Heroes Legion: America's Most Wanted
Chapter 4: The Mysterious Arrival
31 Hours later…
Lunar City, Emerald Forest: October 16, 2014, 5:00 PM
Parked and still cloaked, the Battle Falcon lay in the middle of the massive woods surrounding the northern outskirts of Lunar City.
Thanks to the vehicle's slipstream drive device they got there in a flash, but then came the hard part.
Waiting for Marty Osmond to go off and do his job.
Although several of them were unconvinced that this was a good idea, or that Marty could even pull it off.
Shadow Knight remained convinced that his friend could accomplish his mission.
Velocity however tapped the armrest of his passenger seat chair impatiently, "It's been a day and a half! What the heck has he been doing with his time? I could have gone in and gotten the thing-a-magic in a flash!"
"And tipped off STRIPE to what we're doing and where we are?" Commander Hardcastle asked rhetorically, "I don't think so."
"Well making a quick getaway would be better than sitting around in this tank on wheels" Velocity said in exasperation, "if this were a movie, the audience would be dead asleep due to boredom!"
"Infiltrations take time" Atlanta said wisely.
"She's right" Robo-Warrior said in agreement, "besides, ultimately were not waiting for Marty to return. Cyber-29 went with him in the new spider drone upgrade that replaced the spinning disc drone from the original suit. Once Marty get's inside Kishi Enterprises, it's all on Cyber-29 to infiltrate and find the scrambler prototype and then teleport himself and it back here to us."
"I know the plan…" Velocity groaned, "I just think I could have done it faster. We could be back on the good list again a lot faster."
"You always have speed on the brain" Shadow Knight scoffed in annoyance at Velocity's impatience, "it's no wonder you run into things and get yourself in trouble."
"Why couldn't the Prometheus Cannon have taken away your sarcasm as well?" Velocity grumbled, "It's not my fault I'm bored out of my mind!"
"Well then think of something to entertain yourself, something to take your mind off of it all" Atlanta suggested.
Velocity thought, then shot her a knowing glance "I can think of something princess, you, me, a little tonsil hockey…"
He leaned over to kiss Atlanta, who was blushing at his brashness…but she stopped him in his tracks by putting her index finger on his lips.
"I said 'entertain yourself', not excite yourself. Zip those lips." Atlanta said in a warning tone.
"Good advice" Shadow Knight chortled.
Velocity shot him an icy glare.
That was when suddenly a flash of light exploded in the middle of the Battle-Falcon's interior, once the light had faded, the Heroes Legion and Commander Hardcastle found that there was now a small hand sized spider walker drone on the floor of the vehicle.
It was Cyber-29 in his newest drone form, having obviously teleported in with the drones built in Slipstream device.
He spoke to them "Hey everyone. Sorry to keep you waiting, you would not BELIVE how many vents are in that building, how many levels of security I had to break through just to get the scrambler."
"I can" Shadow Knight said in passing, "I've once broken into that place when it was occupied by The Brain's forces. It's like a maze in there."
"But you DID get the scrambler, right?" Raven Ducard asked.
"Right here" Cyber-29 confirmed, while opening his drone bodies compartment to release the device in question before the eyes of his companions.
"Huh" Commander Hardcastle said impressed, "The civilian did a good job."
"You should never doubt my friends" Shadow Knight said to her, "Marty did his job well as usual. Now it's our turn. He'll stay here and keep an eye on things in the city for me. I don't want to have STRIPE cause a repeat performance of what happened in Manhattan to happen here in Lunar City, so we better leave before they find us."
"So far so good…we got the scrambler" Ravager said in thought, "Now all we have to do is break into the HMS Damocles…. any chance we could just find a way to get Cyber-29 on board and do this same job."
"No" Commander Hardcastle shook her head, "We had a FEIND incursion happen on one of our older carriers in the past, we've upgraded since then. There is no way for Cyber-29 to even come withing fifty yards of an air vent without being fried."
