Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Epsiode 26 - Lab Retrievers

In an effort to distract themselves from the death of C4, the Immortals busy themselves with a variety of activities.
Marduk found a graveyard of rusty cars and trucks on the property of the Mansion, he regularly visits the site, ostensibly to "clean-up" the area. This involves mostly pounding, tearing and twisting the decaying hulks with his great strength until they are compacted into formless unrecognizable lumps.
Hephaestus divides his time between revamping the suit from scratch, and cleaning up the county of its alcohol stores. Whether intoxicated by the intricacies of his new armor, or from more mundane sources, Hephaestus is distant from the goings on of the group.
Jack Flash, has appeared to move on quickly to acceptance of the situation. It is a dangerous business, and it is likely people will die. Despite convincing himself that he wasn't overly affected by the incident, he finds himself at the Blackstone Isle morgue checking up on the body of his friend Beau Rubino, preserved for science in the cold freeze of the island prison. Wanting to tie up other loose ends in his new life, he investigates the mind-controller that took possession of the various team members on the day Rubino was killed. He wondered perhaps if there was a connection.
While researching the prison records to discover the events that lead to both incidents he saw a familiar name creep up in some accounts, the law firm of Kennon, Mackensie, and Sussex. Running a check he discovered that this form, which deals primarily with corporate business and government work had also done 56 pro-bono cases for appeals of life or long term imprisonment. Further study revealed that all of the appeals were partially successful getting their clients moved to programs in lighter security facilities (almost all privately run) from the maximum and medium security prisons they were in originally.
Jack Flash decides to check out a couple of these facilities, one after another he discovers that they do not, in fact, exist at the addresses listed in the court papers. He decides to go to court and investigate this. He is a little disheartened to see the District Judge who signed off on the papers, hobnobbing with none other than Samantha Sussex (The Priestess). He keeps himself hidden until she leaves, and then he talks to the judge. Judge Rollins seems somewhat dubious of Jack Flash's evidence, and more inclined to to trust his long time associates than the upstart hero. Still, he promises to pursue it with them and discover the problem. Jack leaves unsatisfied.
Meanwhile, Hephaestus took some of the information Jack gave him, and using his considerable computer talents, ran a search to find any similarities between the cases other than obvious ones. The main thing he discovered was that all 56 cases employed the same transport service to move the prisoners: National Transporters Unlimited, located in rural Farmville NC. Hephaestus and Jack Flash visited the site, and talked with a worker who verified that they did transport prisoners. On a hunch Hephaestus did a sensor sweep of the area, and discovered something else, a radar signal which they tracked to a nearby pig farm (Romita Farms). With a little more investigation this determined this was one highly secure pig farm with an extensive subterranean construction. They summoned Marduk and launched an attack.
Jack Flash made a distraction by unleashing hundreds of swine, while the others stormed the front of the farm house. The team quickly took care of the various guards, which proved to be TAROT swords. Then, inside the house which resembled a science lab more than a farm house, they encountered Samantha Sussex. Before they could deal with her, she duplicated into ten versions of herself. And a fight ensued.
She was agile and tough, taking a blow from Marduk, and dodging a blow of Hephaestus.
Then she turned herselves to the attack. Combining their mental might they blasted the team with mental attacks. The team was reeling from the effects, when one touched Marduk and disappeared. They discovered soon that she had in fact possessed the God of War, and now the tide had really turned. Marduk surprised Hephaestus with a powerful blow, knocking him into a wall. And the rest of the duplicates continued to combine their powers on the team.
Eventually Marduk broke free from the thrall of the Priestess and the team was able to escape the trap. They recovered a good distance away and learned that the Priestess had left the facility and set the place to blow up. Realizing that there
were likely many criminals and Tarot members still in the building, they rushed to evacuate the building.
Once in the lower levels they were surprised yet again to be attacked by a minuscule opponent, Dragon Fly blasting them with powerful bursts of microwave energy. They also encountered what appeared to be Sussex again. A fight and chase ensued and eventually "Sussex" was disabled, and Dragon Fly, reverted to normal size. Moved by the Immortals concern for the unconscious Susan, he made a truce with the Immortals. They went about evacuating the rest of the scientists and rescued Susan's father, Dr.Hands Wierschaus, the noble prize winning geneticist responsible for Dragon Fly's powers, and Susan's father. They encountered him in sub-basement filled with strange tubes, almost everyone containing the dead body of a convict, partially mutated by the Doctor's experiments.
As they escaped the site, they saw it implode and sink into a massive sink hole pulling with it thousands of squealing pigs. The lab, and its mysteries were buried beneath soil, earth and sewage.
On the way to the mansion to care for Susan, the Doctor confesses he was responsible for using mutant pig stem cells in 'volunteer' prisoners to produce a variety of mutations. One of his early experiments was to clone his daughter in hopes of saving her from a degenerative disease. He was too successful, not only did he produce a near identical twin (except for a healthy dose of mutant pig DNA), she was able to provide the tissues Susan needed to live, and survive herself. And she possessed powers far in excess of what the Doctor expected, the ability to instantly 'clone' herself, and mental powers as well. In addition to her abilities she also differed from Susan with a mean streak and amoral attitude on life. She was taken by the TAROT and given her own identity, and quickly found a place in the hierarchy of the mysterious group.
Once they were certain Susan was stable they began to talk about the future. Dragon Fly expressed his desire to make up for his own wrongdoings, and try to rescue some small good from the sacrifice of the fifty prisoners killed to produce the likes of him. Dragon Fly joined the ever changing ranks of the Immortals.
One Power Point for All.


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