Prologue: The Story BeginsEdit
"So Mr Knowles..." I stated.
"Dr Knowles, Ms Kimi." He corrected.
"Dr Knowles, I am very sorry, I am to believe you want to hire me to work and live in your building full-time? And as compensation I can declare my own salary? Anything I want it to be? What is this 'Association' really up to...international drug trafficking?"
"Well, to be honest you can only ask for what I seem reasonable and no, we are a legit organization. Unfortunately, I can not discuss the function of our group until you have agreed to work for us." Dr Knowles informed me in his native Australian accent. "My dear, trust and believe that by accepting my offer you not only change your life but you will never have anything to worry about. I will provide transportation, living accommodations, food and number of luxuries."
"I don't know...this seems extremely strange. And why me?"
"Because it is my understanding that you are the best in military tech. Plus looking into your background I see that you are very familiar with CyberTech. Which could prove very useful to my cause."
And as he said this a female walked into the restaurant and proceeded to our table. She was a young beautiful girl. Her slick black hair was cut very short maybe only an inch and a half long. She looked as if she should be a model. Her face was very striking and familiar looking. As she walked I could tell that the black jumpsuit she had on was made of the best leather. It was too bad that she covered the form fitting suit up with a long trench coat. Wonder what she is hiding?
"Look Doc if she ain't interested then lets not waste our time. I have been looking into a more qualified person anyway." This new girl said very loud and rudely.
"Bullet, keep your voice down. We do not need to bring attention to ourselves. I believe it is her decision not yours, anyway."
"Well, I say we move on. She ain't worth the trouble trust me."
"I will decide that. Now, wait outside like I asked." Then he looked at her with an irritated glance. Then once she left he looked at me.
"What if we do this? I will leave this cell phone. It is a secured line and can not be taced or hacked by any unskilled professionals like yourself. You think about what I said today and call me using this line with your answer. Now, Ms Kimi Drake I am a busy man so I would like to not be kept waiting."
He didn't even wait for a response before he got up and walked out. How does an old guy like him even get around. He struggled the entire way across the room even with the help of his cane.
That was two weeks ago. I called him this morning at 8 AM. I can not believe it but I am going to take this job. But Lord knows I need the money. I have been struggling ever since I left the CyberTech. When they say you won't never work again. They mean it. But I could not work for an organization who only helped when it benefited them. They have not helped anyone who needed it for years now. And to think I accidentally stumbled on one of their biggest secrets. The one thing that could have changed everything about this world we live in now. But they destroyed all my work and so with out proof...hell, with out credibility in my field I fade into black.
But that's the past. I now look into the future. The one that will be found inside this building. Inside this unmarked abandoned building, which to have been abandoned is well kept up. I wonder if that is a good or bad thing for whatever is going on inside. What could be in this 3 story complex that is so important? Everything has been so secretive and now a building with no windows, just walls and a single door. I approach the door and there is a keypad next to it. I enter the code I was told to use. Seshat. The door opens and inside I find nothing but a room. A white room no bigger than 4 feet by 4 feet. At least they kept with the theme no windows only walls. Oh, now I notice it. a small circular tile on the floor.
"Please proceed to step on the tile" I could hear the good doctors voice through speakers.
I do as I am told.
"Close your eyes"
Again. I obey.
And when I do I find my self inside a high tech military base. Most of the stuff I recognize. I was standing on an highly out-dated telepad. And the enormous satellite monitoring system was epositioned in front of me with several staff members working at the controls. Unfortunately, it was also very out-dated. Seemed like it was central hub for whatever The Association was doing. The building was huge and looked as tho to stretch for miles. Okay, maybe not that long but it seemed like it.
And as I stood there taking in what I saw I was approached by Dr Knowles and the one he called Bullet. This time she was not wearing her coat and it was clear what she was hiding. This girl had more weapons on her than in a CyberCop arms bay. A rifle on her back, two hand guns (probably laser guns in disguise) on her side, a short blade on her left thigh, and her right had what looked to be a utility pouch.
"Welcome to your new life. I will see to it that you have a wonderful stay. So now, where to begin...?" the Doc started.
"How about why I am here."
"Oh yes. I am sure you wanna know that now, huh?"
"Yeah, I do."
"Well I am Dr Knowles, as you already know. Years ago after that epic battle, we all know so well, organizations like mine were outlawed. That is organizations that didn't work as a government entity such as mine."
"And what organizations are you talking about?"
"Unified organizations of heroes or villains. You see the CyberCops saw them as stepping into their territory. And you know just like I do they love to be in control. So they managed to have the world leaders ban them. Granting them to ability to take down any freelancing organized group. But I found a way to get past that. If we pay our heroes, contract out to those in need and work as a company we are no longer freelance. In a way, we are just like them."
"Okay? But I am no hero? So why am I hear? And this time don't beat around the bush."
"Well, as you can see we are in need of upgrading here at our base and our many other quarters. And I could do it myself but I have many other pressing issues at hand. So I would like to wish you congrats, our new Vice President of Research & Development and Field Arms Specialist."
"Now I understand that it is your first day and wish I had more time to do a tour."
"That would be nice. I mean this is a large place. Is it a space station or what?"
"My dear you are still on Earth. And at this time I can not give you much more information. Follow me because I have a mission briefing to attend at this moment. Plus I think I am already late." He turned to Bullet and she nodded her head as to confirm his statement.
Normally, something of this magnitude would put me in awe. However, after working for the CyberCops I was not amazed. This establishment was not impressive at all. I did not know that people still used some of this dinosaur equipment. But I guess it is possible.
I followed Dr Knowles and Bullet to a hallway that was not far from where we were standing. The hall seemed to stretch for a great distance. Obviously, by the shape of the walls and the look this establishment must be circular or have a circular portion. I will definitely think that this place could use some sort of color. White was so plan to the eye and did not stimulate the senses at all. The further we walked down the hall, the more doors we passed. Each one protected by a dual-security system that used retina and passcode methods for authentication. All bearing the logo of a very familiar company. Is it possible that CyberTech, Inc supplies all the equipment found here? That would not be a good thing in the eyes of the CyberCops. Their supplier enabling a "competitor." We finally arrived at door. Bullet proceeded to authenticate her access to the room and we all entered.
Now once inside the room I seemed to have stepped into a comic book. Around a elliptical table in middle of the room was a group of five individuals. All of them dressed in unique garb. Now the room seemed to follow the theme of the rest of the building. Completely white. Only thing different was the silver table. As we entered the group turned towards us. Some of them with a look of curiosity. I think they were not expecting me.
"Good morning fellows. We have a serious issue ahead of us. But before I get into the details..." the doctor started to say and then proceeded to turn towards me. "This is Kimi. She will be joining our team here at AOH. Kimi this is..." and he pointed to the first guy standing on the furthest right of us.
This guy was very good looking. When people say tall dark and handsome, they must have been talking about him. He had a very boyish look. His hair was jet black and he had blue eyes with no facial hair. His skin was so perfect with no flaws. He stood there in a completely black outfit. It appeared to be made of the same material as Bullet's uniform. It appeared to have the look of leather but I later found out it was Viscon. Viscon was a newer material that could be forged to have the attributes of any fabric. It also was bulletproof and flame resistant. His fit a lot more loose and had a more masculine look of course. He also had the same symbol on his left pectoral that she had. A gold "A" on top of a blue circle. The other difference was that he did not seemed to be adorned with all the weapons Bullet had. He did have a few utility pouches placed strategically on his suit. This epiphany of beauty stood and looked at me never showing emotion. Only a look of seriousness on his face seemed to be all you would get from this guy.
"Ace" and he introduced the next guy.
Ace definitely was the oldest in the group. He did not wear an elaborate costume though. He was wearing a white tank top and camouflage cargo pants with black boots. Despite his age, however, this was a very muscular handsome guy. He was definitely in more shape than most of the other guys here. And his facial structure was very strong. But his gray hair and trimmed full beard made me wonder just how old he was. He had a nice smile that gave him a young appearance and definitely was not as intimidating as Lance.
"Next we have...King"
Well, King was definitely the younger brother of Ace. They looked very similar to each other in the face. The weird thing about King was he had red eyes. This was totally strange cause his brothers eyes seemed to be black. Now, if I remember biology right this was not natural for humans and most humanoid species. So I think it is safe for them both to be from another planet. One that I was not educated on. Nevertheless, King was dressed in a uniform similar to Lance and Bullet's uniforms. His was a deep red or burgundy color instead of black. He did have black boots and gauntlets. This him a fiery look with his long blond ponytail. Maybe he had pyrokenetic powers but I did know one thing, he was very good looking too. I was sure he was way older than I was though.
"Here is Beat"
Now this was definitely someone who was my age. He was young looking guy who seemed to be very familiar. He wore a white long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up and a navy blue pair of pants. His pants looked as if they were made from that Kevlar-like fabric. Although his navy vest was not. It was just a regular fleece vest which he had the collar popped up on to reveal a nice gold lining under it. Again, he had a few utility pouches and on his left hip was a laser gun. This one looked way more high-tech than any Bullet carried. And on his belt was the symbol Bullet and Lance wore on their chest. Then I looked down at his feet. What was strange was he wore the same type of boots as the rest. A combat style boot which was clear used for battle but his sat on top of a set of roller blades. This was very peculiar.
"And replacing Bolt today is Trinity. He leads our B-Team but will join the A-Team for today's mission." and Dr. Knowles pointed to the next guy.
This guy definitely stood out in the room. He looked like someone who took the superhero thing serious. He was African-American male who was very handsome. He wore a regular haircut and had a white eye color. I could not tell if his were real or fake. He wore a one-piece costume. It was not made of any special material or cloth. The color stood out too because he wore royal blue. This was very brightly colored compared to the other get-ups. His "battle" boots and gauntlets were white. And as I caught a glimpse at his cape I saw that was white too. He did not wear what I assumed was The Association's logo anywhere, however, he did have a symbol. A very simple one on his chest. A white triangle that stretched across his chest just enough to be a prominent symbol. And on the top of the triangle on its point is an amulet embedded into his suit that held three gems. I take it those three gems were the reason he had his name. The amulet itself seemed out of place. I had seen items like it in history books about an ancient country named Egypt. But I thought that all the artifacts from then had been placed in the Museum of The History of Earth.
"Team, Kimi will be helping us update our facilities. Our supplier has cut us off from new equipment and thus we will need to find other methods to help build our budding group. I have hired her to do this for me so I can focus on things like our mission today. As you know The Pharaoh has been plotting something big and our systems have been keeping an eye on his team, Truth. Well today we have found out what he was planning. He has located an old decommissioned CyberCop base here on Earth and has worked to get the base back to operating. Unfortunately, this base has a D-Day Missile. This nuclear missile has the ability to be launched and take out entire states or countries. Now, we have confirmation that he has yet to break through the missile's firewall and would need help from a CyberCop or hacker to break it. Your mission is to go to this base, apprehend any Truth members and destroy the base." Dr. Knowles said more serious than I have yet to see him.
