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Harbinger
Harbinger
Attribution
Character(s)
Secondary Cast
Foe (s)
Locations
Events Seen

Harbingers are a new breed of man with extraordinary powers of the mind whose abilities lie dormant until they emerge in occasional bursts of high stress.

Toyo Harada, the world’s most powerful Harbinger, uses his Harbinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides an environment where people with special abilities and talents can achieve their full potential, to train other Harbingers to carry out his agenda of world domination.

When Pete Stanchek, a psionic of extraordinary power and potential discovers Harada’s plot, he and Kris Hathaway, his girlfriend, recruit Faith Herbert, a plucky fangirl with the power of flight, Charlene Dupré, a fiery Southern Bell, and John Torkelson, a goliath who seeks to get even with those that wrong him, into a Harbinger Resistance, a loose organization of renegades.

The Beginning

As the most powerful Harbinger on Earth and founder of the Harbinger Foundation, Toyo Harada drew forth the dormant abilities of other Harbingers that helped him promote his vision of world betterment. When he discovered the existence of teenager Pete Stanchek, the only Harbinger who could rival his own Godlike powers, Toyo sought to destroy him lest he destroyed the world.

Redemption and Reward

On September 1990, aboard a jet from the Harbinger Foundation, a non-profit organization that provided an environment where people with special abilities and talents could achieve their potential, Toyo Harada, the world's most powerful Harbinger, tried to kill Doctor Solar, an energy being that had erased his world and come close to killing his. As Toyo and Solar’s struggle set the jet ablaze, the flames reached the cockpit and the pilot lost control of the aircraft, which fell into a sharp decline toward the Rocky Mountains. Solar proved to be stronger than Toyo imagined and escaped his assault, and as he accused him of being a cold–blooded killer, the jet crashed.

Hours later, David “Dusty” Berman, a wizened old impotent hermit, stumbled across the wreck and wanted to radio it in, but then one of his dogs found Toyo. As Dusty checked Toyo for injuries, Toyo awoke and said that he had failed and passed out again. Before the storm worsened, Dusty tied Harada to one of the jet’s broken doors, and as he dragged him to his cabin, he said that he had never left a hurt man behind before and he was not about to start.

Meanwhile, in the Harbinger Foundation’s facility in Dallas, after an air-traffic control operator assured Takashi Kuramoto, a high-ranking executive, and Ms. Ando, the director of research, that the jet’s disappearance was not due to interference from the storm, Ms. Ando ordered him to get a fix on its position and send a rescue team as soon as the storm passed.

Hours later in Dusty’s cabin, Toyo regained consciousness and asked Dusty if anyone had come for him, but Dusty told him that, with the mother of all storms brewing outside, God himself could not get up the mountain. When Dusty told Toyo that his leg was broken and that it was going to hurt when he set it in place, Toyo coldly told him to do what he had and that pain was something he knew how to deal with. Though he did not scream, Toyo passed out when Dusty set his leg.

Though Dusty urged him to eat, Toyo turned his food away and said that there was no point. As Dusty walked away, Toyo exclaimed that he could not read his mind and Dusty expressed relief in a mocking tone. Upset, Toyo warned Dusty not to mock him, but then Dusty told him that he was just trying to cheer him up. When Toyo remarked that he did not cheer up, Dusty defiantly told him that, while he knew that he was hurt, he was acting as if he had never had to depend on anyone before and that it should not make him so uncomfortable.

When Dusty asked about the symbol on the jet door, Toyo told him that it was the emblem of his Harbinger Foundation, which found special people and provided a place for them to fit in, then, when Dusty said that he could have used it when he was younger, Toyo added that they helped exceptional people achieve their full potential. Confused, Dusty asked Toyo what he did, and Toyo replied that, at times, he had done questionable and horrible things.

Toyo told Dusty that, when he was six, he broke his great-grandmother’s vase with a thought, which upset his mother and father, Ishaguro Harada, who did not believe him and were tired of his breaking things and abnormal knack to answer questions before they asked them. Soon, Toyo said, his parents took him to a doctor who said he was the healthiest little boy he had ever examined and told his parents there was nothing physically wrong with him and that a few hugs would not hurt him. That night, Toyo continued, while his mother fumed that the doctor had no idea what they had to live with and told his father that she feared him and, sometimes, wished he had never been born, he stood outside their door and heard them. Tearfully, Toyo blew open the bedroom door and killed his parents before they killed him just because he was different.

That evening, while the storm raged outside the cabin, Toyo mused that his parents were foolish and only saw him as a monster and a freak, but as he glanced over at an empty plate next to him, he dismissed it as having happened eons earlier when he was very young. While Dusty cleaned his shotgun on an armchair next to the fireplace, he told Toyo that his story reminded him of when his stepfather beat him up and the many times he wished he would die, until one day he keeled over stone cold. As Dusty laughed at the notion that he killed his stepfather, Toyo told him that he felt a child’s rage and that he could not have killed him.

While Dusty placed a pelt on his lap, he told Toyo that he moved to the mountains after the yuppies started to rape the planet worse than their parents did and he grew disillusioned with the world’s leaders that decided the fate of mankind. As Toyo mused that the thinking of world leaders was chaotic, and that even nature made random choices that resulted in the extinction of most species that ever lived, he told Dusty he believed that his foundation could control the planet’s destiny. As Dusty laughed at the notion that anyone could control destiny, he asked Toyo if he really thought he could change things and Toyo compared himself to Moses leading his people to the promised land, but then Dusty reminded him that he never made it there.

