Originally posted 5/20/2008
The Shadow Lair
“I have been studying your power levels. You are getting stronger by the day. However, that doesn’t entitle you to waste our resources here without doing anything productive! You haven’t ever helped the Syndicate with anything more than grunt work.”
“Shut up! I believe I was still talking! Where was I...? Oh yes, my plan. Lucky for you, I have a plan that may make you more useful than a chimpanzee. I’ve set up cameras all around the Fusion Fortress, and I’ve been watching my counterpart’s power suit for quite some time, as well as some of the other Fusioneers’ powers. Emerald Fusion’s power suit and this other Fusioneer... Fade, I think his name is... his mutant powers are remarkably similar. If we can capture him and run our experiments, we may be able to find some way to negate Emerald’s power suit’s powers completely.”
“What would you like me to do, sir?”
“Well, I haven’t given your part of the plan much thought... I guess you should find some way to lure him into a trap? From what the videos show, he is very gullible, and a bit too selfless. You may be able to use that to your advantage.”
“I’ll figure out a way to trick him.”
“And if you don’t, I can always find someone else with half a brain to do it.”
A beautiful orange-haired woman in an Arachnos t-shirt and a navy blue skirt walks up to a parked truck. Around her, the ground is littered with flyers advertising a nightclub called ‘Pocket D”. The woman opens the truck’s doors and hops in. The street remains undisturbed.
Paragon City Airport
A plain-looking college kid flags down a cab. After loading his suitcases in the trunk, he gets in the back.
“Hey, how’ya doin’?” The cabbie asks.
“Not bad. Yourself?” The kid responds.
“Eh, can’t complain. Where ya wanna go?”
“My apartment building in Talos Island.”
“Ok, no problem bud.”
The orange-haired woman steps off the elevator leading to the Rogue Isles. After a short chat with the barkeeper on the blue-side, she walks casually to the elevator to Paragon City and leaves out the Talos Island entrance.
A warehouse on Peregrine Island
“With the Orb of Destiny, we will definitely be able to further our plans!” One Gunslinger shouts out.
“Shh... did you hear something?” The Sapper next to him whispers.
“Now what would Malta want with the Orb of Destiny?” A third voice asks.
Both Malta operatives turn to see the blue-haired blaster standing in the doorway. He flies over to the Sapper with his arms raised as the Gunslinger shouts
“It’s Fade! Get ‘em!”
Fade brings his hands down hard on the Sapper’s head, and he is knocked to the ground. As he is standing back up, Fade uses his mutant energy to punch the Sapper a second time, and he goes flying into a stack of crates. The Gunslinger starts shooting wildly at the hero, but is taken out by an Energy Blast to the chest.
“Now, where is that orb...” Fade says to himself as he checks the room. He listens closely, and hears a faint sound coming from a crate in the far corner. Sure enough, the Orb of Destiny is in there. Fade picks it up and leaves the warehouse.
“Yeah, this is the place,” the college kid tells the cabbie.
“Ok, that’ll be... thirty-seven bucks.” The cabbie turns around and sees the kid’s face. “Hey, ain’t you that superhero?”
“Nope, not him, whoever he is,” The kid responds.
“You sure?” The cabbie insists.
“Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’m not a superhero.”
“What’s your name, kid?” The cabbie asks.
“Will King, why?”
“Sounds awfully familiar...”
“Well, believe me, I’m no superhero. I’ve never even been in a fight before in my life.” Will says.
Will hands him the money and steps out of the cab. As he pulls his suitcases out of the trunk, a beautiful orange-haired woman talking on a cell phone catches his eye. Something looks off about her, but he can’t figure out what.
Fusion Fortress, Workshop
Emerald Fusion is working diligently on a glove when Purple Protector walks in. “Hey boss,” she says, “what’s up?”
“I’m just working on a new system for our uniforms.” Emerald says without taking his eyes off of his work.
“Cool, what does it do?”
“It’s kind of complicated to explain. Basically, it absorbs heat and gives Fusioneers a way to freeze enemies’ legs or their entire body in place. So far it isn’t working right, I can get it to freeze things, but I can’t get it to absorb the heat in the proper patterns to hold or immobilize an enemy.”
“Huh, cool. Well, I’m going on patrol, I’ll seeya later.” Purple Protector says as she starts to fly away.
“Take care.” Emerald says, still concentrating on his work.
Fade steps out of the dark warehouse into the bright sun. “Man, I’m starving...” He looks down at his watch and sees that it’s about noon. “Maybe I can go get some free food at Up ‘N’ Away Burger...” Fade ponders. “Well, it’s worth a shot.”
People on the ground see a figure in green with a bright blue hair zip across the sky and land on the ferry to Talos Island.
“Well, are you sure you didn’t miss him?” The voice on the phone says.
“Have you ever seen this guy’s hairdo?” The woman responds.