"Well, Doc, whats the catch?" Beat said slightly laughing and looking around for others to join in on the joke. No one did.
"The catch...is obvious. Do not let that missile blow up or allow The Pharaoh launch it."
"That sounds a little easier said than done. Exactly, how are we going to be able to stop him? I mean we just can not run in with guns blazing. He may actually find a way to detonate it while we are there." Lance proposed as he looked around the room for answers.
"Well, my dear this is where you take over." The Doctor looked at me while saying this statement. It was clear he was hoping I had an idea. Luckily, I did.
"D-Day missile...hmm? There is one thing that may help you guys in this situation. Inside the actual missile is a capsule holding an unstable atom in place. If you remove the atom capsule then the nuke becomes dead. But of course, it is not as easy as it sounds. You will have to find the maintenance entry on the body. Then once you find that it is a matter of bypassing the security system. And then you will be able to remove it from there. At least as long as it is an older model. The new ones..."
"Okay, team you heard her. We need to be moving our feet not our god damn mouths." Bullet commanded before I could finish. Then she looked at me and said "Stand by on the COMLINK just in case we need some more direction from you."
And before I could stand up for myself everyone was moving past me towards the exit. I can not believe this is what I was reduced to. Working for people who barely respected me. And so the story begins.
Kimi was left in the room with Dr. Knowles. She knew that even if she would have spoken up Bullet would have shut her down quickly. But it was not very settling to her to know that she was considered low on the totem pole here at her new occupation. Kimi had never been looked down upon and did not know how to deal with this new emotion of inferiority. And after everyone had left the room was silent for just a few seconds before Dr. Knowles interrupted it with his words.
"Come along. Don't worry about her. She has a mean streak. Great girl just very troubled. But that is what Dr. Ian's for. Let us go to the COMLINK room though. I am sure you would like to know what you are dealing with before they make it out to the field."
It was true she did have questions about what equipment they were using. Though, it seemed pretty easy to her to deduce that the equipment was not very modern. Dr. Knowles led her out into the hallway and down through the maze of doors. They finally came to a door with no label to let him know he was right. He stopped and paused noticing a strange look on Kimi's face.
"What's wrong?" He asked.
"Well, I was curious what was behind all these doors?" Kimi asked back with a very curious yet serious tone.
"Well to be honest...most of them have nothing in the rooms behind. Our operation is fairly new and I bought this complex as is. I thought maybe with your help we could re-model to fit our unique needs." he answered as he entered in his code for the door. He also through in a laugh to help ease the tension he was receiving at the moment.
The two of them walked into the room and that was when Kimi was taken by surprise. In this room was the most up-to-date equipment she had seen so far at the facility. Standing in awe, she immediately started to gaze around and recognize all the stuff in the room as being taken from right out of CyberTech labs.
"I know what you are thinking and no. None of the equipment in this room is from our friends at CyberTech." Dr. Knowles commented sarcastically. "We have a very generous donator who I hope you will be able to meet soon."
"And who is this person or company? They must have some strong connections?" She asked back.
"Well, actually I think you are already aquainted with this group but that does not matter right now. I assume that since you are aware of what we have here...then you do know how to operate it?"
"Oh yeah, I was trained on this system and invented most of it. I could operate this stuff in my sleep." Which was an understatement. She was really thinking of how much time she spent in helping develop the OS for this COMLINK model. A lot of her time was on making sure that it was a secure link and impenetrable.
"Well, I guess I will leave you alone for now. Bullet should be contacting you for coordinates soon. They have been transferred already to the computer. I will just need you to send them to her when she asks. And I will be back shortly." Then the doctor left the room leaving Kimi to her task at hand.
Normally, Kimi would be feeling a little uneasy about being in a new environment but something felt so familiar about being in this room. She sat down at the desk which had multiple touch screens on it and started boot the system up. As she waited she carefully attached a headset to one of the monitors input jacks and placed it on her head. Adjusting the mic, Kimi knew that she had a handful ahead of her but was very eager to start. She always seemed to be at home when technology was involved. Plus, Bullet was no longer around to make her seem stupid. Which she knew she was far from ever being stupid. Once the COMLINK had booted Kimi was already tinkering with it and diving into as many files as she could. Her clearance on the system was low because her employer had failed to provide her with a username. This frustrated her because her search was limited.
Then all of a sudden one of the monitors opened a communication link. The source showed that the link was coming from the KNOWLEDGE I. Kimi knew this meant they had boarded their transportation and connected the to the central hub. Then there was a few minutes of silence. Then other links popped up. Most of the links displayed what looked to be other heroes. The links worked without the hub being completely on. So Kimi figured the system was probably in an energy save mode when she arrived. Sitting and waiting was not her thing. She was becoming bored in the room all alone.
Then the silence was broken.
"This is Tia. Hub do you have the coordinates ready to send?" a voice came through Kimi's headset. She recognized it instantly as the voice of Bullet and figured that Tia was her real name.Such a girly name for a manly chick. She thought as she pulled up the coordinates.
"Yes I do. Sending them now." She clicked on the KNOWLEDGE I window and proceeded to send the information hoping it was the link Tia was speaking from.
"Okay, got them and forwarding them to you King. You may wanna open up a satellite map. That way you can track our location. I will open up security so you can have access to it." replied Bullet.
"Thanks a lot."
"Well Knowles tends to be forgetful. I figured he would forget that too. Did you get them, King?"
"Yes I did. And I bet you guys I will be able to beat the K1 there this time." the young energetic King added.
"Look we have no time for games just fly to the rendezvous point and wait if we are not there." A more serious voice replied. Kimi knew it was male but did not know which one. It clearly was not Beat though. She assumed it was probably Lance.
"C'mon Lance, I was just trying to get everyone pumped for the action ahead." King confirmed Kimi's assumption.
"I think we can do with out some pep talks. Keep the lines clear. From here on business-only line." And the link went silent. Taken back by the seriousness of Lance and Bullet, Kimi dared not to say anything.
"Hey. What's the expected TOA?" She did break the silence though. Kimi was curious how long before they arrived mainly for the reason of knowing how long the silence was going to be.
"TOA is thirty minutes. How about using the equipment you have there to answer those kind of questions." Lance snapped back.
Thirty minutes is not so bad but next time give me a break. I just wanted to break the lingering silence.Kimi's thoughts never seemed to come out of her mouth. She knew this was because she knew for once she was not the big man on campus. Then she noticed a private link to King opened up.
"Don't worry about Lance or Tia. They can tend to be a lot at first but you will get use to them." King had sensed that she was unsettled by the comments.
"Thanks. I won't. Trust me. I won't." Kimi responded.
"Cool. The first day is the hardest. They had me flying half way across the globe to relay messages. I thought that was all I was good for until they finally started giving me real missions."
"So you can fly?"
"Yeah. I am the "flier" for the A-Team. Its a good thing because I do not have to ride with the rest in that rust bucket."
Kimi was thrown back a little. She never knew a real humanoid with the ability to fly. There were bird-like species from other galaxies she had met before working with the CyberCops. But this was the first time she met a humanoid who could and was curious to know what method he used to defy gravity.
"But let me switch back over...you know....in case they need me." King told Kimi.
The link closed and silence went through the room again. Again it felt like torture to Kimi but she knew she did not have much longer. Her thoughts returned again to what led her here. To think that the CyberCops would not admit their fault in World War V. Placing the blame on stolen blueprints and technology by an unknown mad man. But Kimi knew the truth and she was determined to expose it. Now she had been placed in a position that may allow her to do that. WIth the help of the AOH she knew that her life was about to make a turn for the better.
Down the hallway, Dr Knowles was making his way to see his newly appointed director of medicine. He had to inform the director of his latest hire and to prepare a meeting with them to discuss what upgrades were needed. Only a little while longer. He thought to himself. It had been just a little less than a year since he started to recruit the best of the best to form The Association. Here he was recruiting for a team of operatives and he had just been recruited a year ago. And the work was taking a toll on him. He was far from his days as a general for the American Empire's naval force. Considered the best in the world he thought once he retired his life would be fishing and relaxing at one of his several estates. One phone call. Thats all it took to change his future and destiny. He could remember it like yesterday.
"The world needs heroes and the heroes need to be organized. If not then it can become very chaotic."
Dr Knowles agreed with his benefactor about that. He had been around long enough to know that it was true. And the curroption of the world's only defense did not make things better. Only a little while longer. He told himself again. Soon my work will be a lot easier...this team I have built should be able to manage the dirty work. Then he looked up and saw a familiar face that struck him as odd.
"And what are you doing here and not in LA or Miami or somewhere?" Knowles asked the man who was slowly approaching him in the hallway.
"I thought you would be happy to see me." the man said while taking off a black mask that completely covered his face. "I have come bearing good news" Without his mask on, it was clear that the guy was a very well-groomed handsome black male. The mask was very well known around the world. It was black and had no signs of holes for the eyes, lips or nose. Only the silver "N" on the forehead marked this mask as being different from others. Besides the mask, the man was wearing a top-designer 3 peice suit. It was black pin stripped and his shoes were of the highest quality Italian Leather.
"And what that might be?" Knowles asked.
"That I am here to save the day again. I know you you guys are having a hard time with that without me." He answered.
"Look, Kyle, when I agreed to hire you on as a part-time member I would not have thought that it came with your ego. Please keep it in check. I am way too busy to deal with that."
"Now, doc. You were the one begging me to take that VP position but the world needs a hero like me and I can not be stuck in an office all day doing paperwork. Speaking of..." Kyle looked at Dr Knowles giving him an expression of you-know-whats-coming.
"She is attending to a mission right now. I will be sure to intorduce you two later. Right now I am on my way to see Dr. Red. Care to join me?" only asking a way to seem polite. The doctore was hoping for a no.
"Naw bruh, I am actually only stopping through. I was hopping to see who you got to replace me but what am I saying. NOBODY can measure up to Kyle Brenden. But it will have to wait. There is a case that I am working on and it led me to Sydney." He paused. "Can you believe it? In the history books that place was beautiful." he put his mask back on and walked down the hall past Dr Knowles and yelled back. "See ya later. There is world of trouble out there and I gotta save it."
The doctor did not say anything back to his unwanted guest. That was one of the few things he regretted. Hiring him was a huge mistake. He continued down the hallway to his destination only letting a small chuckle as he walked. He knew that his arrogant ally was in for a huge surprise when he made it to Sydney.