"Any other ideas?" Techne asked, "there has to be a way for us to get onboard."
"Well…." Silicon said in thought, scratching his chin "We still have the Fallen Legion armor which has their own cloaking devices, and I know that SLEET always made sure to keep spare parts handy in their vehicles in case of breakdowns…. if I have enough here in the compartments, I could make cloaking tech for the rest of us who don't have power armor."
"Okay…liking it so far" Velocity said, he was just eager to get some action after being stuck in the Battle-Falcon for so long.
"But the HMS Damocles" Silicon asked towards Hardcastle, "it's designed to stay up in the air for long periods of time and be cloaked at all times to avoid detection from surveillance tech that isn't SLEET's. But the question is HOW does it stay up all the time? You are…were the director of SLEET, it was your ship, it wouldn't by chance have to meet a refuelling station or something of that nature, would it?"
"As a matter of fact, yes. Even more, when it's re-fuelling the reactor, the cloaking system and short-range detection systems are disengaged while the ship systems recharge. The only thing that stays online is the auxiliary reactor to keep the propulsion systems online and the ship in the air. It's a safety feature." Commander Hardcastle nodded, getting at what Silicon was getting at "I also know where the re-fuelling station is located, this month. It moves around the country at the end of every month to keep it from being found and sabotaged. Only commanders know it's location and have the codes to its location beacon. If I know the ship, my ship, it's scheduled to make a pass at it to charge the reactor system in just a few hours outside this state."
"Where is it located, the mountains?" Velocity asked.
"No, it's in mid-air" Commander Hardcastle answered.
"Well then how are we going to get on then?" Atlanta asked.
"We still have the Night Hawk; we could fly there" Raven Ducard suggested.
"We can't land on it with it though, the short-range scanners would detect an unauthorized SLEET vehicle landing onboard. But they shouldn't be able to pick up small, human sized cloaking fields. We'll have to do a Para jump." Commander Hardcastle said with determination.
"Jump?!" Velocity asked with a shocked expression on his face.
Around this time, in the backwoods of South Carolina.
Three redneck hunters were sitting around a campfire, drinking booze, and discussing matters.
They were mostly talking about how the country had been 'taken over' by the 'dogs of war' and that it was all seeming so Un-American.
At least until one of them pointed out that STRIPE was only after Metahuman freaks, and then things made sense.
The one with the grizzled beard and the equally tattered ballcap scoffed, "You know those STRIPE guys have put a bounty on those 'legion' guys for whoever finds or bags them? I say we should hunt those freaks down and collect the reward."
"Are you nuts Dale?" the chubby redneck asked in shock, "They have powers!"
"They aren't bulletproof though Bill" the third redneck said with a heavy Cajun accent, "dat's no lie. One good shot from a sniper riffle will do the trick fine."
"But you saw them on the news Buck" Bill pointed out, "They took on an entire army and everything. We wouldn't last a second."
"Then why don't we go ahead and form a little hunting party for lesser freaks, go around like STRIPE and hunt down other deviant blooded monsters dat look like regular folks? What do you think Dale?" Buck suggested.
"Now there is an idea" Dale said, intrigued by the idea "it's not like the fifth amendment is against us. It's downright patriotic to do whatever we can to defend ourselves and our country from these invaders."
"Does that include the Mexicans and the foreigners?" Buck asked.
"Especially them!" Dale said emphatically, "they are just as bad as the metahumans, always sneaking in, taking our jobs away, trying to take over the country from within, they are all alike."
"I agree, we should gather some of our friends and form our own Militia to defend our town from the freaks and foreigners wrecking our country. It's the only way to keep us from being killed or enslaved." Buck said in agreement.
"Plus, we'd be seen as heroes to South Carolina" Dale added, "we'd have all the beer and chicks we'd ever want."
"Beer and chicks?" the formerly reluctant Bill asked excitedly, "Whoo-ee! I'm in! What will we call ourselves?"