“Good point. I’m just not sure how long the battery on that hologram projector will last. I had to make it smaller to fit on the ring you’re wearing.”
“What happens if it dies?”
“Gee, thanks Plate.” The woman snaps the phone shut and puts it in her handbag. She sees a guy in a green jumpsuit with bright blue hair on the ferry pulling into the harbor. Good, she thinks to herself, I can get out of goody-two-shoes land soon. As the ferry pulls in, the woman runs over to the Cyan Crusader.
“Are you Fade?” She asks nervously.
“Yeah, how can I help?” Fade replies.
“I saw a bunch of thugs harassing some old lady. I haven’t seen any heroes around here. You’ve got to help her!” She exclaims.
“Sure, where was she?”
“Over that way.” The woman points towards an alley next to an apartment building.
Fade flies off to the alley, and the woman follows.
Will King’s apartment, Talos Island
Will sets all his stuff in the middle of the living room floor. He doesn’t feel like putting his stuff away yet, so he walks to his fridge and gets a Red Beast. As he turns to close the refrigerator door, he sees a blue-haired superhero land in the alleyway.
“Cool, isn’t that Fade?” He says to himself as he walks to the window.
The hero looks around for something, and catches a fireball in the back. The attack catches him off-guard, and he falls on the ground unconscious. The orange-haired woman from before hovers gracefully to the body and checks to make sure the hero really is down for the count. She pulls off her ring, and her skin turns from its previous pale color into a bright orange similar to her hair color. She pulls a black and purple device from her handbag and presses a button, and the only two inhabitants of the alley are teleported away.
“I knew something was off about her!” Will says as he runs down the apartment building’s stairs.
An alleyway in Talos Island
Will runs to where he had seen the superhero’s body a moment before and stomps out a piece of trash that was ignited by the fireball. On the ground, Will sees a green and gold device that looks like it belonged to the hero he just saw. He picks it up, and the screen flickers on and a large green and white automaton is visible.
“Hey Fade. Whoa, what did you do to your hair?!” The robot exclaims.
“Uhh, I’m not your friend Fade. I just saw your friend get attacked by a villain just now.”
“What?! Do you know who it was?”
“No, but it was an orange-skinned woman who threw a fireball at him,” Will says.
“I have no idea who that is. We’re going to need to teleport you in so we can get some more information from you.” The robot says as he begins typing something at the computer he is sitting at.
“Teleport me?!” Will manages to ask right before he vanishes from the spot.
Fusion Fortress, Entrance
Will falls on the ground after being teleported into the entrance of the Fortress. “Ugh... I think I’m going to be sick...” he mumbles.
“That happens the first few times. Welcome to the Fusion Fortress. My name is-”
Will immediately stands up. “Wow, Emerald Fusion! I’ve seen you and your group on the news, you guys are amazing!”
“Thanks. We need to take you into the Med bay to make sure you’re actually telling the truth... no offense,” Emerald Fusion says as he leads Will to the infirmary. When they arrive, they see a blond-haired man and a large automaton waiting for them.
“Hey, I’m Lt. Fusion, we spoke on the comm. This is Ajax, our resident robot and sentient supercomputer,” the blond guy says.
“According to the description you gave, we have matched the villain you saw to 12 possible profiles in the Villain Threat Database. With your cooperation, we can narrow it down even further,” The robot called Ajax says.
“Sure, however I can help,” Will says as he sits on the lab bench. “She was about this tall, thin build, with bright orange hair and skin, and she threw fire and flew.”
“Does this look familiar?” Ajax asks as he displays a hologram of the villain Red Ravager.
“Yeah, that’s definitely her!” Will says.
“According to his scans,” Lt. Fusion reads off of a computer screen, “he is completely sane, and he’s telling us the truth.”
“Thanks for the info,” Emerald says. He opens his FFC and announces, “Available Fusioneers, report immediately to the Teleport bay!” Emerald and Lt. make their way to the Teleport Bay.
“So, Ajax, do you need me for anything else?” Will says.
“Well,” Ajax responds, “I have been scanning your DNA and brain waves since you arrived, and I have some interesting information for you.”
Fusion Fortress, Teleport Bay
Razreshat, Umber, Nanostorm, Fire Helix, Distortress and Kyle Al’Mordu are waiting in the Teleport Bay when Emerald Fusion and Lt. Fusion enter. “I have selected you all today,” Emerald starts, “for a very important mission. A few minutes ago, Fade was captured by agents of Shadow Syndicate. We don’t know why, but it can’t be good. We need to get him back!”
“Do we know where they took him?” Nanostorm asks.
“We know they didn’t take him to their main lair. The residual energies of the teleport suggest they went to a place in Founders’ Falls.” Emerald responds.
“Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s go crack some heads!” Raz says as he steps onto the telepad leading to Founders’ Falls. The others also step onto the pad, and are whisked away to the Paragon City neighborhood.