On board KNOWLEDGE I, Tia Daye was carefully piloting the aircraft. Sitting in the pilot chair made her very comfortable. With the controls in her hand she was definitely in charge. I am the team leader and thats what I do lead. She reminded anyone who questioned her actions or decisions. She liked being in charge and having authority. But now as she piloted the KNOWLEDGE I, she had a greater worry than not being in charge.Her past experiences told her where she was headed. The coordinates Kimi had sent were located in the northeastern part of Africa. To be more specific the Isis Empire and considering that Dr. Knowles was breaking the rules this time by freelancing out on a mission, their arrival could not be told ahead of time. At the moment, Tia was worried about not being detected because the Isis government frowned upon unannounced visitors ever since the Isis Civil War about a score ago. So it was critical that the KNOWLEDGE I slipped in and out unnoticed. To help the ancient cloaking device Tia decided it would be best to fly low once she got into the restricted area.
But once she knew they were headed in the right direction she engaged the auto pilot. Pulling up the mission brief on the LCD in front of her Tia began be coming familiar with all the blueprints and schematics of the base. This was a "ritual" for Tia. Never enter in blind. She would also repeat this to her team. She even started making them do it before they began their missions. Sitting beside her was Lance in the co-pilot chair. She felt at ease when he was by her side. He was the one other person who she felt was skilled enough to be apart of The Association. He was fairly new recruit only having been around for about a month. And she accidentally ran across him one night when she was on leave in New Chicago. She was responding to a emergency she heard about and he showed to help. Afterward she asked him to contact her a few days later and once she spoke with Dr. Knowles Lance was offered the same offer as everyone else. Now he was working beside her and even though he never said much she felt she could trust him more than the other employees.
"So do you konw anything about this base we are headed to?" Lance asked Tia as he caught her looking up to glance at him.
"Well, it is one of many buildings abandoned by the CyberCops. I actually worked on trying to figure out the reason they were leaving such high profile locations." Tia answered. A year ago, when she was asked to join The Association she was given a recon mission to investigate why the CyberCops were leaving buildings and bases they had spent great deal of time and money in. Despite her protesting, Dr Knowles sent the only other two members Ace and King with her. When they arrived the building had been completely stripped clean of any equipment or documents. Since then they had visited close to a dozen other facilities only to find the same thing. But seemed like this time they were on a good lead and may find something to have a jump start from.
"Oh, so its one of those locations. I thought they had been cleaned out?" Lance responded
"So did I but you know my rule. We should have checked every location." She gave him a very stern look.
"True." Then her turned away and said nothing else. Lance was known for keeping conversations short and simple. He also would cut you off in the middle of the sentence if he had nothing more to say to you. Tia had grown use to it. And after a few seconds Beat came into the cockpit with a smile on his face.
"Bullet I may have some good news for ya." He seemed like he had some interesting information.
"Yes, Streak?" Tia was always up for good news but knew that he considered anything far from a disaster good news.
"Jo-E has agreed to meet us for the mission." He waited for her response. "Pulse will be part of our defensive/destructive team:" And again he waited for her response, however none came. Then he returned to the transport quarters.
That reckless mess will not do anything but cause trouble. How could they be brothers? Streak is so rational with his actions and Pulse has no rhyme or reason. Tia was never happy with Jo-E joining on with her missions. He usually seemed to be more problems than help but Dr. Knowles insisted that he get more field time. I would rather have Kristi join me on a mission. Kristi was Tia's ex-girlfriend who left her to date another more "successful" woman. The entire situation ended bitterly and Tia detested her. They had not spoken in two years and the actions of Kristi left her even more guarded than before. But now hearing Jo-E would be joining them made her worry if the B-Team member would jeopardize the mission. All she could do is make sure everyone was informed and knew to contact her if anything went astray. This is why I like to work alone. I depend on I. Tia thought to herself.
Her thoughts were interrupted when the auto-pilot disengaged signaling that she would need to guide it in the rest of the way. Tia was very comfortable at the wheel. And with her heightened senses she could practically fly the aircraft blindfolded. Here she sat today though ready. This was going to be an easy mission. Land five hundred feet away. Sneak in. Take out anyone who poses as a threat. Disarm. Return. It was that simple. Of course Tia was accustom to missions not always working out from a very young age. She knew that she had to be open to improvising at any given moment. They were slowly approaching the landing point.
"Landing in 5" Tia communicated over her ear set to Kimi.
"Okay. Everyone switch to limited contact. We do not want anyone listen over our lines." Kimi politely gave orders.
"We have visitors." A masked individual said to the small group that stood before him. "Everything is going as planned."
"Shall we give the a welcome party?" asked one of the five men in front of the masked figure.
"Yes, Blitz, Arson and Titan, will you please make sure that they are given a very nice welcoming" then the voice gave out a very cynical laugh. "You other two. You know what to do."
A well deserved rest was all Dr. Knowles needed and he knew soon he would be getting it. And now his nerves were slightly unbalanced with the visit from Network. The doctor did not know of the huge ego Network had and never intended to include it in his recruitment. Kyle had been a recruit given to him by his benefactor. Knowles was told Kyle had access to anything on the Network, a descendant of the Internet, even the most secured information. When told this, Knowles immediately offered him a position hoping that his ability to bypass an firewall or security wall would come in handy. Unfortunately, along with the rest of The Association, they found out he thought very high of himself and his place among legends. Put it behind you. Move forward. He told himself as he approached the entrance to the medical wing. He cleared the access point and proceeded in. Immediately, he saw Dr. Red.
A very young guy with blond hair and blue-eyes, Dr. Edward Red had been a pupil of Dr. Knowles at Sydney International. He was not the best in his class when it came to paperwork but Dr. Knowles knew he would one day be the leader of his field. It took Knowles no time to think of who to hire when he realized he would need an on-site physician and medical staff. But to his surprise Dr. Red held a secret. After being offered his position Dr. Red shared that he had the ability to heal any wound. Having discovered his abilities at an early age Edward was determined to help mankind. He vowed to become a doctor and use his ability and knowledge to lead the world of medicine into the next generation. Now, with an endless sponsorship for his projects he could slowly see his dream come true.
"Ian, what do I owe this visit?" Dr. Red asked.
"Well, I have come to tell you that I just filled the missing spot. So we should be ready to fully launch our project here soon." Dr. Knowles replied.
"That can be good and bad news for me. I will finally get more to do around here but with our agents numbering around thirty now. I could become quite busy."
"Yes, hopefully I have picked a good team and that will not happen. But we will be having a staff meeting tomorrow. That way everyone will be acquainted with everyone."
"Are the agents going to be present? I have yet to meet them all. And some of them still need to get me their medical documents and have physicals."
"Do not worry Good Doctor. I will personally make sure they get down here. Just get me a list. And anyone who does not comply will be taken off the payroll." Dr. Knowles responded with a subtle laugh at the end.
"Well, Ian, you may not want to laugh to much. Last time I checked you are missing a physical." Red gave a laugh back. "And you definitely need one. You know you are not going to last much longer."
Despite their age difference, Ian and Edward were extremely close. Jokes like that were common place in their conversations.
"Well, when I do give out I can just blame it on my doctor." They both started to laugh. It had been a while since Dr. Knowles shared a good laugh. It was very refreshing. "By the way, how are your accommodations here?"
"Great, the wife and daughter are loving it. But for now, we think we may have to have an outside residence. That way we can provide Karen with a decent school environment. Home school is not always the best." answering Dr. Knowles with honesty was always the best.
"That is fine. Just tell me where and when. I am sure we can get it for you."
"Okay, but I need to get back to work. preparing my labs and rooms will not do it themselves and if I leave my nurses too long without supervision...well someone may loose an appendage."
Down the trail of hallways, Kimi was operating the control room. Not long after her earlier conversation ended, she was flooded with more incoming calls. The many agents must have realized there was finally someone on duty. They were asking her for updates and briefs. However, she had none of the answers they were looking for. It had become really overwhelming and all the agents were becoming very agitated. She quickly sent out a mass message explaining the situation to all who could hear. That had helped a lot. Now she was able to focus on her current mission. I will not be doing this on a daily. She proclaimed to herself as she thought of Dr. Knowles' offer to hire her a staff if needed. What was strange was that she had not heard from the KNOWLEDGE I yet. And then a message came through.
"We have arrived at our drop spot. We will be in contact when we reach the missile." It seemed like to Kimi that Bullet was not wanting to get help more than needed.
Kimi sat there and than thought about her current predicament. Well, I am sure the doctor won't mind me stopping by his office. Kimi stood up from the desk and reached for one of the earpieces. She then left the room in search of Dr. Knowles.
"Doctor, you have a Kimi here to see you." Dr. Knowles office assistant called in to him.
"Send her in." He responded but before he got it out his mouth good his door was opening.
"Ahhhh...I knew they were good but damn. How the mission go?" he asked his visitor.
"Bullet has placed me on stand-by. I am waiting for her to contact me. But I thought now would be a good time to get my passwords and talk with you." Kimi answered back. It only took seconds for her to find someone to direct her to Dr. Knowles. She had been told he was just on his way to his office by a nice young lady who looked as if she was a nurse. On-site medical facilities. Great. Kimi had thought. He has apparently thought of everything.
"I knew I forgot something. How stupid am I? And do not answer that." he stood up from his desk and walked over to a filing cabinet. Looking through the third drawer he pulled out a file. "Here we go." And he handed Kimi a copy of some of the papers in the file. "All the information you need. It even has a brief of all the information we have on you."
"On ME?" Kimi was really confused and disturbed.
"Yes, but do not worry. It is protocol here for us to have information on anyone who works here. Only I have access to it all and only your user can access your information at any station. But I refuse to not know who I am getting into bed with." he looked at her with a relaxing gaze and gave a smirk.
"Oh, of course, protocol. So you know about my past then?"
"Of course, every detail. And I will not share. However, I have taken it upon myself to see that your biological parents are provided for. That way you have no worries."
"You did not have to do that. I was going to make sure they had." Kimi felt bad for herself but there was a sigh of relief. She knew her real mom and dad had done everything in their power to make sure she had the best. Knowing she was a certified genius, her parents knew they owed it to her. Sending her to IGCS tapped every dime they had to give but they knew it was worth every drop. And once they could not afford it, they accepted help from a very generous family. Daniel Gray took her in as family and provided her with all the money and support needed to pursue her dreams. That was until his unexpected and suspicious death. Kimi had been closed out of the details of his death and funeral arrangements. Even though she felt he was a father figure to her, his real children only invited her to a memorial service. This never did sit well with her. For years she lived with them and then at the drop of a hat she was forgotten. That was two years ago. After Daniel's death, she returned home to her parents in Detroit and start her job hunt which landed her at CyberTech.
"Do not worry, dear." Dr Knowles started sensing worry on her face. "I have contacted them and explained that the new arrangements were compliments of you. Then I made sure to start to undo the damage done by CyberTech and their CyberCops. Coming here is a step into the new future."
"Thank you so much. Now, lets get down to business. If I am to be a VP I will need some new equipment and a staff to work with. What can we work out?"
