroes settled down to life as usual…

The Arc-Angel spent time keeping a close eye on The Linebacker, who continued to show signs of alien possession.

Frostbite split his time between observing the Stirling Heroes and fighting alongside Earth Front (the Sand Warriors were thwarted several times).

Shadow Stalker began flexing his psychic muscles… and enjoying the perks that his newfound “muscles” gave him.

Thorn kept a low profile, when not asking around town (to those she could trust) to see what she could find out about the military’s search for her. Eventually, she even enlisted HuBot to go down to Fort Claybourne to ask her handler a few questions, but he ended talking to General Douglas (the guy in charge of the whole fort) instead. General Douglas was able to provide a little information, but was mainly keen on making HuBot understand that Thorn would have nothing to fear from the army. He was lying and HuBot knew it. Eventually, Flicker persuaded HuBot to leave General Douglas’ office before anything bad happened.

When he wasn’t helping out Thorn, HuBot was: playing games; patrolling the city; making videos. The videos he made (the first was incomprehensible to anyone except HuBot) were for internet distribution. They were made to alert people to dangerous levels of ineptitude being displayed by the MRC. His second video was proving quite popular (and was much better made than the first), although he had yet to hear what the MRC’s opinion of it was.

By this time October was almost gone. Reports of Hurricane Sandy approaching the coast finally reached The Arc-Angel (who had been very busy researching) and so he asked Shadow Stalker to take him (and HuBot) to have a look at this hurricane. After a few moments he agreed that it was quite powerful and they returned to base.
Residents of Stirling City had been instructed to evacuate the city and, following this good advice, Thorn and Frostbite relocated to Freedom Base. The others remained to ride out the storm in the base.

Sandy arrived, making the ocean surge before it and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. Power failed throughout the city and many people who had thought to easily ride out the storm were left terrified, wet and cold in the aftermath. Once Sandy had passed, however, Shadow Stalker, HuBot and The Arc-Angel immediately emerged and began lending assistance wherever they were needed.

The Arc-Angel was able to provide much needed medical assistance, while Shadow Stalker could easily transport those who were stranded back to safety, beyond the floodwaters (which covered a good portion of the city). HuBot was also able to transport those stranded. Once Shadow Stalker had teleported them back to the city, Thorn and Frostbite also helped out, with Frostbite creating ice bridges and supports to help people and to stabilize damaged structures (including the New Larston Bridge). The Arc-Angel also sought aid from one of the few locations to still have power, Dynamic Solutions, but the armed and armoured security guards on the roof of the building were unable (or unwilling) to offer any aid to those in need.

Finally, HuBot was able to prevent Lord Calamari (and his goons) from looting a flooded warehouse. The pathetic villain was soon back in custody.

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Captain Awesome #3
Travellin' Man

Since leaving Stirling City, Captain Awesome had taken his band on the road. They toured across America (not for the first time) before heading overseas. He performed at some benefit concerts for earthquake victims (in New Zealand and then in Japan) and even managed to lay some guest guitar tracks (un-credited) for a few of the local artists.

Moving on again, he took the band back to Britain where he thwarted a daring heist in London by The Mime (who was captured, but it turned out to be a crafty wax duplicate created by Tussaud), before heading to Norway and encountering his evil half-brother Metal ‘Ead and his accomplice Viola (who both escaped after a prolonged battle). In the wilds of Germany, Captain Awesome had to outwit The Wolfson and The Ancient Wolves (a band of shapechanging faery creatures, hell bent on having their fun no matter who gets hurt in the process).

After a busy few months, he was glad for a rest, until he was attacked (and defeated) by Hekatonkheires. Imprisoned in the Void of Silence, Captain Awesome had to use all of his ingenuity to escape, but managed to then get caught up in a celestial game of chance with earth as the game board. Through luck and determination he managed to trick the Celestial Gamers and send them to the far reaches of the universe, but in retaliation they struck him with a bolt of pure Chaos Energy, causing his body to warp and weave and change without end.

In danger of dying, Captain Awesome found himself in the Hall of Eternal Music where he was granted a sip from the Choral Drinking Horn (which stabilized his body, although he found that his abilities had changed somewhat). The custodians of the Hall of Eternal Music also gave him a sacred motorcycle to use in his further journeys…

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The Other Guys #8
Requiem

Having been rescued from the sadistic Hunter by the Stirling Heroes, The Other Guys then discovered that their comrade The Larston Guardian hadn’t betrayed them after all. Instead he’d been dead for months and Hunter had taken his place on the team. After the remains of The Larston Guardian had been identified (by The Arc-Angel) a proper funeral was arranged by the boy’s family. Some of The Other Guys attended, but their presence seemed to just anger and upset the boy’s mother.