Abandoned warehouse in Founders’ Falls
“It’s about time you did something right!” Shadow Fusion’s voice booms from the giant computer screen taking up most of the warehouse room’s wall. “However, you aren’t finished yet. While we do care about studying his powers, capturing Fade was only the bait in the trap, and you are the detonator. I have rigged the warehouse you are in with firebombs. When the goody goodies get here, and I’m sure it will be soon, I want you to set them off. It should at least provide us with enough time to move Fade to the security of our Lair, and with any luck it might take out a few of their members.”
“Of course, sir.” Red responds.
“Ok, we have confirmation of their entrance to the warehouse. Detonate the firebombs, we will pull you out in 60 seconds.”
Fusion Force, Infirmary
“Whoa whoa whoa. You’re saying I’m an alternate dimension version of Fade? The superhero?” Will asks.
“Yes,” Ajax clarifies, “we know Fade is from another dimension, and I believe you are the one from this dimension.”
“That’s... interesting...” Will says as he sits on the counter. “What does this mean about me?”
“If you mean mutant powers, it is beyond highly unlikely that you will have any mutant powers from birth if they haven’t shown themselves yet. It isn’t impossible that you would get powers from another source, such as a scientific procedure, or a magical entity.”
“Well, that answers one of my many questions. I should have specified- what happens to me if something happens to him?”
“According to what we have experienced in the past with dimensional counterparts, absolutely nothing will happen to you. You two are completely separate people. You don’t have to worry about getting hurt if he does.”
“And what if-“
BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP BOOP!
“What the hell was that?” Will asks, startled by the alarm.
“Our sensors picked up a fire in Founders’ Falls. Seems like a warehouse exploded..." Ajax states as he remotely accesses the FF Mainframe. "That is the warehouse the rescue team teleported to. We should probably send someone to investigate... This isn’t good. Everyone on our roster is busy, and will be for some time.”
“Is there anything I can do to help?” Will asks.
“No, I don’t- well, actually...”
Abandoned warehouse in Founders’ Falls
Distortress looks around the burning warehouse. She sees Nanostorm unconscious on the ground next to her. Razreshat is pinned under a giant burning beam, and can’t get the proper leverage to lift it. Emerald Fusion, Umber, and Kyle Al’Mordu are nowhere to be found. They are probably buried under burning rubble, or just somewhere in the shadows. Fire is everywhere. The air is filled with smoke, which makes it hard to see more than 10 feet away, and it is nearly impossible to breathe.
A beam falls out of place, and speeds towards the ground. At the last second, Distortress notices the motionless body of Fire Helix right under the falling beam. Acting on impulse, she uses all the power she can muster to push the beam off of its path to narrowly miss Fire Helix. As unconsciousness creeps onto her, she notices a figure in a green jumpsuit run over to Razreshat and freeze the burning beam pinning him to the ground, and then she passes out.
Fusion Force, Infirmary
Kyle wakes up in the infirmary, along with most of the other members of the rescue team, Ajax, and Will King. “What happened in there?” He manages to get out.
Ajax turns to him and says, “Red Ravager was instructed to detonate firebombs right before she teleported away, but you got there too early for her plans. She detonated the firebombs when you entered the warehouse. It completely destroyed the warehouse, and she barely managed to get out. She forgot something in the warehouse, too.” Fade waves from a bed across from Kyle’s.
“But how did we get out? I tried my medicom teleporter, but there must have been a jamming device in there.” Umber says from a nearby bed.
“Will here ‘borrowed’ the freezing device Em was working on, and we teleported him in just in time. He dug you out of the rubble and put out the fire. He saved you all.” Ajax explains.
“I can’t believe we fell for that... looking back on it, it was so obviously a trap.” Lt. complains from the other side of the infirmary.
“Hindsight is 20/20...” Raz says from the bed next to him.
Emerald Fusion walks into the infirmary. “How are we all doing?” he inquires.
“They are all going to be fine in a couple of hours, unless we bring in an empath, in which case they will be fine almost instantly.” Ajax responds. “Luckily, Fade wasn’t hurt too much by the sneak attack in Talos Island, and he is already good to go. He’s just too lazy to get up.” Fade shrugs, and Lt and Raz laugh at him.
“As for you, Will, we are greatly appreciative of the assistance. Some of us would probably have died if it wasn’t for you. As thanks, we would like to give you the devices you used, and we would also like to invite you to join Fusion Force.” Emerald says as he shakes Will’s hand.
“Well, of course I’ll join! Thanks!” Will exclaims. “So, I get to be a superhero?”
“Yeah. You’ll probably want to come up with an alternate name, for the obvious reasons.”
“I know how it works; I’ve read enough comic books. Protect your family and all that. Well, I don’t really have any family to protect, but I’m definitely going to come up with some kind of cool name, like Mister Ice or Freezeblink or something.”
“Freezeblink is a pretty cool name,” Distortress says.
“Well Freezeblink, from all of us, welcome to Fusion Force.”