"That's what I like to hear. Sit down. Want a drink? I have some whiskey." Dr. Knowles had already begun to poor himself a drink and felt a relief that his decision now seemed sound.
Tia was not wasting no time getting off the KNOWLEDGE I. She had quickly went to the weapons storage and grabbed everything she thought she needed. And to expedite her team she told them they had only 20 seconds to meet her outside. She knew they all would not make it that fast but it insured her that they would be running quickly. This was her time now. She loved getting ready for a mission almost as much as she did executing one. They had picked a nice open space about 20 miles away from the abandoned base they were instructed to infiltrate. They would have to cover the rest of the way on ground. And as she was walking out of the KNOWLEDGE I, Tia saw a ground vehicle was pulling up. The small tank was being driven by the one person she did not want to see. Jo-E. She knew he was inside and ready to mess up the mission anyway he possibly could.
As the tank came to a stop Jo-E emerged from its four man cockpit. No one else was in there with him which meant that Tia and Ace would be able to ride along to the designated spot. Jo-E was dressed just like his brother. The only difference was the lime green color of his uniform which made him stand out. Despite many times being told to change to a less noticeable color scheme he was determined to wear the lime Viscon uniform. Why the shades? Tia had asked him many times only to be answered by "It brings out the color of my eyes." Beat was a brunette with brown eyes. Jo-E was a bleached blond male who stood about six feet with striking green eyes.The two brothers were very similar in appearance and it was believed that Jo-E had his eye color changed to stand out from two. Without those key differences they would be mistaken as identical twins. Even their choice in wearing a faux hawk was misleading.
Tia and Jo-E were soon joined by Ace, Beat and Lance from inside the transport aircraft. Ace was carrying a huge sledge hammer and had a rifle strapped to his back. It was company policy to not use any lethal force unless given no other option. So the riffle was usually only for intimidation. They all began to look toward the sky and soon caught glimpse of Trinity and King flying by to survey the area. Tia then looked to Beat and nodded. That was her queue to let him know he should do the same. Then with a flash Beat sped off in the direction of the destination. Tia was glad he added the roller blades to his equipment because it added some extra speed. He could already reach the speed of sound easily but with the new addition he did not need to put in as much effort. Only after a few minutes later did he return. He gave a very odd report.
"No one guarding the outside of the base. I find it odd. But they are probably thinking no one would be on to their plot." Beat explained to his teammates.
"Regardless, everyone still needs to be on alert." Bullet commanded to her team. Soon she was joined by King and Trinity from above. They landed, confirmed Beat's report and awaited directions. "So here is the plan..." She looked around the group. "Jo-E, Ace and Trinity will be in charge of taking out anyone who tries to stop us and once we are done making sure we safely demolish the facility. Lance and Beat, you two will locate any documents or computer system that may hold information about the CyberCops plans. Oh, Beat you will also be setting the detonators around the facility. King and I will locate the missile, decommission it and set the detonators on the missile. Remember take prisoners if need be and only casualties if its the last resort. "
As Tia looked around everyone seemed to understand the task at hand. She was positive this mission would be very smooth. She could feel it. This was definitely going to be a good day for her.
Trinity aka Bryant Williams had the same feeling. Today was going to be fun in his eyes. It had only been a couple of weeks since he was promoted to field leader. Before his promotion working with the A-Team was his norm. However, he did not miss working with them. Tia and I just do not see eye to eye. He told Dr. Knowles. Her methods are not conventional and she can be too overbearing. Dr. Knowles had understood his complaint and offered him to lead his own team. Soon after he was replaced on the A-Team with Bolt under his own recommendation. Today, he was reuniting because Bolt had asked him to cover for him. Bryant took the offer knowing that Bolt had his reasons. They had been patrolling New York City and uncovered a huge drug trafficking ring. Bolt had a lead and insisted that he could follow it on his own. But deep down, Bryant knew he had a different motive for not turning down the chance to stop a plot of The Pharaoh's.
It had only been eight years ago, Bryant was an intern for Dr. Richard Boyle, an archeologist. they had received permission from the Isis Empire's Scientific Advancement Committee to pursue their research in the deep tunnels miles below the Pyramids. It had only been recently discovered that far below them there was sign of extraterrestrial visits to Earth. Although, due to the Isis Empire's strict neutral stance it was not allowed for anyone other than their own scientists to dig. Oddly, no one ever unearthed the site. The Isis Empire's reason was that it may compromise the only World Wonders left after WWIII, the pyramids. Dr. Boyle had used some high political pull and resources to find a way to dig using his patented vehicle without causing any foundation damage. He was reluctantly allowed to do his research under a few conditions. Dr. Boyle was allowed a very small team, which included Isis scientists and was told not to take anything from the site without permission from the emperor. He agreed.
Bryant was very young at the time. He was only a sophomore in college and was a student of Dr. Boyle. He had captured the interest of his professor after writing a very admirable and respectable paper on Egyptian culture. He knew that Dr. Boyle would find it interesting because he was the top scientist when it came to ancient cultures. The paper landed him a intern and soon a trip to the pyramids. The expedition started off as normal. They dug and found an entrance into the tunnels. There were plenty of things of interest in the tunnels. They even found documents that translated into a lost history of the area. It told the story of the alien visitors being on their own expedition to find a home for themselves. Earth was a good canidate but already had a dominate species. When they arrived it was clear that the location of their landing was a bad choice. They found themselves in the middle of a civil war. The pharaoh, King Amontutken-Ra, was defending himself against an ancient magician. The documents translated that he held the powers of a god. Strength, flight, telekenisis, telepathy, pyrokenisis, and a healing factor were among the many abilities he had. The magician also had a huge army and empowered them with individual powers of their own but none rivaled his own. HIs favorite general was a telepath who was always by his side.
Bryant found these documents to be of the highest interest. He could not believe that they had discovered a part of history that was never told. I will go down in the history books. He thought knowing it was true. My name will appear as Dr. Boyle's intern and right hand man. And as he helped translate he would soon learn more. The aliens stood by as long as they could deciding not to help using their advanced technology but after a huge battle that crippled the pharaoh's army it was decided they must stop the mad man. They were afraid that the magician who now stood atop of the throne would wipe the species out of existence. They found a young man and equipped him with enough equipment to sneak in and take out the new pharaoh. Nevertheless, the plan worked but the magician was only captured because it was revealed that he was immortal as well. This brought in a new element of what to do. Another magician was brought in and told to stip the man of all his magic. It was done only to be left with more disappointment. The evil magician was indeed a god. Even without his magic he was not able to be killed. The alien race decided it that it would be best to lock him away in a tomb that they would build to prevent him from ever escaping. Furthermore, the magic he had lost was placed inside several gems scattered around the planet in small single roomed tombs hidden deep in the Earth's crust. Only three would be burried with him to allow anyone to be able to overpower him if he escaped his eternal prison.
Upon completing the translations, Bryant became even more elated. He knew what they had found. They had found the tomb of this ancient and evil magician. Even better was that in his possession was an amulet he had received a few weeks earlier. In the amulet was three gems. The symbols engraved in the gems represented strength, flight and life. Bryant's new realizations had him searching for a way to activate the amulet's power. He informed Dr. Boyle of the amulet and the story he had finished translating. Dr. Boyle asked him to keep as much of his knowledge to himself and that he would ask for permission to remove the amulet from the site on his next visit to the surface. Unfortunately, that would not happen. That evening a crew member would open the door to the prison. Being miles underground no one would be able to escape the tunnels. It was apparent that the immortal magician had discovered a new source of magic in the thousands of years he had been buried. He immediately went on a killing spree. No one was safe from the rage the magician had built up.
Bryant had managed to keep his injured professor safe for a few hours. They were aboard the tunneling device and were preparing to head for the surface. That was when the nightmare began for Bryant. As they dug for the surface the on-board radar detected a entity following them. It was scary to think that the mad man was about to be released again. They surfaced and began to run for help. Bryant was trying his best to keep his mentor alive long enough to receive medical attention. It was night and dark. He could not see anything in front of him. Then out of no where the magician appeared and with him was a aura surrounding him. It lit the night just enough for him to see his prey. Bryant knew he had to stand and fight. There was no choice. He looked at his levitating foe and pointed the amulet at him. At that moment his head began to ache as if another person was prying it open.
"Ahhh, boy, you do not even know how to use what you are holding. Your head is full of confusion. Give me what belongs to me or I will be forced to take it." the magician commanded him.
"That...that...that was you. You were in my head just now weren't you?" Bryant yelled back. "I can not let you have this."
"Fine I will take it." The magician then used his magic to rip Dr. Boyle from Bryant's grip and tear his legs from his torso splattering blood all over Bryant. The headed at full speed he ambushed Bryant.
It was at that moment when a rage filled Bryant. He had watched many of his comrades die down below in the tunnels And his second father figure had just been torn in half before his eyes. Bryant had never felt an anger like what he felt then. He looked down at his hand to see the stones glowing. The cuts on his body all began healing and he started to feel a surge of adrenaline rush through his body. It was a feeling he had never experienced. Immediately he saw the magician come towards him and knew that with his new found power he would be able to counterattack. Bryant took a deep stance in the sand preparing for impact and as the magician got closer Bryant managed to land an uppercut that sent the magician flying in the air. Then out of no where, Bryant was flying in the air behind him. The two battled in the sky and on the sand dunes for about an hour. Fearing that he was out matched the magician fled.
"Look boy, I have bigger fish to fry. I have what I need from you for now. I probed your mind and found out all I need to know about this present. Languages, history and valuable data. I will see you in the near future."
And Bryant then watched the magician fly off. Deciding not to pursue Bryant went back to the site of the horrific wreckage. Calling the authorities and telling them that the cause of the mutilation was an unknown alien being who was locked away. He told them that he managed to live but the being left without any trace. From that day Bryant went to live his life back at school but he was never the same. Becoming Trinity and taking on a secret life of crime fighting was now apart of him. He had become one of the best vigilante's in the state of New York. Yet soon he would meet up with his old foe. The magician had begun calling himself The Pharaoh and believed he was the true ruler of the Isis Empire. This idea led him to make several attempts to destroy the empire's government. Even though, Bryant persistently foiled him each time. He found help in Bolt, Beat and Pulse on numerous occasions.
Now The Pharaoh had amassed a large following of superhumans, mutants, and metahumans. His operations were growing and Bryant knew he must be stopped. Today, after years of training would be the day he would finally finish what he started eight years ago. Flying toward the facility he could not wait to come face to face with The Pharaoh. Many times before he would let him go. Only to lead to more killing and misery around the world. No more. I will stop him. Below Bryant was Jo-E, Ace and Bullet in the all-terrain vehicle Jo-E had brought. Beside him was Lance and King flying very low hoping not to be picked up by the radar. And ahead of everyone was Beat using his speed to lead the way.This ws going to be a good day.
