Stirling City Stories

World at War Special #1
Epilogues

The invasion of Earth by the inhabitants of Earth-Shadow was over, but what of those who took part in the conflict? Over the following months, as both Berlin and Stirling City entered a reconstruction phase, the following things took place:

  • Blue Steel: Although she enjoyed catching up with The Other Guys, Blue Steel was eager to return to her movie set out in LA. Then she received word from LA that the producers for her film had vanished, taking her prototype battle suits with them. No record of the producers can now be found.
  • Bob Nostradamus: Having done everything that he had needed to, Bob slipped away in the confusion at the end of the battle.
  • Burnished Dawn (& White Lady): White Lady offers Burnished Dawn membership in the Secret Order of Druids, as well as training as a wielder of light magic (not something Burnished Dawn knows anything about yet). White Lady feels that Burnished Dawn has it in her to become a Luminary, one of the leaders of the Secret Order.
  • Executive Solutions: Thanks to their efforts in Avery, one third of the invading force was bottled up and so they are regarded as heroes by the people of Stirling City, with their obviously xenophobic attitudes being praised by some (and ignored by others). Zodiac (on behalf of his team) is presented with the keys of the city, a move that is frowned upon by many.
  • Frostbite: With HuBot now recognised as a hero of the city, Frostbite is no longer required to remain in the city to watch over him. However Earth Front gives Frostbite the option of staying on in the city if he wishes.
  • The MRC: They suffered severe casualties after being the first respondents to the invasion in Berlin, with over 60% of their fighting force being killed or seriously injured. Following the invasion they also find that many of their dead were stripped of their battle suits (some were then finished off, after being stripped of their battle suits). There is talk in the UN, spearheaded by the US, of getting rid of the MRC.
  • Nova: Nova powers down following the battle and heads off to reunite with his family and friends after so many years away.
  • Omega Unit: Luckily Omega Unit had been on manoeuvres at Fort Claybourne when the invasion started, otherwise things may have turned out much worse. The President publicly lauds the Omega Unit for their work in protecting America when needed.
  • Salamander: Having seen The Panther fighting against The Shadow Mage in Stirling Park, Salamander is reminded of why she became a superhero in the first place. Overcome with remorse for the decisions she’s made over the years she turns herself in to the police.
  • Stirling City Irregulars: Despite their first case ending in disaster, Francis Fabien is convinced that they show strong promise. He tries to find Nova, to offer him a place on the team, but the hero wishes nothing more than to be left alone.
  • Stirling City: Much rebuilding needs to be done in Stirling City but it is sped along with assistance from Professor Atom (and his constructobots). On the site of the Caville portal they decide to build a memorial to all of those who died during the invasion.
  • Stirling Heroes & The Other Guys: Thanks to their central role in defeating, or at least containing, the invasion, the Stirling Heroes and The Other Guys are presented with the keys to the city.
  • The Arc-Angel: Returns to his base to find that it received considerable damage (from the initial rocket attack) resulting in the prisoners escaping. Agent Gibbs turns out to be ok though, just drunk. Luckily, the investigation into his mistreatment of animals gets forgotten about (for now) in the media blitz following the invasion.
  • The Panther: The spectral hero who, when he was alive, was The Panther manages to disappear without any trouble. He is sure to return when he is needed once more…
  • The Truth: Was able to present her evidence to the US state department, which led to a thorough investigation of Dynamic Solutions. So far it looks like the company might not survive.
  • Thorn: Is debriefed by Ice Queen, who is now able to tell her that the head of Omega Unit, Colonel Miles, used to go by the code name Omega-Dawn. Some years ago this former superhero attempted a worldwide coup, but was defeated and has been in hiding ever since. Ice Queen is disquieted by the implications of the US military being willing to reach out to this wanted man.
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Stirling Heroes #74
World at War: Blowing Things Up

Following their earlier battle, The Stirling Heroes had gathered together at the head of the Omega Unit army. They had faced wave upon wave of Shadow Nazi attack, but each had been repulsed with ease. They had been making slow progress, however, due to their wish to keep pace with the Omega Unit troops.

Then five Shadow Nazi super-soldiers came to the fore and attacked the Stirling Heroes. These warriors, armed with dark, mystical lances and wielding strange powers, could almost have been a match for the heroes, but between Frostbite’s ferocity, The Arc-Angel’s elctryfying power, Shadow Stalker’s precise teleporting, Thorn’s accurate shooting and HuBot’s cheerful destructiveness they were able to win through. It was only once these Shadow Nazi Super Soldiers had been defeated that Thorn noticed that the force field, which had been protecting the portal near Dynamic Solutions, was no longer there!