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Stirling Heroes #42
Wating

Following the dramatic fight with the ghost Quickdraw, the Stirling Heroes spent time preparing for the villain’s inevitable return. While HuBot recuperated, Alek Tron was able to adjust the multi-gun making it capable of firing a concentrated proton beam that could ensnare incorporeal targets. They’d gotten the idea from a movie.

At one point The Linebacker found himself standing in the freezing cold at the end of the Larston Docks late at night. Once again, he had no idea how he got there.

Weeks continued to pass, but there was no sign of Quickdraw

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Stirling Heroes #41
A Ghost of a Chance

The Arc-Angel was still trying to accurately catalogue his altered abilities (as he had been trying do since they arrived home several days ago) in his secret base, when a phone call for Alek Tron came through to him, informing him that a “Mr HuBot” was at Larston General Hospital and was in quite a serious condition. Wasting no time, Alek enlisted Shadow Stalker to teleport him to the hospital where he was able to take possession of the still mostly frozen (but alive, now) HuBot. After depositing HuBot back in the secret base’s infirmary, Alek and Shadow Stalker then took a quick trip down to the Southside Morgue where they learned that HuBot (and a priest) had been found frozen inside a church. The police were currently treating this as suspicious.

With HuBot still comatose, the remaining Stirling Heroes teleported to St Mary’s Church to investigate (and hopefully find HuBot’s gun, which they realized was missing). At the church they found some evidence of freezing (indoors) as well as an indent in the wooden floor that looked a lot like HuBot’s multi-gun. While Thorn and Shadow Stalker went off to call other churches in Stirling City (in case this icy attack was religiously motivated), Alek Tron phoned the police and was able to find out that the multi-gun had been impounded as evidence. Although unable to arrange its immediate release, he was able to arrange a meeting of the following morning with the lead detective, Detective MacKenzie.

Having rung many churches, Thorn and Shadow Stalker eventually spoke to a priest who suggested they might need an exorcism for their ghostly problems. He offered to try and track down an exorcist for them.

The following morning, Alek Tron met with Detective MacKenzie and was able to regain possession of the multi-gun (thanks in part to the impressive amount of paperwork he brought with him). Then, a few hours later, HuBot regained consciousness and was able to fill the others in on what had led to his frosty demise. Thorn liked the idea of holy water and enlisted the aid of “the teleporter” (sometimes known as Shadow Stalker) to track down some holy water of their own. HuBot, convinced more than ever that fire was the answer, managed to talk Alek into trying to incorporate some kind of flamethrower into his multi-gun. Dutifully Alek began working on this over at Tron Labs and, since he wasn’t quite feeling his usual self, HuBot decided to watch him.

The following day, a Wednesday, as Alek was continuing to tinker away at HuBot’s multi-gun a chill came over the lab where he was working (and HuBot was lurking). Somehow Quickdraw’s first shot went wide of the mark and then he was further flummoxed by the sight of HuBot being not dead, giving HuBot a chance to contact Thorn, Shadow Stalker and The Linebacker (who were back at the base) and let them know what was going on before he got all shot up. Once more the heroes fought desperately against the now complacent ghost, however he was soon in for a surprise when not only could Thorn spray him with holy water, but The Arc-Angel’s newly charged electricity was found to be able to disrupt (marginally) the very fabric of Quickdraw’s being. Briefly they thought that fire might be the answer to their problems, but a kicked metal drum of burning material failed to do anything to the ghost.

Shadow Stalker, having been given the holy water spray bottle by Thorn, soon gave that idea up and (passing the bottle on to The Linebacker) used his ESP to locate a suitable font of holy water that he was able to teleport in on top of Quickdraw! Although not a deadly attack, it was yet another weakening blow to the ghost, who would most likely have dealt severely with Shadow Stalker if HuBot hadn’t managed to fire another perfect shot (somehow capable of hitting an incorporeal target) and send Quickdraw spiralling backwards through the wall and into the unknown.

Although HuBot, Shadow Stalker and The Linebacker searched for some time, they were unable to find any trace of Quickdraw although they surmised he probably got knocked into the river.

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Stirling Heroes #40
Quickdraw

Once back in The Arc-Angel’s secret base, the heroes began trying to figure out who, exactly, their ghostly opponent was and how they could defeat him. Thorn tried all of her contacts (some of whom weren’t available) as well as trying to call in assistance from her military superiors, all to no avail. The Linebacker tried the MRC to see if they knew anything about this ghost, but he wasn’t on their database and they were of little help.