The masked man looked out into the sky in front of him. He was hidden by a fog he had created. So you have come to try to stop me once again. He thought to himself. When will you learn? This man had on clothing resembling the great kings of the past. His robes were colored brightly and were marked with symbols the Egyptians used to represent royalty. His head was adorned with a headress worthy of only real pharaohs and his golden mask hid his aged face. Being able to live forever was not most rewarding at times. His body felt extremely old and looked it also. But today that would change with the arrival of Trinity. The magic of one of the gems would be able to be copied by his new apprentice who was by his side at that moment.
"Pharaoh, as soon as he is in the area I will have what I need to copy the magic from his gem of life. It gives off a unique signature and I will need him to be closer, however, this is a one shot deal. I can only copy it once with this spell and the time limit on the copy is very short. Are you going to stay?" the the elderly apprentice asked.
"Not today. I have bigger plans and will leave you here to get what you need. I am no longer interested in retrieving his gems but if you can copy my magic I may have my youth restored to me once again." The Pharaoh stated and with a blink of an eye he disappeared leaving his apprentice and team of followers behind to take on the impending battle alone.
Kerri Norton could not believe that her producers had set her up with this group for her panel. She had been hosting "The Story International Live" for about five years now and never have she been around a group of ignorant guests like the group in front of her. Asii will pay for this one. These guys have no idea what they are talking about. Kerri was thinking of a way to make Asii,k her senior E.P. regret he ever booked this group.
"So, Dr. Mi, you are saying that there are secrect organizations and cults out there right now and that we are headed to an inevitable World War V?" Kerri asked one of the panelist before her.
"Not only am I saying that but I do believe that it is not going to be pretty. The world will suffer and have many cassualties at the hands of these 'super powers'. These individuals are a nuisance and must be contained and stopped." Dr. Mi answered backed in her very stern and polite tone.
"I agree with her. It is no secret that the fourth world war was secretly started by the political influence of several of these organizations. Furthermore, our normal armies and defenses were powerless against the more powerful individuals." This was said with more passion by Dr. Easton Lee.
"But I do have to interject. Was it not the joint effort of The Elite and the CyberCops that stopped the war? Also, was it not only a small group that mislead the many?" Kerri was becoming furious. She has always been a strong supporter of The Elite and could not understand why anyone would be against them.
"Sorry, Mrs. Norton, but your Elite was the cause of this very tragic war. Their efforts to not be able to catch and stop The Red Dragons, Emperor Yzar and General Black were the reason most of the problems we faced during those ten years." Dr. Lee rapported back.
"That is true but it was our glorious CyberCops who put General Black in charge of his own branch and The Elite were only trying to work within the confines of the law. The INAP entrusted them to do their job and that is what they did."
"At the damn expense of millions of lives. The INAP were ignorant to think that they could police the world with an international joint effort. The CyberCops should have been abolished too." Professor Robert Ymir finally speaking up to defend his fellow colleagues. "It is obvious that five of the Earth's empires can not control all crime on this planet. And I think that the dumbass' who agreed to it at the World Peace Summit should be hung. Giving the CyberCops omniscent control over the world was a mistake."
"The InterNational Allied Peace are just trying to do what it was created for. And the rest of the empires should agreed to it because it was a great idea and plus the INAP are funding the entire project." Dr. Mi stated. "What many have failed to relize is that it is obvious that the CyberCop organization is highly corrupted and is well overdue for an overhaul."
"Why overhaul something that we do not need. That money could be used to fund the indvidual armies of each empire. WE all know that the American Empire needs it. The Canadian and Franco-Anglican Empires are in need of money for modernizing. Plus, West Africa and South Africa could be using the money to stop the bickering within their own bounderies." Prof. Ymir commented.
"But how about we get back to the topic at hand. We understand that the causes and actions during WWV led to the banning of all 'superheroes/villians' from cooperating together as freelance organizatons unless sanctioned by the government or under the government supervision by the World Peace Summit. So what leads you to believe that this is so? And if it is why have the CyberCops not prosecuted these groups?" Kerri becoming frustrating was ready for the interview over was trying to lead the panel back on the right track.
"Well, We believe that these groups exist secretly. Plus it is no secret that Costner Industries have discovered a way to by pass the laws. They are currently funding a group that will authorize as a company and will therefore be sanctioned by the government as a legit organization." Dr. Lee began to explain their stance on the topic.
"But that obviously is no threat." Kerri said back
"That is what they want you to believe. The founder and CEO of Costner is a known member of The Elite and its spin-off group The Next Generation. John Samuels I will tell you has a secret motivation. Why would he position himself to in harms way if he did not?" Dr. Lee looked at Kerri for an answer. "And not only do we have a former member of The Elite to worry about..."
"Several criminals with superpowers have been spotted working together to cause terrorist like crimes and thefts." Dr. Mi interrupted. "I have high suspician that Samuels is working with these individuals as an act of revenge."
"Revenge? That makes no sense. Why would he want revenge. He and the other surviving members of The Elite and The Next Generation have retired from their mantles and argreed to play a passive role in world affairs. His new venture is just a way to give back to his community and the planet that made him. I have had all of them on my show. And I do not think that any of the seek vengence. Silas Alan, John Samuels, Tim Gray, Jay Calvin and Thomas Strong all have been here in your seats. They seem very happy with their lives and..." Kerri was becoming angrier by the minute and this interruption would really tick her off.
"That is bullshit. You are not going to tell me that they are. That is all a front. And what about Surge aka Iceberg? Has anyone seen him? I think not. These people need to be located, arrested and placed in high security prisons. That will be the only way we can finally get back to dealing with our own problem like normal human beings. GalacticWoman herself would not even stay on this planet. She was extremely angry at the actions of her peers and quit. I think that says enough, don't you?" Prof Ymir was very strong about his beliefs.
"I tend to disagree with my fellow panelist on this issue. I believe that given the chance these people would be a great help. But they need to be under supervision at a all times. If they choose to operate as indvidual vigilantes than why not work for the governments they protect?" Dr. Lee stated. "It is a privilage that we allowed them to work independently this long but now it is time for a change."
"Well, I hate to say that we have no more time today." Kerri looked at her panelist before turning to the camera in front of her. "For more on this topic please visit my extension on The Network and tune in next week when I interview movie star, jetcar racer and author, Kyle Brendon."
After being given the queue, Kerri stood up and stepped away from her desk. Finally, I am able to get away. She felt like that was the hardest interview she had ever conducted. I hope John did not see this hanging. Her thoughts were quickly turned to her friends who she defended daily. Kerri had been around for a long time and knew that there was more to the story than what everyone else assumed they knew. Immediately she got on the phone and dialed out.
"Hey, did you see the broadcast?"
Jo-E was use to being thrown around from team to team. Yet again, here he was standing alongside another group of people he knew did not want him around. It was only recent he was asked to join The Association by request of his brother. Streak means well. Jo-E constantly reminded himself. He knew that the reason for the request was to ensure that he was not on the streets of Toronto causing havoc. I will be the best. I will prove them all wrong. Jo-E was persistent that he would be able to control his emerging powers and new responsibilities. He and his brother were from a long line of mutants. His parents met in an underground support group that was meant to help mutants learn to control their abilities and live normal lives. According to their parents, the Mutant Helping Hands was founded years before World War V. Neither brother attended any of the meetings but were constantly being invited to speak and help. This was mainly because on both sides of their family they had ancestors who had come to be very influential in the development and growth of the MHH. Jo-E and Beat had talked about going many times before but despite Jo-E's need to give back Beat was against it. He felt that helping the world by using their gifts was a lot more rewarding and needed. This really agitated Jo-E but knew that they were starting a new family legacy that one day his future family could be proud of.
It was their parents they looked to for inspiration. Jo-E and Beat were fortunate enough to have two living parents who cared deeply for them. It was Beat's idea to leave their hometown in New Quebec Territory to pursue careers as writers on a broadcast show filmed in Toronto. Their parents, Eryc and Iina Strayer, had become proud of their sons for working for a show that had become world wide. Soon the two chose to tell their parents of their double lives as super heroes. Their father was not happy at all about their decision to help "normals" when the mutant community needed help from persecution everyday. He knew his sons had been called to a bigger destiny. Iina was a little more worried that she would receive a phone call one day informing her of their deaths. Then she was horrified to think that she would have to tell their younger siblings or even plan out a funeral. The thought sickened her to the point she felt bad physically and emotionally. The brothers reassured their mother they had an understanding of what they were doing and never would put their lives in critical danger. Knowing of Jo-E's sporadic nature Mrs Strayer was more worried for him. Jo-E knew she was highly worried for his safety and knew she had every right to be.
Jo-E still had a new understanding of the task set in front of him. He started training and assisting his brother fight crime in Toronto a little over a year ago. He found it really hard to think quickly and make decisions under pressure. Plus he could not always control his abilities. He could create a sound wave using any medium such as metal, rock, water and air. Focusing on the medium Jo-E had the ability to create a sound wave of any magnitude, however, he was unsure of how powerful he could make it. Beat urged him to not test it for safety reasons. Jo-E never questioned his brother. To him Beat was a god who was incapable of doing anything wrong. It was usual Beat who would run to the rescue of Jo-E. He had even tapped out his savings account to bail Jo-E out of juvenile holding facility. It was incidents like that which brought the brothers closer together. Jo-E knew no matter what he did or how bad he could mess up Beat would be there to defend him to the end. And knowing that the current mission was extremely dangerous, he wanted to make sure Beat knew Jo-E appreciated him.
"Hey, Ian? You there?" Jo-E silently said over the COMLINK as he walked through the woods. They had left his vehicle behind so they would not call attention to themselves. They only used it to cross across the desert area and once they arrived to a jungle-like area ditched it.
"Joseph Eryc Strayer...Was it not made clear. We are under a black link. No conversation unless it is an emergency." Beat answered back. He was frustrated that after so many training sessions and missions he still had to inform his younger brother what a black link meant.
"I know. But I wanted to let you know that I love you. And no matter what happens I will always be grateful of everything you have done for me, mom and dad...oh and the twins and Kelsey." He waited for a reply back but only silence returned. Jo-E expected it because he was breaking protocol and his brother usually played by the rules in these situations.
Looking over to his left he saw Ace and Trinity creeping through the woods with him. He knew they were ready for battle and could not wait to be the first to start the attack on the base a few hundred feet ahead of them. It was their job to start a distraction and attract the attention of anybody who was there to protect the facility outside. He waved to Ace to get his attention.
"So what is the plan, Ace?" Jo-E whispered just loud enough for Ace to hear him once he had his attention.
"Well, I figured we would make as much noise as possible to get them to come out. So Pulse, do you think you could create a sonic boom?" Ace looked at him. Always smiling Ace was someone Jo-E thought was extremely hard to read. You can never tell when that guy is serious or not.