Within seconds HuBot had begun launching his grenades deep into the enemy army and through the portal’s opening. Moments later the deafening explosions were followed by the great portal winking out of existence! (Though they couldn’t see it, the other two portals in Stirling City also winked out at this time.) Despite the closing of the portals there were still a large number of Shadow Nazi soldiers within the city (not to mention the hulking Shadow Colossus, and whatever had appeared in Stirling Park). So the Stirling Heroes kept fighting and HuBot was finally able to get a shot at the Boss Monster (the Shadow Colossus)!

In Stirling Park a small band of misfit adventurers (including Jack, Memoria and others) are holding back an overwhelming swarm of shadow demons, while towering above them, each standing much taller than the nearby buildings, but both being composed of smoke and ether) The Panther battles The Shadow Mage. Bob Nostradamus, Nova, The Other Guys and the Stirling City Irregulars arrive to lend much needed assistance to the forces holding the Shadow Demons at bay. The Shadow Mage, seeing that his forces might soon be overcome, attempts to consolidate his power (activating the magic circles that have been established for him) but the attempt fails when the magic circle within the Gralein Building fails to activate. With renewed desperation he doubles his offensive, driving The Panther to his knees. The Panther then reveals his secret weapon, White Lady, but even her light magic doesn’t seem to be powerful enough to halt The Shadow Mage, until she is joined by Burnished Dawn carrying a Dawn Shard. This extra assistance is enough to destroy The Shadow Mage, sending his essence screaming back to the shadowy dimension that is his home.

With his destruction, the shadow demons, shadow colossi and other creatures of shadow magic fade away, leaving the battered remains of the Shadow Nazi army (in both Stirling City and Berlin) all alone. The surrender of the Shadow Nazi commanders follows shortly afterwards.

Perplexed, HuBot stopped evading his opponent as the giant scorpion thing shattered into a thousand shards of darkness. Must have been one of those bosses.

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The Other Guys #15
World at War: Getting Out Again

Having crept off stealthily earlier, Bob Nostradamus works his way into where the prisoners are being kept and, after waiting for the guards to be called away, he frees them. He tells the Stirling City Irregulars (being Francis Fabien, The Colt, Water Sprite, Tomorrow Girl, Sveln and Njordos) to lead the two frightened scientists to safety, but Francis Fabien insists on staying to see the job through, telling Water Sprite to get everyone else to the Tennel Enterprises building for safety. Bob doesn’t mention to Water Sprite that her son (Blur) is nearby, but he does apologise to Black Ghost, Lightning Hachi and (particularly) Burnished Dawn who he arranged to captured many months earlier. He tried to explain that what had happened was for the best, but they weren’t interested in his excuses. Burnished Dawn did listen to him, however, when he gave her a glass dagger that he called a Dawn Shard and told her that no matter what, she had to make it to Stirling Park later.

With the sound of many approaching boots sounding around them, Bob lead the newly freed prisoners into an adjoining room where they were able to meet up with Blur, Captain Awesome, Blue Steel, Obfuscate, The Truth and Nova, all of whom had just caught the elevator back to this level in search of Bob. The Other Guys had a brief reunion, before the second elevator’s door opened to reveal a squad of armoured guards!

Dealing with the guards in the elevator (and other guards who had been approaching from behind) was an easy prospect for this band of heroes, but they still didn’t know how to get out. Trying the elevator again, they take it to the top floor where they find a large squad of armoured guards waiting for them. These guards are heavily decimated by the heroes’ initial attack, but are able to counterattack with their modified Multi-Guns! Rockets and rail gun shots flew, seriously hurting the heroes (who were all packed quite closely together in the elevator), with Bob even leaping in front of Burnished Dawn to prevent her from being shot at one point (this shot left him unconscious and bleeding on the ground).

Luckily the heroes were able to persevere, defeating this second group of guards. Burnished Dawn was then able to spend some time healing the varied injuries everyone had incurred (Bob was particularly happy to find out that he had survived the combat, he hadn’t been sure that he would) in their escape, while everyone was also able to peer out the nearby windows to see the hordes of Shadow Nazi Soldiers marching out of the nearby portal (because they were, of course, inside the Dynamic Solutions building).

