Tales of Justice

The Fixer Upper Job, Part 2
A not-so-sleepy town of Bench Creek!

Greetings True Believers!

Welcome back! Can you believe it True Believers? The intrigue! The mystery! And that their Marriott has a complimentary breakfast!

Bench Creek certainly isn’t just another sleepy little town.

Reports of ghosts at the old airbase? Mysterious deaths back in 1950? And also sabotage of a delivery truck? And then there is the mysterious report Rebecca got from the Deputy Calvin.

There has to be a logical explanation for all this! Perhaps, its just haunted?

Don’t split up now, True Believers! There’s more clues to uncover!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Amethyst
Thunderstrike
Doc (aka Medkit)
Calliope

Guest Starring
Gremlin

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The Fixer Upper Job
Just some paint ... a few throw pillows ... and haunted airbase?

Greetings True Believers!

Just another warm, spring day along the eastern seaboard. There we find some of our favorite Counter-espionage team Wyldfire out for a drive!

It seems a bit out of their way … south of Blüdhaven would be a bit of a drive for a vacation. The only thing out here is the old, abandoned Richboro Nike Base outside the little town of Bench Creek.

Jinkies! Could this have anything to do with the construction work there by Cavanugh Construction?

There’s been odd reports of strange lights and sounds from the old base. Ghost pilots on the airfield. Silent, but glowing aircraft seen only in the dead of night near the base’s airfield.

Zoinks! It could be our heroes are running headlong into yet another mystery!

So huddle up gang and grab your Scooby Snacks, True Believers! This looks like a good one!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Amethyst
Thunderstrike
Doc (aka Medkit)
Calliope

Guest Starring
Gremlin

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Meanwhile at Millie's Coffee and Bakery in Metropolis ...

Meanwhile at Millie’s Coffee and Bakery in Metropolis, one of the best coffee and bakery shops in the ‘City of Tomorrow’ …

Millie’s Coffee and Bakery was one of those rare establishments in the world of fast food, clothing and information. It was family owned, and had been so for at least two generations. A small cafe, it had precious few seating inside or out, but that did not seem to deter the flow of customers. Despite how busy it was, the atmosphere was calm and subdued. The time-worn wood paneled walls dotted with antique photographs from the 1930s and 40s aviator days contributed to that. So did the light strains of soft jazz music that leaked from a well-hidden sound system. They were part of the reason Dr. Jean-Claude Gironde was a regular here.

That and the vanilla-coconut-caramel dark roast was practically zen enlightenment in a single cup.

Dr. Gironde looked across the warm cup of his usual at his table companion. She looked tense. Almost as if she expected her own cup of hot cocoa was intent on biting her fingers. She looked away to send worried glances out a nearby window.

“Ms. Cummings, you were telling me about Cavanugh Construction?” he prompted her gently.

Theresa Cummings jumped slightly. Her nerves were raw. “Yes. I’m sorry. It’s just been … you just don’t know.”

Dr. Gironde gave her a warm smile. “You are safe here. You have my word. Whatever, or whoever, you’re worried about will not enter this building. I promise you that. Now what about Cavanugh Construction?”

Ms. Cummings nodded. Worry and fatigue had taken its toll, but she had not given up yet. “Like I said, I manage the books for Cavanugh Construction. I also double as their I.T. person.”

The doctor took a slow sip of his coffee. “I see. Go on.”

“Cavanugh Construction does refurbishing of buildings and locations. Recently, they refurbished an old mining operation for re-use.” She stopped for a brief sip of cocoa.

Dr. Gironde nodded. “I’ve heard of them. From what I understand, they do good work. Promote a ‘clean’ means to refurbishing. Environmentally friendly.”

Theresa gave a derisive, quiet, laugh. “Yes, they do. They good at ‘cleaning’.”

The doctor caught the tone. “How do you mean?”

“I found some … discrepancies in the books. Minor things. Small items that would normally can be explained away or resolved through the end of month balance. I got curious and looked into it. I found that the ‘clean’ practices aren’t so clean. Workers are exposed to unsafe work conditions and chemicals. The workers are paid just below standard, enough that they can feed their families, but not enough to leave. If anyone experiences severe medical problems, they can make use of the company ‘medical incentive programs’. They send just enough to a real doctor to mark on the books. Most are treated by a medical staff kept on site.”