HuBot, however, went off to ask Francis Fabien if he could help. Luckily (considering it was a Saturday) Francis Fabien was at the Tennel Enterprises building and HuBot was able to get to talk to him (along with Thorn and Shadow Stalker who teleported in to make sure wasn’t breaking stuff). Francis Fabien believed their tale of time travelling and ghostly cowboys (he’s been around super heroes before) and agreed to get some of his team to look into it on Monday.

After returning to base, the heroes then set to occupying themselves to pass the time. HuBot ended up heading off to Tron Labs to try and find Dr McGaan in the computers (much to The Arc-Angel’s confusion). The Arc-Angel was meanwhile occupying himself with trying to figure out why his powers had been slightly unstable ever since they had returned to the present. No one noticed when The Linebacker wandered off.

The Linebacker was surprised, some time later, to find himself staring out over the water at the end of the Larston Docks. He had no memory of coming to this place. A little confused, he had just begun heading back to The Arc-Angel’s base when he was ambushed by the wrathful ghost! Unable to defend himself, The Linebacker was luckily able to call other Stirling Heroes to come to his rescue. Once more they all fought the ghost and once more they were barely able to do anything to it, eventually only making it flee because they had caused it a small amount of damage.

By Monday, the Stirling Heroes were more than eager to hear back from Francis Fabien who had found out a little about where they had been (in the past). With his information, The Arc-Angel, HuBot and Shadow Stalker had soon teleported across the country to the town of Wild Springs and had located a historical society there. At the historical society they were able to discover that their ghostly opponent was Jack “Quickdraw” O’Malley, one time leader of the Dust Valley Gang (the cannibal outlaws that they’d rounded up when in 1870). During the outlaw’s brief trial, he had been quoted as claiming that if not for the angels that had been against him, with their thunder and lightning, he would never have been captured. Unfortunately, all the Stirling Heroes could learn from about this Quickdraw was that he had been hanged in December 1870; his grave had long since been lost and there had been no known relatives.

Back in Stirling City, the heroes were back to having little idea about how to proceed. HuBot, after a brief conversation with Francis Fabien, went off looking for salt and holy water. Salt was easy enough to come by, there was some in the base, but holy water took some finding. Eventually, after asking around at several churches, HuBot ended up at St Mary’s Church in Larston. The priest there, Father Steven, was very helpful in supplying some holy water and, having heard of its intended use, even offered to arrange for an exorcism. It was then that Quickdraw attacked, felling the priest to begin with and then swiftly felling HuBot also (after being unaffected by some thrown salt). The malevolent spirit then stood above HuBot’s semi-conscious body, allowing his aura of extreme cold to slowly freeze HuBot (and poor Father Steven) solid, leaving only when the red glow finally faded from HuBot’s ice-encrusted eyes.

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Stirling Heroes #39
Welcome Back... Now for Revenge!

Having arrived safely back in the high tech laboratory of Professor Atom, the Stirling Heroes are a little unsure of who these “Other Guys” are who are there to greet them. Before Professor Atom can explain, time freezes and Dr Time (also known as the strange guy that The Linebacker met at the beginning of time) explains why he plucked them from various points in time and set them down in the wild west. He explains that without their timely intervention, The Chinaman and “Engine” Pete (as history remembers them) would never have begun travelling together, so they would never have formed the Weird Riders in 1872. In turn, tales of the Weird Riders would never have inspired a young Strong-Man to become a super-hero and form the original League of Heroes in 1980. Dr Time also mentions that he has placed Skyman and Lord Calamari in chronal stasis, awaiting the Stirling Heroes’ return to the present day. While time is frozen, all of the heroes’ injuries heal and The Linebacker becomes denser and more rock-like. Time resumes and Professor Atom outlines what has happened over the previous couple of weeks, detailing how The Other Guys were instrumental in saving the Stirling Heroes (despite Lightning Hachi disputing their group’s name).

Over the next few days the heroes catch up on their lives. Thorn contacts her handler and begins compiling a detailed report for her superiors. Alek Tron manages to convince Dr Simon Trevallin (the CEO of Tron Labs) that he had trailed after HuBot when HuBot and the Stirling Heroes had recently disappeared to alternate realities and distant timelines (HuBot helped the conversation by talking about the dinosaur he encountered). The Linebacker got accustomed to his new density. The Arc-Angel also arranged to hand Skyman and Lord Calamari over to the MRC, who were happy to take two super powered criminals into custody.

Following the handover of the criminals in the blistering cold alongside the Redspring River, the heroes were attacked by a ghostly cowboy! They recognised the cowboy as one of the outlaws they defeated back in 1870, but we’re sorely pressed to be able to fight back against the wrathful spirit. Eventually, they were able to drive him back temporarily and make good their escape.

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