With everyone healthy again they all agreed to escort Burnished Dawn to Stirling Park for whatever fate awaited her there.

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The Other Guys #14
World at War: Power

Having appropriated a helmet from an armoured guard, Obfuscate had learned that the helmet’s HUD enabled the wearer to see in a number of different spectrums. A useful thing for him to know, so that he knew not to rely on his invisibility to keep him safe while he scouted around the facility. Encountering guards, he chose to retreat and find back up rather than risk an encounter…

The other heroes had been discussing what they should do, how best to get down to where the force field controls were located and shut them down. With Obfuscate showing up again, it was decided that The Truth should go and stealthily deal with the guard he had found (which she did… and then she dealt with the guard he hadn’t seen). With the guards taken care of, Captain Awesome used his music to win over the loyalty of some technicians (or scientists) working near the force field control panels. With the technicians now fully supportive of whatever Captain Awesome wanted them to do he got them to shut down the force field. For good measure The Truth then destroyed the control panels, which caused a potentially dangerous power build up to begin. From the technicians, The Truth and Obfuscate learned that the power source for the whole facility was apparently a person, so they figured they should prevent this person from exploding.

While The Truth and Obfuscate head off to see to that, Blur races around until he finds another elevator (that will lead them down to where The Truth and Obfuscate are), but in the process he finds more guards. So he, Captain Awesome and Blue Steel do their best to fight off the guards, not realising that Bob Nostradamus has slipped away without telling anyone. The heroes (in two separate areas of the facility) find themselves fighting guards, but they are easily able to deal with their opponents, with The Truth even managing to free the bound “power source” (the missing hero Nova) from his cradle. Only Blue Steel ran into any trouble and then only when she went looking for Bob, for a guard shot her down, leaving her bleeding and alone.

With Nova free and the remaining guards knocked down with a surge of his plasma energy the lights begin to dim in the facility…

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The Other Guys #13
World at War: Incursion

With the sound of feet approaching, the heroes sprang into action. As armoured guards rounded the corner they were met with a blasting attack from Captain Awesome, which sent at least half of their number falling to the floor. The Truth and Obfuscate used this opportunity to begin reconnoitring the area (with Obfuscate going as far as to disguise himself as one of the guards.

Bob and Blur supplied support to Captain Awesome, laying down covering fire and a slippery surface respectively. With their assistance Captain Awesome was able to clean up all of the guards in short order.

A short distance from the combat area, The Truth was able to access a security computer terminal where she was able to create a new password for accessing any areas of the complex they were in before looking into what was going on. She discovered that the whole facility (wherever they were) was in a lockdown situation due to a force field being erected (Operation Lock Out, as it was referred to in the computer files). At this time radio and wi-fi communications are also expected to be disrupted. She figured that this force field would probably prevent them from leaving. Also, The Truth was able to discover that there were a number of special guests (read prisoners) being kept on-site, several of which were listed as requiring special restraints (due to their special abilities). While The Truth was investigating the computer network Obfuscate very nearly sat down on her (one of the draw backs of being both invisible and silent), but he realised what must be going on at the last moment, so he instead took his snooping further into the facility.

At this time Blue Steel caught up to her companions, flying up the now ruined elevator shaft (it was destroyed by several grenades during the earlier combat) and had passed on the glass dagger that Jack had entrusted her with. Blue Steel, Blur and Bob Nostradamus then all met up with The Truth and they determined that dismantling the force field generator and freeing the prisoners was probably what they should be doing.

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Blue Steel #4
World at War: Looking for Jack

Having arrived at the Gralein Building with Bob, Blue Steel had met up with Obfuscate and then they had all teleported to the top floor where they found that things had been dealt with already (by The Truth, Blur and Captain Awesome). While everyone else prepared to head off to their next location, Bob asked Blue Steel if she could track down Jack (who he had been expecting to join them at the Gralein Building). Blue Steel agreed and began searching the roads and laneways between the Gralein Building and the Magic Club.

No sooner had she set out than she found a group of armoured soldiers flying along (using jet packs). Finding this suspicious, she tried to follow them but was almost immediately spotted. The ensuing combat saw Blue Steel victorious (although one did escape) and on the ground with an unconscious captive standing in front of a surprised looking man who turned out to be Jack.