Dr. Gironde frowned at the unpleasant direction this took. “Then what is the ‘medical incentive program’?”

“I don’t really know. The most I know is that rumor has it that people unable to work in the yard get a chance to train up on the larger equipment. It’s supposed to keep them out of the more caustic environment. Workers recovering get that chance, too.” She paused for a moment. “I knew a man … Philip Jackson … he got accidentally exposed to some diluted chlorine. After he was treated, he signed up for additional training to use one of the construction bots Cavanugh purchased from Oscorp.” Ms. Cummings gave the doctor a stare so cold and afraid, he had to suppress an urge to shudder. “He worked harder than ever, and yet … he hasn’t shown any signs of his accident. Nor have I seen any disability payments go out to his family. In fact, he signed a form to saying he willingly refused the payments.”

“I see,” Dr. Gironde replied. “You think he was coerced?”

“I think he might have been.” Ms. Cummings replied. Her words were tumbling out of her now, like water in a waterfall. Like it was a relief to speak to someone who listened. “And the chlorine spill? Nothing was mentioned. Nothing on the records of it ever happening! All that I did notice was at the same time we unexpectedly upgraded out network hardware. I cleared out the old machines, but they were gone faster than you’d blink your eye! I asked Michael Cavanugh about it … the owner … and he told me not to worry about it. I mentioned the other items I had discovered and that I was concerned. He had an odd look but again said not to worry about it and that the end of month accounting would clear it all up.”

“Is that when the ‘accidents’ started that you mentioned to me on the phone?” the doctor asked.

“Yes,” she replied in a small voice. “I nearly died in one, if it hadn’t been for a local lawyer. She saved me. Encouraged me to get help.”

“A lawyer? Who? If she told you to get outside help, she obviously isn’t working with Cavanugh.”

“No. Her name is Rebecca DuPree.”

Dr. Gironde recognized the name. She was a mutant, and so is on her ‘watch’ list. He had considered approaching her for his team, but fate interfered. Before they could speak, Ms. DuPree fell victim to a deranged researcher from Oscorp who subjected her to ‘experimental’ drug treatments for her ‘mutant affliction’. Between her own efforts, and the efforts of the FBI, she managed to be free of the lunatic.

Afterward, Dr. Gironde kept his distance, since the young woman needed time to mentally heal. The last he understood, she had returned to school and gotten her law degree. She specialized in corporate misconduct cases and environmental cases, with interesting wins against the likes of LexCorp and others.

He nodded. “I’ve know of her. She’s helping you?”

“Yes. She’s convinced something is wrong at Cavanugh Construction. She’s convinced the company isn’t as ‘clean’ as it says it is and that they are siphoning money off that should be paid to disabled workers.” Ms. Cummings paused to get her breath. She visibly shook. Her recently experiences had taken their toll on her. “But, Ms. DuPree did say we were being stonewalled. She sent me to Dr. McCoy for help and to put me someplace safe. I’ve not dared call her, as I think Cavanugh has been trying to find out where I am and track down the both of us.” She fixed Dr. Gironde with another look. “Dr. McCoy sent me to you. He said you were the only one who could help.”

Dr. Gironde raised an eyebrow. I must speak with Henry about this love of drama he’s been enjoying lately. It’s a bit much. The doctor gave the nervous woman another smile. “Ms. Cummings, as dramatic as Dr. McCoy is, he is also correct. There is something I can do.”

“I … I don’t have much, but I can pay if its money you need,” she said desperately.

The doctor shook his head. “Ms. Cummings, there’s no need for your money. It sounds like Cavanugh Construction has had its own way for some time. In fact it sounds like they have been doing so at the expense of others, their workers, perhaps even the people they are ‘helping’.” He leaned forward, conspiratorially. “No, Ms. Cummings, what is needed now is for the people that work for me to provide you and Ms. DuPree with a bit of … leverage … against Cavanugh. Now, tell me about this decommissioned U.S. military base Cavanugh has been contracted to refurbish. It was used for chemical weapon research wasn’t it?”