"Of course, that's child's play. I could do that in my sleep. And then?" Jo-E responded back.
"After that we kick as much ass as possible 'til the others have given us the queue." Jo-E knew that was going to be the response he would get from Ace. Ace loved a good fight and that was why he was placed as head of this sub-team.
"Well, whatever happens, remember The Pharaoh is mine." Trinity looked at them both and smiled. Jo-E was certain that Trinity was serious. The Pharaoh was highly powerful and Jo-E was no match for him. So Jo-E was not about to fight him on the subject.
Only a few moments later, the three associates had emerged from the woods and were preparing themselves for battle. Jo-E looked over at Ace. He had pulled out twin knuckle braces from in his cargo pockets. Placing one on each hand they were used to send electrical shocks to anyone who came into contact with the exposed upper surface. This helped level the playing field with more powerful opponents. Sometimes my enhanced strength isn't enough. That was the answer given to anyone who asked him why he carried them. Trinity had pulled out his retractable bo staff that he carried on his back under his cape. Beat would always tell his brother that Trinity and The Network were all theatrics and had no business playing in a grown man's war. Jo-E knew different. He had worked with both and they were very serious individuals out in the field. They looked at him and he began to lead the way to one of the walls of the facility.
"You may want to close your ears and watch out." Jo-E said as he raised his arms to aim at the wall. Concentrating on the wall he began to make the atoms vibrate within the wall. Speeding them up he was able to make waves that soon blew the wall into pieces. The explosion created huge boom and scattered debris and concrete everywhere.
Levitating, Trinity led the group into the opening. And once the smoke cleared they could see what was in front of them. Jo-E was surprised at the sight and was now feeling the pressure to make sure he reacted appropriately. What to do? He knew the faces in front of him.
"We have been waiting on you. Is this all you guy brought this time. I was hoping for an exercise." Jo-E recognized the extremely tall 7 foot 4 man who was talking. It was one of the followers of The Pharaoh and a prominent member of Truth. Titan had been a menace for anyone who took on Truth. His skin was as strong as titanium and he had the strength of an elephant. He took the name Titan as a homage to ancient Greek mythology.
Standing beside Titan was Blitz on his left and Arson on his right. Arson was a young teenager who also served as one of the prominent members of Truth. His reputation for reckless murder had helped him quickly earn the favor of the leaders of Truth. He was given the name because of his ability to create and control fire. His real name was Tyger Glade. Jo-E knew him from high school. In high school, Tyger was considered a "vampire." He wore dark make-up and clothes, fingernail polish and long black hair. To help create the illusion of being a real vampire Tyger had his teeth cosmetically redesigned into fangs. But today, Arson was wearing his favorite uniform. He wore an old yellow firefighter uniform that covered him completely. With his hands exposed and his hair flowing in the wind of the explosion, Tyger was definitely ready for battle.
This was the first time Jo-E had ever seen Blitz face to face. Jo-E had only heard stories of the Russian soldier. He was very tall and stood about six foot seven. He wore shaggy black hair and a full beard. His eyes were a very cold blue and his lips looked as if they were frozen. He was not wearing his full snow suit. Today, he had on only the bottom of his snow suit. Blitz was a new member of Truth. He had only been seen a couple of times with other agents. The files of The Association said he was an ex-military soldier who developed the ability to create ice by lowering the temperature of the moisture in the air. His real name was Lev Petrov. Jo-E had never encountered him but had seen his pictures during debriefings.
"Look, I think they are scared. Especially that faggot. Let's bring the pain." Arson was fired up and yelled this to his comrades. And with a snap of his finger he created a flame in the palm of his hand. He looked as if he was waiting on orders to attack.
Ace looked at Jo-E. "Do not let him bother you. Just remember we are only here as a distraction. But I will not say anything if you want to take him out." Ace had a smirk on his face as he looked at Jo-E. Jo-E definitely was more at ease but was ready to "kick his ass."
"Where is the Pharaoh?" Trinity yelled to his adversaries.
"He has more important things to do than to deal with the likes of you." Blitz yelled back in his very raspy Russian accent.
"Oh well, I guess you guys will have to do." Trinity immediately started to fly towards Blitz. Jo-E watched as he pulled back his bo staff and prepared for a blow to Blitz's head. In that same moment, out of his peripheal vision he saw that Arson was running towards him and Ace was running head first into Titan. THINK THINK. He tried to gather his thoughts. And as Arson leaped in the air, Jo-E sent a sonic wave straight through the air into Arson's chest.
This is what we are hear for. Time to play.
The loud commotion was a good sign for Bullet, King, Lance and Beat. Bullet could hear that her other team members were doing their job by causing a distraction so the rest of them could slip in unnoticed. She was hoping that was how it would happen. She looked at King and nodded. He walked over to her and grabbed her by the waist and they lifted from the ground. It was going to be hard flying over the walls to get to the roof but it was a risk both of them were willing to take. As normal, in these situations Tia was too busy thinking about her next move than starting up any kind of conversation. She knew her team sometimes did not like that she was not very talkative. Her ability to improvise and not inform anyone was one of the biggest concerns of her being the team leader. But she reassured everyone that she would never place them in any harm and to always follow her lead as insurance.
As they took off from the ground, she could see Lance following them. She told him that it would be his decision on how he got in. Beside him was Beat. She could see in his eyes he was not use to being so high up. He was never comfortable off the ground but would never admit to it. The two of them would land near a side entrance to the facility. They would proceed to hack into the system and enter the building. Lance was concentrating hard on carrying Beat with his mind because Bullet had to point to remind him where their landing point was. Tia marked it as strange for Lance to be concentrating that hard. For a telepath like him carrying Beat was easy. His ability was way further advanced than any telepath she had met.
Soon she saw below her the air vent on the roof they would try to use to enter. King landed near it and she immediately start to open the vent and survey the area.
Being back on the ground was feeling good for Beat. He knew there was no longer a chance of him falling to his death. He looked at the door in front of them. Strangely, the door was cracked in an open position. That struck him as very odd. Why would they leave us a way in? Needless to say he entered the building. Once inside he started to look around for more things that were out of place. He saw nothing that struck him as such.
"Do you sense anyone in the vicinity? Or anything out of the norm?" Cautiously whispering to Lance so hopefully no one could hear their conversation.
"No. Everything is all clear. Follow me according to the blueprints I studied just ahead is the security office. We should find a main hub for the LAN in there." Lance whispered back.
Beat knew that Lance had studied the plans of the building with high detail. He began to follow Lance down into the hall ways. No windows and no lights. Beat started to think about the purpose of their mission. He was wondering why the building would be completely dark if they were planning to launch a missile. There is something odd here. Soon Beat found himself standing in front of a door labeled "SECURITY". He looked a Lance.
"This is it. We can download any data the CyberCops left from here and shut all the power down." Lance was preparing to enter the door.
"Let me go first." As he said that he reached into right pocket on his thigh and pulled out a miniature stun gun. "Get ready in case someone is in there."
And in one smooth movement Beat opened the door, burst in and looked around for any opponents to take out.
Bullet was not one of King's favorite people to be on a mission with. She was way to controlling and did not know how to communicate in intense situations. However, he believed in Dr. Knowles' decisions and would never question him. It was Dr. Knowles who somehow managed to save Ace and himself from a highly secret Isis laboratory. Dr. Knowles was working undercover for a small group of heroes as a scientist. The two brothers had been there for months being experimented on. The results were his ability to fly and his brothers enhanced strength. Thanks to Dr. Knowles and a few of his employers they were all able to safely leave the laboratory. Since that day they were constantly on the run from the Special Cyber Ops teams while saving citizens across the globe. When Dr. Knowles offered them refuge in his newly founded company they quickly took the offer. King trusted the doctor to never let anything happen to them. There was only one downside to the experiments in that Isis laboratory. Ace and King had no recollection of anything before being in the laboratory. They did not know their names or where they were from. In fact, in the laboratory they were referred to as Prototype I Codename Ace and Prototype II Codename King. Only their strong family resemblance and a DNA test confirmed the relationship between the two. They had no fingerprints and no background files to help tie themselves to anything. Dr. Knowles even enlisted the people who helped save them to find out more information but with no success. Regardless, Ace and King always felt they were in great debt to Dr. Knowles and The New NEXT members for the daring rescue.
The past was in the past, though. King had to focus on the present He looked a Bullet. She was in strike mode waiting for someone to attack. He could see she had a hunger for blood. And the concentration on her face indicated that she was using her heightened senses to survey the area around them. They had just dropped down from the air vent and stood in the middle of a hallway. He had pulled out one of his miniature stun guns. Bullet had one of her hand guns out. He was hoping it was a laser or tranquilizer gun but knew she was capable of carrying one loaded with live bullets. You can take the assassin out of the kill but you can not take the kill out of the assassin. He was always telling Dr. Knowles the same phrase hopping he would realize that having her in their ranks was more of a liability than an asset. Since they all been working together she had killed five henchmen and two villains. Self-defense was always her reasoning. He was hoping that there would be none of that today.
"BULLET! ABORT! ABORT!" The COMLINK in King's ear wasa filled with the sound of Streak's voice.
"What do you mean?" Bullet quickly responded back.
"The building is empty. We entered the security room to find nothing. I quickly sprinted from room to room to find all the rooms the same. It's a set..." Streak had started to explain but seemed to be cut off.
"That is not good." King looked at Bullet with a worried eye.
"No it isn't. lets mobilize we have to find them. Quick!" Bullet was just about to start running when she heard the cocking of a gun coming from behind her.
King looked at Bullet who was stunned in her footsteps. Looking beyond her he knew why she had stopped. Things were definitely not going to plan.
"...It's a set..." Beat had just got those words out of his mouth when all of a sudden in his head was a piercing high-pitched sound. His first thoughts was maybe his brother had done something wrong but the sound was only in his head. It was causing agony he had never felt. He looked around for help but his vision was too blurred to make out any shapes. He yelled for Lance but there was no answer back. The sound had brought him to his knees. Before he knew it he was blacking out. The room began to spin and darken more than it already was. He collapsed on the floor.
Bullet turned around. The sound of the long fingernail cocking the gun was very familiar. She was hoping though this time she would be wrong. As she looked up she saw that she wasn't.
"Long time, no see." Said the tall and sexy woman standing in front of her. There was no mistaking the long legged person in front of them. It was Jade Vyntil with no doubt. Known worldwide for her many cover shots as the highest paid model on Earth only few knew how she liked to spend her nights and vacation time. Jade was a very respectable thief-for-hire and assasin. Her calling card was always the same a blank white business card with a purple kiss in the center to match her purple dress she wore on every mission that showed off her beautiful legs.
"I believe we have some unfinished business to take care of." Jade had a seriousness that rivaled Bullet's own.