Talking to Jack, Blue Steel got the impression that he knew more of what was going on than he was letting on. He was unwilling to go with her to join Bob (who he called Bob Nostradamus), but he was willing to give her something that Bob would need. Which is just as weird as it sounds.

Before Blue Steel could convince Jack to accompany her they were attacked by some kind of shadow demon that was able to incapacitate Blue Steel with little effort. When Jack revived her with his healing touch she saw that his clothing had mostly disappeared (revealing his ripped abdomen and rippling chest muscles). He had also grown a pair of fiery wings.

Finally Blue Steel was convinced to head back to meet up with the others, but Jack gave her a dagger made from glass (or crystal) before she left. He, in turn, was preparing to fight more shadow demons.

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Stirling Heroes #73
World at War: Reinforcements

The Arc-Angel continued with his plan of trying to lure the massive Shadow Colossus on to the Dynamic Solutions building, while keeping out of its reach. This was complicated by the creature starting to fire beams of dark fire from its eyes, but The Arc-Angel was able to dodge these and then used the building as cover. For a few tense moments it seemed like he might be able to outsmart his enormous opponent, but he then lost track of it (while remaining out of the creature’s line of sight, it meant he couldn’t see it either), allowing it to get the drop on him. A well placed hit from the Shadow Colossus then sent The Arc-Angel flying away to land, unconscious, in a dumpster…

Which brings us to HuBot, who managed to recover from his serious wounds and retake the field. Looking for a good opportunity to engage the large amount of enemy soldiers once more he (well Flicker) caught sight of a single flying figure approaching the vicinity. Through his gun sight, HuBot was able to see that this was his nemesis Sidewinder! So he shot him down. Finding the downed Sidewinder (which luckily didn’t take too long), HuBot bound him with some “scavenged” chains and then healed him, only to learn that Sidewinder had been released from jail to serve with the Omega Unit (some kind of super powered community service perhaps). Convinced that Sidewinder was a “good guy” for the moment, HuBot freed him and then headed off to where this Omega Unit had set up a temporary field base…

Shadow Stalker was using his teleportation and possession to keep causing havoc amidst the invaders, but whilst this was happening Thorn caught sight of some helicopters approaching the area. She was able to mentally contact the pilots and discovered that they were US army reconnaissance. They passed on to her that Omega Unit had established a temporary base nearby, which Shadow Stalker was able to take teleport them all (including the unconscious Frostbite) to.

While HuBot kept himself busy healing wounded civilian and army personnel as they were brought into the Omega Unit base, the other Stirling Heroes were introduced to Colonel Fraser Miles, the leader of Omega Unit. He was appreciative of their presence (with most super powered individuals having already gone to Germany) and was able to tell them that there were three inter-dimensional portals currently open in Stirling City. Sidewinder was soon able to report back (via radio contact) that there were Shadow Nazis and Shadow Colossi emerging from each portal. With a bit of digital investigation, The Arc-Angel (who had recovered and had been directed to this base also) was able to determine that one of these portals was appearing near a closed down community radio station (which had been purchased last year by a private trust) and that the other was appearing near an electronics wholesaler that was part owned by Dynamic Solutions! Sidewinder was then kept busy trying to stem the flow of invaders from one of the portals (apparently some other groups of super-powered individuals had arrived to reinforce the other portal).

Thorn (acting as The Rose) also managed to report back to her new boss, the Ice Queen, in Washington. Ice Queen was eager to hear news from ground zero of the American invasion and was also surprised to hear that Colonel Miles was the leader of Omega Unit. She further asked that The Rose keep her apprised of any further developments (and to let her know immediately if Colonel Miles did anything… odd).

Frostbite used this time to see if there was any help to be forthcoming from his Earth Front buddies. Of course, they had all been deployed to Germany, but the admin people he was able to contact were grateful of the information he was able to provide from the situation in Stirling City.

With things looking grim, HuBot and Shadow Stalker were sent back to the Dynamic Solutions portal to see if they could stealthily penetrate the protective force field. While Shadow Stalker provided a distraction (and almost blew himself to pieces with one of HuBot’s grenades) HuBot “snuck” to the top of the force field and tried using his chainsaw to break through. Despite his success, he could only temporarily penetrate the field (with any holes repairing themselves afterwards). He then took the initiative and went looking for another way in…

Back with the Omega Unit, The Arc-Angel, Thorn and Frostbite were engaging the Shadow Nazis in combat (alongside the US Army). The battle was fierce but decisive, with the Shadow Nazis being broken without ever troubling the heroes. With the enemy retreating before them, they allowed themselves to feel that maybe they could win this after all… until they caught sight of a colossal (well, much larger than colossal) figure of darkness materialise in what was probably Stirling Park! To be visible from that distance, the figure would have to have been several hundred feet tall!!! Dread began to seep into the bones and souls of the nearby troops, but then The Panther (who had also just materialised nearby… lot of that going around) told the Stirling Heroes to keep the faith and keep on fighting, before he started flying (!) off towards the super colossal figure, enlarging himself as he went until he could stand on equal footing with the shadowy interloper.