While Theresa Cummings took a grateful drink of her cocoa before outlining the details about Cavanugh Construction’s current project, Dr. Gironde lifted the cup of coffee to his lips. He didn’t drink, as his mind was busy sending a telepathic message.

:: Thunderstrike, Medkit, Amethyst, and Calliope. If you’re not otherwise occupied, I need you four to assist a lawyer named Rebecca DuPree in dealing with a company called ‘Cavanugh Construction’. It seems they have been mishandling employee medical benefits and misleading people with chemical hazards. We’re going to teach them why this is a bad idea. You’ll need to meet with Ms. DuPree at your earliest convenience. She is in a small town called Bench Creek not far outside a decommissioned military base south of Blüdhaven. ::

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Deathless Henchmen of the Weaponer
A Tales of Justice Team Up!

Greetings True Believers!

We all know our heroes work hard to keep us all safe. Sometimes, they need a day off!

Today, they’re taking that time at the great New York City Comic Con!

However, all isn’t as it seems True Believers, for on the outside this looks like any ordinary comic convention. But inside … well lets just say, don’t judge a book by its cover!

Between those panels lurks a mad inventor, a genius bent on a disastrous plan that might doom us all! Will our heroes find out? Can they stop it in time?

I wish I could say, but … I’d hate to spoil the surprise!

Let’s peek in and see what they found!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Elektra
Mr. Glass
Amethyst
Heimdall
Psypher

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Meanwhile … in an abandoned eastern US town ...

Meanwhile … in an abandoned eastern US town, now the site of the Rehabilitation and Correction Facility known as “The Vault” …

A dust devil raced up behind the black SUV when it came to a stop on sun-baked asphalt. The parking lot had cracked from the weather, age and the rare use of energy ‘stun’ bolts. Despite that, it still surrounded the high walls of the correction facility to offer ample parking, and a clear ‘kill zone’.

Agent Phil Coulson stepped out of the vehicle. Agent Melinda May joined him a moment later. Both dressed in the customary ‘Safeguard business black’, however Agent Coulson’s was his usual dark suit while Agent May preferred her form-fitting combat armor.

May looked around her. “Phil, just where are we?”

Coulson shrugged in his usual, noncommittal way. “Oh, a little town a good bit south of New York and west of Metropolis. I don’t remember what its name was.” He glanced over at May across the hood of the SUV. “Town dried up several years back when the major businesses left. Because the town is so remote, the Cadmus Foundation came in and either paid to move the remaining residents or hire them. Then they put the Vault here right in the middle of the town. They keep some amenities open for the staff: Grocery stores, housing, gas stations and the like. But at this point, the Vault’s the thing here.”

Coulson watched the construction crews while they scrambled over the broken – if not shattered – walls of the high tech prison.

“Kinda like watching ants rebuild an ant-hill,” Agent Coulson remarked.

Agent May smirked. “In a way. Only if you assume the other ants inside are maladjusted sociopaths that can throw fireballs.”

Coulson nodded. “There is that.” He sighed. “Well, lets go hear the bad news.”
The two Agents crossed a burnt furrow in the ground that acted as a line of demarcation for the destruction. May’s watchful eyes darted around, while Coulson continued to scan the people and the damage. He pointed at the fifteen foot high, three foot thick titanium doors – which now sported a giant dent where they naturally would meet.

“Yep. A hammer,” Coulson remarked.

May frowned at the door, but couldn’t puzzle out the source of the remark. “What?” she asked.

Coulson smiled. It was a simple smile often found on a twelve year old boy who had just found his favorite comic book issue. It also appeared on Agent Phil Coulson when he tried to explain something about the ‘Meta-Powered Vigilante’ community. After all, he was a closet fan and they were his favorite ‘comic book’. This time words failed him.

“Ah, well. I just know a guy.” He replied with a shrug. “Blonde, biker guy. He’s got this hammer … an … well … he’s really good at throwing it.”

May glanced at the giant doors, the large dent, then back at Coulson. Her expression was cynical. She raised her eyebrows at him.