"How about the 'Free Militia', just to make it simple." Dale suggested.
That was when something unexpected happened in the skies above the three redneck hunters.
Flashes of light and what sounded like three thunderclaps accompanying appeared out of nowhere.
The three Rednecks thought at first it might have been a thunderstorm that crept up on them, or maybe it was something else, because there wasn't a cloud in the sky.
Even stranger, lightning flashes NEVER were the color of emerald, green.
They looked up to see that a crackling, bluish green…hole, or sphere of some kind was forming in the sky.
This was the source of the strange lightning flashes and sonic booms they had witnessed and heard a moment ago.
What weirded the three redneck hunters out even more was that it looked like the sky was "bending" itself around the strange sphere-shaped hole.
There was one last nearly blinding flash of light.
Then from out of the sphere, emerged a flying vehicle.
It looked like someone took 'The Batmobile' and fit it with spare parts from the DeLorean Time Machine from the 'Back to the Future' movies.
Once it exited, the sphere collapsed on itself and vanished entirely.
The three Redneck Hunters watched in stunned and fearful awe as the Flying Vehicle made a graceful turn in the sky….and then began heading straight for where they were standing in the backwoods.
"ALIENS!" Bill screamed, "RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!"
The three Redneck Hunters then hauled ass, and never looked back.
The flying machine landed smoothly in a VTOL style landing, the exhaust from its landing jets snuffing out the campfire those three had left unattended.
Once it had landed, the vehicle's left gullwing door opened…and out stepped a strange looking individual.
He wore a brown trench coat, and a pair of aviator goggles over his eyes.
He had wild and spikey hair that was the color of the first winter snow.
He also had lizard like claws and similarly lizard like scales all over his skin.
He lifted the goggles up off his eyes, revealing a pair of wide, glowing red lizard like eyes.
These eyes were looking around at the clearing he had landed his vehicle in, and for a moment, he looked in awe at the sight of the forest clearing.
"It worked…obviously it worked. But the sun shouldn't be there in the sky, it should be nighttime. I should be seeing stars!" He said to himself, before holding up his wrist to read his watch "Mariko-17?"
From out of the watch itself, a hologram of a woman's face appeared.
"Yes, Chameleon?" she responded.
"What's the date? Did we miss the mark?" Chameleon asked worriedly.
"Initial Time Jump is successful, this is the United States, and this is the right year and month" Mariko-17 confirmed, "But we are not in Alaska and we are also a few days too early from our targeted destination."
"Why? Is there something wrong with the machine?" Chameleon asked concerned.
"No, in our haste to escape I might have put us in a few days early instead of the day we wanted to land on. But there is something wrong with the stone, THANATOS did his work to it, it's damaged. I calculate that we only have so many time-jumps left before it shatters completely, after that, we're dead in the water."
"Then we better find the Heroes Legion before they are killed" Chameleon said with determination, "if we fail, then we'll just have to go with plan B."
"What's plan B?" Mariko-17 asked curiously.
"I don't know, I'm making this up as I go. But I made a promise to the Blacksmith that I would save his friends and I intend to keep that promise!" Chameleon answered, and after a moment of thought asked, "what do the records tell us about the Heroes Legion, what were they doing before the day they were killed?"
"At this time, they are busy dealing with the STRIPE conspiracy which hasn't yet fully risen to power yet, or fully seized control of SLEET or the government" Mariko-17 answered, "Beyond that, I don't know. The records of the event were lost and details from the survivors of the Day of Collapse were sketchy. I can't even tell you exactly WHERE we could even find them at this point in time."
"But we know they will eventually end up in Alaska in the next few days" Chameleon said in thought, "Then that's where we will have to go, and wait for them to show. That's where we will make the change."
"You really think we can change what has happened?" Mariko-17 wondered.
"We must!" Chameleon said with determination, "If we want to save the world, we need to save the Heroes Legion."