Elsewhere, HuBot had finally found a sewer tunnel that led him towards Dynamic Solutions. Progressing down the tunnel he eventually came to a point where it had been recently upgrade (ooo, chromed sewer tunnels!). At tis point he also encountered the force field once more. Desperately he tried penetrating it once more to no avail.

To be continued…

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Stirling Heroes #72
World at War: Shadow Nazi Attack

The Stirling Heroes have just watched Quickdraw vanish and have then spoken with Professor Atom (who got teleported to Germany in mid-conversation). Hearing that the Shadow Nazis had opened several large inter-dimensional portals in and around Berlin, the heroes began discussing how best to lend their assistance. Before these plans could get very far they were interrupted by the sounds of explosions from just outside (above) the base. Shadow Stalker used his ESP to determine that someone had set up a rocket launcher platform on a nearby building and was firing a stream of rockets at the concealed base.

Immediately the Stirling Heroes leapt into action, with Shadow Stalker teleporting Frostbite, Thorn and HuBot (and himself) to the rooftop that held the attackers. The Arc-Angel, meanwhile, was trying to ascertain the extent of the damage to his base, but soon flew to join his comrades.

HuBot was able to use his chainsaw to “disable” the rocket launcher and then he Frostbite and Thorn set about dealing with the guards that were stationed on it. They proved to be hard to hit, but by then The Arc-Angel had shown up and quickly fried them with electricity. The guards were all wearing advanced full-body armour, similar to that worn by the security forces of Dynamic Solutions. When they removed the helmet of one of the guards they were even more surprised to find that the man underneath was a shadow nazi! It was at this point that they caught sight of the top of a shimmering portal in the distance, at the point where it was just clearing the roofline.

Without any hesitation they began scouting (via ESP) and then moving closer (via teleportation, which was growing difficult for Shadow Stalker for some reason, but he didn’t mention it to anyone) until Shadow Stalker was able to get a good view of what was going on. On the street just in front of Dynamic Solutions an enormous inter-dimensional portal had opened to allow rank upon rank of infantry (all seemingly wearing the same armour as the guards back on the rooftop) to march onto the streets of Stirling City. Accompanying the infantry were tanks, APCs, motorcycles and a colossal monstrosity that seemed to be the bizarre melding of a scorpion and a man. This monstrosity towered above everything else, and the infantry were easily able to walk beneath its body as it made its way down the street. Some of the infantry would occasionally get stepped on by the creature, as it failed to keep track of the soldiers moving between its multiple segmented legs.

The heroes were horrified, but HuBot (and Flicker) were up to the task of keeping the infantry busy while the others attempted to close the portal. As HuBot went off and engaged roughly 1000 soldiers in combat (which was a new personal best, even if it didn’t end too well for him as he was eventually cut down and left for dead) the other Stirling Heroes got closer to the actual portal. They were able to determine that the portal was being generated from the other side (the world of the shadow Nazis, presumably). An initial attempt by Shadow Stalker and Frostbite to teleport through and attack the generators failed… as Shadow Stalker found himself blocked from teleporting through the portal by a force field that also countered teleportation. So they fell back to Plan B, which involved Shadow Stalker possessing the Shadow Colossus (the colossal scorpion man thing) and trying to batter through the force field with its pincer hands.

All went well, with the creature easily falling under his sway, but it took too long for the beast to walk back to the force field and it was then able to shrug off Shadow Stalker’s possession! Catching sight of the Stirling Heroes, it then chose to attack!!!

Frostbite fell quickly, no match for the pure strength of the massive pincer that enfolded him. Thorn mentally assailed the creature, but to little avail. Shadow Stalker then too those two to safety, while The Arc-Angel did his best to lure the beast into the force field (which it didn’t do) or possibly on to Dynamic Solutions (which seemed to be included inside the force field).

To be continued…

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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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