Coulson sighed. He shrugged. “It’s a thing he does. Y’know, when he’s not flying, or arguing with his brother. Ah … anyway … we’d better get moving.”

May shook her head and followed Coulson.


Deep inside the Vault, in cell block Gamma, Coulson stepped around fallen concrete sections of wall. Behind him, May maintained a short yet, discrete distance. Far enough behind that she could conceivably be part of the background, but close enough to back Coulson up in an emergency.

Next to a hole in the reinforced concrete, a tall man in an expensive blue suit turned to greet the agents.

“Agent … Coulson, yes? My office called to say you would be coming.” The man extended a hand in greeting.

Coulson shook the man’s hand briefly. “Good morning, Director Lyons. That’s good to know. I was kinda worried they couldn’t reach you here. I heard the phones might still be down.”
Director Lyons shrugged. “Earlier this morning, yes. There is still some interference, but nothing disruptive.”

“Good, good. Director Lyons, this is Agent Melinda May.” Coulson gestured towards Agent May. “Agent May, this is Jefferson Lyons, Director of the Cadmus Foundation.”

Agent May and Director Lyons shook hands.

“I’m the one with the egg on his face,” he quipped.

She gave the Director a polite nod and smile. “I wouldn’t go that far, Director. No one saw this coming.”

The director sighed. “I suppose not, hopefully in the future we’ll be better equipped. But enough about that and more about why the FBI sent you here.”

May gave Coulson a subtle look. He returned it with a nod to say ‘go with it’. Her only reply was to raise one eyebrow at him.

Director Lyons stepped over to a thin man wearing a loose jacket and jeans. He was deep in discussion with a pair of overall-clad technicians.

The director gestured to a holding cell that was missing both a door and one wall. “Specifically the former occupant of this cell. A winged mutant with a talent for inventions.”

Coulson folded his arms over his chest. “The Weaponer.” Coulson briefly glanced at May. “His real name is Kahlim Set. Brilliant guy, can make just about anything with technology.”
The director smiled wryly. “Unfortunately, most of what he usually made went to South American crime cartels and a few organized crime groups here in the States.”

May scrutinized the cell and the damage it sustained. “So this ‘Weaponer’ is missing. How many others are unaccounted for, Director?”

Director Lyons hesitated a moment to count. “Six I believe. Mr. Set is the worst of them. When I have the files, I’ll send those your way as well.”

“We’d appreciate that, Director. Is there any idea where Mr. Set was last seen?” Coulson asked.

“Yes,” Director Lyons replied. “Mr. Set was last reported heading North by North-East. But he’s on foot, so he couldn’t have gotten far.”

“Oh, I’m sure.” Coulson replied.

May finished her analysis of the damage. “Director, just how did Mr. Set get free?”

Before Director Lyons could reply, the thin man in the lightweight jacket and jeans turned around to face the group.

“I believe I can answer that. Dr. Sinjin Smythe, at your service.” The doctor shook hands with the agents.

“Dr. Smythe is on loan to us from Oscorp Industries,” Director Lyons explained. “He’s surveying the damage done with an eye towards upgrades and enhancements with some breakthroughs from Oscorp’s labs. It’ll be an improved scanning system and containment equipment. Hopefully, it will counter this from happening again.”

“Yes, indeed,” Dr. Smythe said. He gestured to the ruined wall. “This happened during the attempted break out. You heard about that, yes?”

Agent May nodded. She gave him a guarded reply. “Yes, we’ve been briefed on it.”

Dr. Smythe smiled. “Wonderful! Then unlike the other prisoners, this wreckage came from inside the cell. Not outside like all the others. Specifically, the biometric locking mechanism exploded on its own, effectively attacking the door locks and other cell barriers.”

Coulson frowned. “That doesn’t make sense … unless …”

“Precisely!” Dr. Smythe said with an exuberant gesture skyward. “From my calculations, Mr. Set was able to steal the technology he needed to rig a close range device to overload the biometric locks. Ingenious, really. His design – hasty though it was – is breathtaking. Well, in any case, once he had the device, it was child’s play for him to free himself, and those nearby.”