"I am no longer in that line of business." Bullet replied. "I let you live and you were only just one of many hits. The person you should be mad at is the one you stole from. He hired us to take you at."
"You did not let me live. You missed your mark and I survived. They say you never miss. Lucky for me, huh?" Jade was looking extremely pissed.
The truth was Tia Daye had missed. Somehow her abilities were thrown into confusion and it caused her to miss her mark. The bullet ended up in Jade's side and not her heart. Tia never knew how it happened but years had passed and this thief never forgot it. By stealing confidential files from Le Baiser De Mort's headquarters Jade had found out who had been arranged to do the hit. Now, Jade was in front of her again seeking revenge. Tia had always managed to elude a fight with Jade. It seemed as if she would not get that chance this time.
"Well, if it's a damn fight you are after bitch. Bring it bitch." As Tia said that she lowered her hand gun and placed it back in its holster. She looked at King. "You stay out of this. Leave. I will be behind you shortly."
"That's how I like it." Jade threw down her gun. The two were primed for combat.
Just then a familiar voice interrupted the silence from over Jade's COMLINK.
"You will have your chance to finish this later. I told you no confrontation this time. Your job was to only be there to support if needed." The Pharaoh sounded really angry.
"Yes, sir." Jade was not too happy with his decision to butt in. "I guess we will have to finish this later babe." Jade then took out of her pocket a detonator. "You have one minute." Then she took off.
Bullet knew that she did not have enough time to pursue Jade and get out the building. Easy choice.
"Everyone out of the building and area." she commanded over the COMLINK.
Sydney was once a city of glory and amazement. Now, as Kyle looked around the decayed town all he could think of was the crime which bred in the back alleys of the city. Australia was one of the few countries whose economies crumbled after WWIV. As a way to keep the country alive they became a protectorate of the Anglican Empire. It proved to be a very bad move. England was continuing to war with several other nations and the neglect to re-build the Australian government took its toll. Then the worst happened during WWV. General Black used it as an example to prove he was not afraid to use the D-Day missiles. Soon after the attack Australia was declared a dead land. Due to high levels of radiation near the impact craters and the ever growing crime no one was to enter or leave Australia. But everyone knew this was not the case. I was a safe habor for any criminal now who needed to escape or lay low.
It was also one of the few places that actually scared Kyle. As a young child, he was abducted in the former United States territory Florida. It was a horrible experience. His family had been on vacation and was having a great time. The trip turned for the worst when Kyle had gotten lost in the airport. He do not remember much because he was only a toddler but he will never forget the fear of never finding his parents again. He remembered being approached by a man in a suit. He claimed to be security and would help Kyle get back to his parents. He was placed on a plane that was said to be headed to his hometown. Unfortunately, he never made it back to his parents.
For months, he was kept in a maximum security bunker with others. Kyle was scared and constantly crying. He had no idea where he was or why he was there. There were doctors there who were constantly probing him and doing experiements. He was told that if they worked he would have unlimited knowledge. They had worked. He soon found out that a chip was placed inside his brain that directly linked his brain to The Network. A descendant to the Internet, The Network was the only world wide project to ever succeed in the new imperial age. Every nation and empire agreed to link all computer to The Network so that communication would be easier across the planet. This was a safety precaution for an attack from any alien species. The few alien cultures that were in contact with Earth were not hostile but it was believed that one day Earth may become a target for a more dangerous race. Now, Kyle was directly linked to The Network. He had access to all the knowledge on the planet. Every computer now was linked and monitored by the CyberCops via the Network. His chip would activate under his command to use the CyberCop portal to shift through all the systems. He could easily by-pass any firewall or security system placed on any network and it would appear as if he had never tampered with the system.
After many tests, Kyle was said to be ready to be used out in the "field". He was unsure of what that would mean but before they had a chance to transport him a raid on the building was made by The Elite. He was personally rescued by a man in a black uniform wearing a mask that had no slits in it or apparent thin areas for the eyes or mouth. just a faceless black mask was all he could see but on the forehead was a silver "N". The shadowy figure managed to save him from his captors and even cut the man who abducted Kyle on his throat leaving him for dead. This stuck with Kyle even after he was reunited with his parents. And once he was able to control his new abilities and learned more about his rescue he began to help the people across the Congo. Using the masked man as his inspiration, Kyle started to call himself The Network and wore an identical costume only with a red "N". He would soon move his operations to the Canadian America and US America but that's stories for another time.
Now he was back in Sydney. Looking for a group of men responsible for the assassinations of several politicians across the globe. At first glance, the murders looked very similar to the work of the Le Baiser De Mort assassins. But Kyle knew they had been disbanded for a few years now. The operation had become corrupt and faced implosion. To prevent it the High Council disbanded all operations until further notice. Although, that did not rule them out at first. It was only after interrogating several known members he was led to another group of assassins. A group who died with the fall of their leader, Red Dragon. Red Dragon Monks were a group of men who followed Red Dragon and were taught in the walls of his ten temples across the world. No normal individual even knew the location of these temples. And Red Dragon soon used his influence to develop hundreds of thousands of men into an army capable to kill anyone with any medium from knives to guns to bare hands. He wanted to rule the world through fear that no one was safe. His men proved a formidable foe for all that tried to stop him. Years passed before The Shadow and Nightfall were able to confront Red Dragon in person. It was said to be a historic battle that left both The Shadow and Nightfall beaten and worn but victorious. Red Dragon's army was told to disband or suffer in the judicial system. Most ceased operations while others chose to finish what had been started. The few that continued to kill was stopped by The Shadow and Nightfall along with other members of The Elite. According to the records of The Elite no Red Dragons were left. However, Kyle was after them currently.
He knew that he was probably in over his head. If he was after Red Dragon Monks he would need more than just hist normal equipment and probably some backup. Pocket knives varying in size was all he ever carried and tonight was no different. If Nightfall could take down their leader, I can take down a few men imitating them. He idolized Nightfall ever since the day he saved him. Many argued that Nightfall was not as great as people let on. That he decided to work with The Shadow because he lacked the skill set to continue on his own. Kyle hated the argument and defended Nightfall as knowing his battle against the corrupt was too big for anyone alone. He was ready for whatever he was about to get into. He arrived on the rooftop of his destination a little tired. Jumping rooftop to rooftop is highly overrated. Below him was the Red/Black Gentlemen's Club. Inside were the who's who of the underground world. They always gathered once a month to discuss business. Most believed this gathering was the birthplace of Truth. A secret society that many of the worlds most corrupt men and women belonged to. No hard evidence proved the existence of Truth but anyone who was righteous knew the truth. It was formed to take out all heroes everywhere. So far they had few successes. Someone in there knows whats going on. Someone knows the truth.
Off in the shadows, a figure watched as The Network descended onto the rooftop of the Red/Black Gentlemen's Club. The man watching was sure that inside The Network was about to face a task was far from his expectations.
"Yo lo veo. El es ubicado donde esperamos." the very watchful figure said into his COMLINK.
"Si. Keep an eye on him and if he goes in you know what to do"
Odd. Very odd. Why would they set a trap and then not act on it? Tia head had been spinning with thoughts ever since she left the facility they were sure find answers at. Now, she sat in the conference room at the home she had come to know. She was hoping the Dr. Knowles had the answers her team was looking for. The intelligence they had was correct. The Pharaoh had been there. It was unlike him to turn down a chance to humiliate anyone who stood in his way.Then to have his best fighters waiting only to call them off once they were ready to strike. Nothing seemed to make sense. Not even the very short visit from The Pharaoh's only apprentice, Amontutka.It was definitely a trap. They only needed to understand what was gained from the trap. From past encounters, it was clear that the years were finally catching up with The Pharaoh. He was aging rapidly. Could it have something to do with regaining his youth? Tia was not sure if that was the answer she was seeking. It was also apparent that he had come across a new source of his magic. This was during a time when he had disappeared without any trace. Not even his own alliances had any clues. So many questions and hopefully someone would have the answers. And as she sat there with her teammates Dr. Knowles and Kimi walked into the room.
"Team I have some bad news and some good news." The doctor had a look of disappointment on his face. "First the good news, Even though our team suffered a lost today I commend you on a job well done. No one strayed from the mission at hand. No one let personal intefere with the execution of our plans. And fortunately, no one got hurt. We did have one of our members suffer from a black out but he is in the IU being checked"
It was like the Dr. Knowles to always search for a positive. He knew that Tia would find enough bad for the both of them. Then she would handle it in her weekly team trainings.
"Now, the bad news is that somehow the CyberCops found out about our non-registered mission. I do not want to say they had inside information but as I speak we are contacting our own internal affairs associate. If he finds anything on anyone it will not look good for us. And the person...well, let us say he/she will not be able to operate alone or with any other team." And with that he walked out the room with Kimi.
Tia found this strange. The doctor was never short with the debriefings. They were usually more detailed. Obviously, he knew no more than they did but something else was bothering him. Probably the same thing that was on her mind. Who is the traitor?
"Sir, the spell worked as planned. I was able to make a temporary gem of life that will slow down you aging and restore your body to a youthful age. But this is not a permanent solution. We still need to find one that will work in part with your new magic." The Apprentice knew that his spell could not keep his master from dying.
"It will do for now. All I need is a little more time. I have great plans for this world. Soon it will be united as one. And I shall sit at the head of the new confederation. Now come we are late for our meeting.
Looking around the room, Blitz was amazed to be in the presence of such greatness. Sitting before him was Truth. The organization of super powers that had existed for at least a century now. And now he was instructed to attend to the members needs until the meeting began. He looked around and immediately could recognize all of the members. Black Evil, Despair, Master Yu, The Pirateer, and The Eye were all waiting for their host of the evening. Only one was missing...
Kerri Norton was heading down a corridor she had taken several times before. The phone call she had made after her last broadcast was very concerning to the owner of this house. He insisted that she come meet with him and his colleagues. She knew that this meeting was well overdue. The world was headed down a the same path that led to World War V. Kerri was around during the very short but destructive war. It had only lasted ten years but the carnage left behind was still present even today. Nothing had changed in ten years. Corruption in government and law enforcement had become worse. The super villains who ran the streets were becoming more adept to the changing times. Humanity was loosing all hope. The world was a scary and dark place.
Kerri reflected on what happened twenty years ago that led to this point. The very trusted General Troy Campton had been appointed his on CyberCop troops. According to the governing bodies of the CyberCops there were to only be seven generals who led seven factions. Each faction was designated a particular area of the globe. General Troy Campton had just became the prime minister of the New Franco-Prussian United Territories. With his position and influence in the InterNational Allied Peace, an international alliance among several countries with the purpose of world peace, he was able to have his request for an eighth faction granted. The headquarters was placed in the center of his empire, Black Water Lake. The city was not only the capital of the NFPUT but Campton's birthplace. As general, Troy managed to recruit millions quickly. His faction was soon called The Black Water Troops. Because of this the uniform of his faction was all black and as a nickname General Troy was called General Black by the media. No one expected the events that would soon happen next.