Coulson gave the doctor a wry smile. “That’s … great, doctor. Do you think you might could review Mr. Set’s work and give us a lead on where he might go?”

“Since he’s on the loose, given what he knows how to do, he’ll need equipment and supplies,” May offered.

Dr. Smythe smiled conspiratorially. “Ah, of course! And the equipment he needs would be very precise most likely. I’ll start right away!”

May replied with a brittle smile. “Great.”

Coulson shook hands with Dr. Smythe and Director Lyons. “Well, thank you both for your time, what with all the rebuilding going on. This gives us enough to work with. We’ll start by checking in with the state police and getting roadblocks set up. He won’t get far.”

“Perfect. I’ll be in touch with your office for updates.” Director Lyons said, before turning to speak in depth with Dr. Smythe about ‘stasis fields generators’.

Silently, Coulson nodded for May to follow him.


Outside, May came to a dead stop beside the SUV. She gave Coulson a hard look.

“He swiped a radio and whatever else a guard had on him and blew open a biometric lock?” May asked Coulson with a stunned voice. “From inside his cell? Phil, this guy is a serious problem.”

“You don’t know the half of it,” Coulson replied. He glanced around to make sure no one was within hearing range. “Ok, Mr. Set rigs up devices to take remote control of them. Really, its almost any technology he gets near.”

“Right, like the biometric lock,” May said, her expression sour. “Something tells me that’s not the fun part.”

Coulson smiled, only this one was wry. “True. His records state Mr. Set is a ‘mutant’. Specifically a ‘hawk mutant’, like what crops up in Canada all the time. Wings, flies … yes, flies … heightened agility, the whole bit. Truth is that’s not right. He’s not even human.”

May looked stunned. “What?”

“Yeah, I know. He’s something called a ‘Thanagarian’. From some planet called ‘Qward’. We don’t know a lot about this ‘Qward’ or ‘Thanagarians’ so we’re not all sure about what it means. Set isn’t real chatty, other than to be a total jerk.” Coulson shrugged. “Anyway, that means we’ve got an alien – a mean one with a bad attitude – on the loose and looking to cause a problem.”

“Such as in New York,” May added.

“Yep, heading for New York,” Coulson echoed.

May pulled open the passenger door to the SUV. “He’ll be looking for a tech expo, university lab or something. An electronics store probably won’t have what he needs. What about Stark? Does he have one of those self-glorifying expos going again?”

Coulson opened the driver’s side door. “Nah, he’s off bothering the British Parliament this week for something he wants. I don’t know of any big … conference …” Coulson’s voice trailed off to nothing.

Inside the SUV, May frowned at Coulson, then closed her door. “You thought of something, what is it?”

“It’s bad,” Coulson replied. He closed the driver door and started the SUV. “The only conference right now is the New York City Comic Con.”

“A … comic book convention …” May said incredulously.

Coulson’s reply was defensive. “Hey, now, there is streaming media there, really high tech broadcasting units. Robot wars guys show up, hacker groups show up. It’s a lot more than comic books.”

May stared quietly out the front window of the vehicle. Coulson navigated it out of the parking lot and onto the road North to New York.

“New York’s thick with vigilantes, some are actually pretty formidable. We’ll still need some agents on site there to contain this.”

Coulson smiled again with that ‘little boy with a comic book’ smile.

“I know just the ones.”

… to be continued in Tales of Justice Team Up: Deathless Henchmen of the Weaponer

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Burdened with a Great Purpose, Part III
A nice day for a SMASH and GRAB

Greetings True Believers!

The League of Shadows! GRAB! And can you believe, the artifacts were fake? Except for that one of course!

And what about the Brass Buddha restaurant? Mark Spector will be paying for that one!

But! The League of Shadows is getting away with Loki’s staff! According to Rough Cut Bartelli, GRAB has the remaining real artifacts! Speaking of GRAB, they escaped also, but in a different direction!

And what about the Golden Lotus? They held the auction in the first place, but … where are they now?

Looks like our heroes are hip deep in the kimchi this time! What will they do?

Let’s check in on them and see what they’ve decided before those artifacts fall into REALLY wrong hands!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Taki
Moon Knight
Statesman
Sahara
and LOKI!

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Meanwhile...
...on a rooftop not far from the Brass Buddha restaurant …

Meanwhile, on a rooftop not far from the Brass Buddha restaurant …

A lone figure separated from the shadows of rooftop air conditioning units. Lithe and graceful, Mercedes “Mercy” Graves moved like a black cat along the gravel roof. She made little sound while she shifted to a new sitting position. The woman reached out to adjust a control on the apparatus in front of her: a combination whisper microphone and sniper camera pointed at a restaurant three buildings away. She looked once more through the lens. However, she had already seen what she needed, this was a precaution just in case something unexpected happened. It was New York after all. Another moment slipped by, and she tapped a concealed bluetooth ear-piece.

South of New York, in Metropolis, a phone rang once.

“Colby Investments, how may I help you?” The receptionist was an even mix of pleasant, yet bored. It was as if this was the highlight of his day, aside from a cold cup of coffee.

Mercy voice brightened; her vapid tone a mismatch for the rest of her. “Hi, yeah, I need to check in on my, uhm, y’know, account? Could I speak with someone, please?”

“Certainly,” the young man replied. “A moment please.”

There was a click sound. Not a loud click, but one so soft that it resembled the usual tick of a poor cell phone connection.

“Connection secured,” the young man confirmed. He hung up as the call transferred.

“Yes?” A deeper voice asked.

Mercy cleared her throat. “The secondary meeting was at the Brass Buddha restaurant. James Bertelli arrived with two bodyguards, and identified the items as fakes. No id on the Chinese woman or her driver yet who brought the fakes to the meeting.”

“Interesting. Did the Golden Lotus present any problems? They do lay claim to that part of Chinatown.”

“No, none. League of Shadows, yes. They arrived after a local group of vigilantes that call themselves the Knight’s Vigilant did. GRAB also was here. The Knight’s Vigilant seemed interested in the items and Mr. Bertelli. The fight almost knocked the restaurant to the ground. Looks like SpectorCorp’s construction crew will be putting in some major overtime.”

“Indeed? And the staff, was it recovered?”

“I’ve eyes on the League of Shadow’s courier who has it.”

The man on the phone sounded pleased. “Wonderful. Detain the courier. Recover the main housing of the staff. Replace it if possible, or arrange a ‘technological mishap’ if not. Remember, it must appear as if the Golden Lotus took offense to the courier’s travel plans.”

Mercy looked through the sniper lens. A single figure had slipped away from the Brass Buddha restaurant and scaled a nearby building. Dressed in a loose, wrap around, hooded tunic and trousers, he almost blended in with the weathered Chinatown skyline. She recognized him as a League of Shadows’ assassin, or in this case, a courier. She granted herself a small, feral grin.

“Consider it done. What about the gem or crystal in the staff?”

“Unimportant to the goal, and most likely a perfect natural distraction to the local hero community. Oh, and Mercy?”

“Yes?”

“Excellent work so far. The jet will be waiting at the usual location when you’ve recovered the staff’s housing.”

Mercy’s feral grin widened. “Thank you, sir. I’ll have another report within the hour.”

The line clicked, and the call ended. Lex Luthor closed the leather case on his secured cell phone. He reached over and picked up a squat glass from atop a thin, wooden cabinet. Lex swirled the golden liquid in the glass tumbler before he took a small sip. After a moment’s thought, he walked back into his library.

Slade “Deathstroke” Wilson looked up from the blueprints sprawled over one table.

“Problems?” His rough voice grated over the word.

Lex blinked and glanced at the mercenary. His thoughts snapped back to the moment. “Ah, no. Just considering some information I’ve learned.” When Slade raised the eyebrow over his good eye, Lex Luthor nodded. “SpectorCorp and Knights Vigilant.”

“Ah.” Was Deathstroke’s initial reply. “The first is somewhat interesting, the second not as much.”

“Oh?” Lex set his glass tumbler down on the table before he folded his arms over his chest. “How so?”