The Elite, an organized collective of superheroes, began to encounter a rogue Black Water Troop. The troop was using CyberCop technology for high profile heists and terrorist attacks. With such advanced technology at his disposal it was nearly impossible for any local authority to capture him. The news began to call him Black Water as he tormented city after city and nation after nation. Led by The Shadow and Nightfall, The Elite started a search to bring him in. General Christopher Roberts of the fifth faction led the CyberCop investigation despite the request from higher officials not to be involved. It was a very long and grueling process and Black Water seemed to illude capture each and every time. However, thanks to a few leads things began to look better for the now year and a half wild goose chase.
It was a tip from The Truth that led to the discovery of where Black Water could be found. Apparently, he had double-crossed some of his fellow villains and they seek revenge on the unknown criminal mastermind. A truce a formed with The Truth and The Elite until the infamous Black Water was in custody. The tip sent them to Black Water Lake where they soon discovered the mastermind behind all the terror was General Troy Campton. With a small unified team of The Truth and The Elite alongside a newly blackballed Christopher Roberts, the Black Water Lake royal palace was attacked. Unfortunately, the attack forced Black Water's hand and he launched an enormous amount of nuclear missiles from different CyberCop bases located around the globe. Because of his rank he had all the access numbers for each of the missiles. Even with their joint forces the unified team of heroes and villains were not able to stop the missiles and many lives were lost. Black Water even used the D-Day missiles to demolish the entire country of Australia.
The Shadow and Nightfall continued their pursuit without hesitation. After a restless battle that took many of the lives of the group, Black Water was taken into custody. Then he was placed in a high security holding facility where he still being held. Nevertheless, the damage had been done. The InterNational Allied Peace felt as tho the unauthorized actions of The Elite had led to making the course of events a lot worse. They asked them to either cooperate with the CyberCops and the INAP or to disband. With the decline to cooperate as a government sanctioned entity, INAP enforced the Anti-Unified Vigilante Enforcement Act. In the act, it banned any vigilante unification as well as gave the CyberCops the authority to enforce the law by any means. However, it did leave the door open for INAP sanctioned unification which has been becoming more and more popular.
The aftermath of the battle between Black Water resulted in his followers and political allies to declare war on the world. They used all the resources they still had access to. The army Black Water had built was enormous and they continued to act under the leadership of Black Water's two sons. It took the combined forces of the seven factions to bring a stop to the war. It was too late. The damage had been done. Seven Years of Hell was what the war had been called. And most historians considered the The Elite's battle part of World War V. Kerri had watched it all take place. Kerri knew what happened and she vowed to never forget.
Today, was going to be a very different day for Kerri Norton. Today, Kerri Norton was no longer Kerri Norton. She resumed the identity of Ashley Arms also known as GalacticWoman.
The Pantheon had not been used in years. Ashley vowed never to set foot in the building again but she knew this meeting was necessary. Modeled after an ancient Roman temple the center of the building was circular with a large retractable dome. The circular walls were ordained with statues of the old and new Gods of Peace. An honor only bestowed onto humans who have proven themselves worthy to have immortality. Their only task was to ensure the survival of the human race on Earth. At anytime, a chosen god could move on to the afterlife as long as he/she found a worthy replacement. The latest Gods of Peace were chosen due to some very extenuating circumstances. This was why the figures before Ashley now were like looking at ghosts.
Inside the circle, there was the Table of Honor. Ashley had named this table after giving it as a gift to the Elite once she joined. A technology from her home planet, the Table of Honor was capable of mystically forming holograms of any desired location, person or object. Only those honorable enough may claim a seat here. And that is what she saw. Her family for years now sat around the table. Silas Alan, John Samuels, Tim Gray, Jay Calvin and Thomas Strong were waiting for her. But the biggest relief was seeing Christopher Roberts and sitting beside him was a very familiar foe, Iceberg. With the familiar faces of her known allies she was set at peace. It was time for them to take into their own hands the media's war against vigilantism.
Across the globe, a mysterious man was walking away from a scene of carnage. In the background behind him was several dismembered bodies. None of them had heads. The man knew this was different from his usual calling card, however, that was his purpose. He was sending a message. No one would leave him out of their plans. Not even the masters of evil themselves. He was going to make them all pay. First things first...I need to make them cower and allow them to carry out their plans. And with a huge grin on his face he turned around, pulled out his camera and took a picture. He left the building and stepped into the car waiting for him.
"Crow, is everything going as planned?" the man asked his driver.
"Yes sir. No one suspects a thing. They all think I am working for them." The man dressed in an all black suit replied back.
"Good. When we are done they will all know not to cross the great Jacki O. Jacki O has many things in store for these ignorant men and women. Jacki O will make them all pay. And then Jacki O will be on top of it all." He smiled with a very cynical glare in his eyes. And taking his hand he wiped the blood off his face. Then looked into his hand to see the blood smeared in it. And with a haunting laught licked his hand to taste the blood of all of his recent victims.
A dark figure emerged from the back of the old building dragging a very huge bag. He knew his work was done tonight. He had gotten his message across. The fools would think twice next time. He thought to himself. He could just see their faces as some of his fellow comrades entered the building he just left. The mess he left was not his usual work. He had made sure that it was the exact opposite of his normal calling card. He wanted them to know just exactly how serious he was. No one crosses me. Now, one thing he had to make sure to do. He had to get rid of the bag he was hauling. But what to do with it was not that big of a deal. Its contents disgusted him though.
As he got in the back of his limo, the driver cringed at the sight. His boss had blood covering his entire suit. The driver culd not understand what went on inside the building and dared not to ask. It had to have gone well, the man in the backseat was smiling like a kid in a candy store. The man just sat there smiling and from time to time licking his fingertips catching the blood that dripped. The driver did know one thing, that inside that building was decapitated heads with candles in their mouths. That was the calling card of Jacki O.
Kyle had noticed a car driving off from the club as he entered. If I have to I will track it down later. He made his way from the roof of the club into staircase and was bout to enter the kitchen. He entered the kitchen expecting to have to use a knock-out pellet. This was not the case. There was no one working in the kitchen. Maybe I come on a slow night. Kyle joked to himself but started to become very cautious. As he entered into the main dinning room he was taken back. The sight before him was horrific. He immediately took off his mask and began to vomit to the side in a trash can.
It was only a mater of time before he entered. Thought Escabar Montoya. He had been sent to keep an eye on The Network by Dr. Knowles. Escabar was known as Sigma X. He was a gadget specialist and personal private investigator for The Association. He directly answered to Dr. Knowles and no one knew of his employment. He had been following The Network for the past two weeks. Dr. Knowles told Escabar that he did not trust Kyle and wanted to give him extra attention. It was up to Escabar to take him out if he felt that Kyle was up to no good. With their arrival in Australia tonight, Escabar was sure that The Network was not of any threat but needed to be stopped before he got himself killed. If Kyle was dirty he would have entered through the front door like the rest of the shit that populated the guest lists.
Escabar burst through to the main dinning area with his guns cocked and ready; however what he saw was Kyle throwing up and the nastiest scene he had ever seen. As he was standing in the dinning area he could see that the blood on the floor was three or four inches standing. The room itself was in shambles and there seemed to be blood, guts and limbs everywhere. The walls had guts painted on to them in weird designs as if they were painted on by a bare hand. The blood was still wet and dripping down. The ceiling fans had limbs swing from them. And the rest of the room was covered with a very similar look. Dismembered bodies everywhere. Vital organs thrown all over. Who did this? It was not until he noticed there was a lone table still standing in the room who had committed this horrific display. The table managed to be the only thing in the room clean. The white tablecloth was not stained by blood. And on the table was a pumpkin. Beside the pumpkin was a knife and a candle. Then in blood on the candle was a happy face. Jacki.
The Pharaoh had finally arrived at the meeting he had called. He was going to let his allies know that he had something big coming. His plan was already going very well. He did not need their approval but he did not want them to get in his way. Tonight was their last and only chance to join him as his subordinate or to step aside. He knew this would not sit well with them and did not care.
"Gentlemen, As you all know we are facing a new era. An era when the government is getting into the super hero business as well. And according to my very strategically placed contacts we are not at all prepared for the onslaught and raid that is coming our way. But thanks to me, your Pharaoh, I have jumped on the offensive before they could get a chance." The room was in bewilderment. They knew he had news but no one knew he had double agents.
"And how do you know this my good man?" said the German accented voice of Despair.
"That is for me to know and you all to not. I am here to inform you that YOU..." The Pharaoh looked and pointed to everyone in the room. "...have a chance of a lifetime."
"Oh yeah, what kinda chance?" asked The Eye.
"I will take you all on this rise to power with me as long as no one gets in my way."
"So what makes you so different from the rest of us. How will you succeed this time?" Master Yu was not convinced
"Because I shall not fail. I have an ace in the hole. I have The Crow under my control. Someone so powerful he could take down The Next, The Association and The Elite if they were still alive." The Pharaoh paused. "The Crow has already succeeded where the rest of you have failed. And I am ready to stike at any moment. I am just waiting for the right time. So who is on board?" He looked around the room. All he received was ugly looks and silence. Then eeryone got up from where they were sitting and began to leave with rabblings about how crazy The Pharaoh was.
"I never said this meeting was over!" The Pharaoh shouted in anger of being dissed by his allies.
"Look, for a few years now we have been laying low. We have been organizing and uniting a new Truth, one more powerful than the last group that fell. Why jeopardize years of united strategizing for the dellusions of and old ass mummy whose powers are fading." The Pirateer had turned around to answer The Pharaoh. "Futhermore, we are currently being attacked on multiple fronts. There are other worries than the super powers. We need more time to get our shit back in order. To reclaim the glory we once had. SO...until you have results know your place you old fool. Times have changed and you are just an aging asshole as far as we are concerned. Your powers at one time was not to be taken lightly but you know as well as we do your time is over. No it is over."
And with those last words the room cleared out leaving The Pharaoh alone.
In a seperate room Blitz had been waiting patiently since he was not allowed in the Supreme Knowers private discussions. He was waiting when he received a phone call from a protected number. He knew who it was.
"Were they all there tonight?" another raspy faint deep voice asked on the other end.
"All of them were there. I made sure of that myself." Blitz responded.
"Good. And did you plant the devices?" the mysterious voice asked.
"Yes. None of them know that the drinks had tracking devices in them. They should be activated within 24 hours and you will be able to track each of their movements."
"Even better. Now I have a mission for you and your fellow collegues. One of my projects have went rogue. I need to to find it and bring it in."
"That is the only way you can with this one. I will contact you again with the drop off location." The phone call ended and Blitz went to find Tyger and Jade.