Slade glanced down at the blueprints, then back over to Lex with a small shrug. “SpectorCorp is run by a guy I ran across a few times. Mark Spector. Mercenary, or at least was. Bad man in his own way. I think there might even be some outstanding warrants in parts of South America for him over accusations of ‘grave robbery’. It seems they take it personal if you walk out of their country with some of their ancient history you dig up. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter if you really are to blame. Anyway, word was he semi-retired and started his own company.”

“Understandable, and the Knights Vigilant?”

“Local New York vigilantes,” Slade said with a smirk. “They deal with street crime most of the time. Every so often they land something serious. Like that fiasco of a science expo Stark Enterprises put on. They were wrapped up in that.” Deathstroke shook his head. “I’m surprised they’ve not wound up in the hospital by now.”

Lex, however, did not smile. “I remember that expo. There was something about a scientist with some questionable approaches towards a ‘singularity generator’ or similar nonsense. What was his name? Cavendish?”

“That’s the one,” Slade replied.

“Wonderful. Once we’re done with our current project, I’d like for you to find him, and recover him from whatever hole he’s locked in. The usual retrieval fee of course. Remember, he’s only any good to me if he’s alive, and willing to freelance.”

Slade grinned. It bore a remarkable resemblance to a hungry, one-eyed wolf. “That’ll be no problem. I needed a weekend project anyway. Now, what about this?” He gestured to the blueprints.

Lex scowled at the diagrams. “Simple. They’ve taken a winged mutant. We take him back, get him medical attention, then send him on his way home.”

“And the aliens?”

“The Kryptonians are an invasive species,” Lex explained. “When a gardener finds an invasive plant in his garden, he pulls it out by the roots. So we pull this weed out by the roots. They need to learn, aliens have no place here. Earth is for humanity and all its rich variety from normal to mutant. We convince them to leave, or we ‘convince’ them.”

Slade’s chuckle was full of dark promise. “That works for me.”

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Burdened with a Great Purpose, Part II
Truth and Consequences

Greetings True Believers!

You made it! Great! Luckily, so did our heroes!

What could possibly be so important to AIM, Cobra and the Hammer Empire? After all, its only some old artifacts, right?

And why make so many duplicates? Sounds like someone was planning on double crossing someone … but who?

And what of Loki an the League of Shadows? We know the League hasn’t turned a new leaf, but has Loki? What is he up to? Is this another of his mysterious plans? Or does he really need help?

So many questions, so few answers … and so little time!

Lets peek in on our heroes and see what they’ve figured out so far!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Taki
Moon Knight
Statesman
Sahara

View
Burdened with a Great Purpose

Greetings True Believers!

New York! The city where anything could happen … and often does!

But we can’t waste a second sightseeing! At this very moment, our heroes – the Knights Vigilant – are in hot pursuit of the Disco Gang and their stolen Egyptian bangles!

That’s not all, two days before Star Labs in New York reported a theft of Egyptian artifacts as well! But those weren’t the Disco Boys or Disco Girls … but the Golden Lotus? What would Cobra and AIM find interesting about that?

It seems they’re all doing the sand dance!

And what has any of that got to do with Loki teleporting through Central Park as if a wolf is snapping at his heels?

Looks like were going to get some straight answers this time, True Believers! Lets see what happens!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Taki
Moon Knight
Statesman
Sahara

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The Fast and the Madman

Greetings True Believers!

Hi there True Believers! Our heroes really took aim on the bad guys that time! But Loki’s message, what could it mean?

I don’t know, but our heroes might … but where did they go?

Mr. Sinister jumped through a swirling mass of energy, a portal to … somewhere else!
That somewhere else is another place where things aren’t exactly as they seem. They are certainly not what I remember! It’s more dangerous, more ruthless, possibly one of the most dangerous places anyone would ever find themselves.

And THAT is where our heroes are!

So take a leap of faith with me True Believers! Lets see how our heroes will solve this one in what has to be one of the stranger adventures they’ve had!

This is Not Stan Lee saying … EXCELSIOR!

Starring

Amethyst
Thunderstrike
Elektra
Kitsune

… and a special mystery guest!

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