When Dusty asked Toyo who took care of him and how he learned so much he told him that it was an added benefit of his mental abilities, which reached their full potential after the death of parents. As Toyo recalled the days that followed the murder of his parents, he said that, as he metamorphosed into something grander and learned very quickly, he realized that there was no one who could teach him or for him to emulate, and, as he quickly discovered that he was truly alone, he had to hasten his learning process.

Toyo told Dusty how, while he was in college, he grasped the essential knowledge of any professor without the encumbrance of sitting in class, and how, as his plan developed and it became clear that money was the quickest road to power, the petty, conflicting manipulations on the stock market trading floor worked for his benefit. For a telepath, Toyo said, it was like shooting fish in a barrel, but he knew he needed to find new ideas to accompany his accumulating wealth. Though NASA represented the quintessential strivings of mankind, Toyo said that, early on, the roots of their failures were too obvious and that he refused to allow himself to make the same mistakes.

The next day when Toyo awoke, he saw Dusty cheating on solitaire and told him that, for all his talk about wanting to change the world, he cheated at silly card games and would rather waste his time bemoaning his fate than doing something about it. When Dusty told him that his accusation was uncalled-for considering that he saved his life, Toyo interrupted him and sarcastically asked him if he should thank him profusely and only tell him what he wanted to hear. As Toyo’s rant rattled the dogs, Dusty asked him what the real story was and told him that all his talk about special powers sounded made up, but then Toyo levitated his coffee cup and told him not to ever doubt him.

Coldly, Toyo told Dusty about the early days of his corporation, which began a year after his parents’ death when he bribed Mr. Lawrence, the interim CEO of his father’s corporation, to help him take over the company from the board of directors. Within weeks, Toyo said, he was powerful enough to discipline anyone that failed him with deadly results, like the murder of three executives that lost the company three million dollars because they decided not to follow his explicit directions. Despite his age, Toyo continued, he told the board of directors that he would run the company his way and that the unfortunate accidents they suffered should not concern them. Though the foundation had been a huge financial success, Toyo explained, it was not enough, and from that day forward, the focus of the organization changed to find other gifted individuals like him. While some executives questioned Toyo’s mandate, others warned them not to speak against Toyo. The foundation soon established itself as a non-profit organization that helped people with special abilities and talents by providing them with an environment where they could achieve their potential, and Toyo knew he could find and develop the others who were different and they would assist him in return.

That evening, while Dusty sew the pelt into a coat, he asked Toyo if he had been able to find others like him to accomplish his goals. Mournfully, Toyo replied that he thought he had and that he believed that nothing could stand in his way, yet there he lied defeated, and, in the end, all the planning, working, and unspeakable things he had done were all for naught. While Dusty looked over his wounds and remarked that they were healing quickly and cleanly, he told Toyo that he was a remarkable man, but that despite the return of his powers, he could see that he was still at a distinct disadvantage. When Toyo asked Dusty to elaborate, he told him that he could bet him that, throughout his whole life, he had never lost before and experienced the agony of defeat and feeling of angst that everybody else felt a thousand times by the age of ten. As strange as it sounded, Toyo told Dusty that he understood what he meant.

When Dusty asked him to tell him about the events that led up to the crash, Toyo told him about Doctor Solar, a being who thought himself to be a God that, somehow, became an energy form and followed a phone signal beam to his private jet. Troubled, Toyo told Dusty that when he peered into Solar’s mind he could tell that he was deeply disturbed, and that he was a lunatic with the power to destroy the world whose presence could threaten decades of planning on his part, but, in the end, he was too powerful even for his abilities.

Pensive, Dusty told Toyo that losing one battle did not mean he had lost the war and that he had to keep fighting or otherwise he would become a wizened old impotent hermit like him and his dream would end. Though Dusty asked Toyo to let him go with him because perhaps he was his second chance, Toyo called him by his name for the first time and told him that he had to walk his path alone.

When Dusty gave him the pelt coat he made to help him when they trekked down the mountain, Toyo said that he could sense a helicopter from the foundation flying toward the cabin. As they shook hands, Dusty told Toyo that he was the closest thing he ever had to a friend and to remember to be true to himself and not let anything get in the way of his goals, then he assured him that he would always keep his secret. As Toyo’s right eye gleamed, Dusty dropped dead on the floor, and as his dogs licked the blood that poured out of his head, Toyo said that he knew he could trust him to keep his secret and profusely apologized for killing him.

After the Eggbreakers carried him into the helicopter, Toyo ordered them to obliterate the cabin and not leave a trace of it. As the chopper returned to base, the pilots lamented killing Dusty’s dogs, while the moral of Aesop’s fable, the Viper and the Farmer, hung in the air.

Children Of The Eight–Day

As the most powerful Harbinger on Earth and founder of the Harbinger Foundation, Toyo Harada drew forth the dormant abilities of other Harbingers that helped him promote his vision of world betterment. When he discovered the existence of teenager Pete Stanchek, the only Harbinger who could rival his own Godlike powers, Toyo sought to destroy him lest he destroyed the world.

The Beginning

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On February 17th 1991, Pete Stanchek and his best friend, Joe Irons, made their way across the school parking lot when Joe asked Pete if he received an answer to a letter he wrote to the Harbinger Foundation. As Pete replied that he was still waiting and expressed doubts about their legitimacy, Joe stopped to tie his shoe and asked him if he wanted to go down to the dump and practice his powers. While he gazed across a fence at Kris Hathaway, the most popular girl in school, Pete told Joe that he was going home. With a grin, Joe patted Pete and told him that guys like them could never get girls like Kris, but, as he walked away, Pete said that he could.

Three days later while Pete and Mrs. Stanchek, his mother, had an argument, Rachel Hopson, a Harbinger Foundation recruiter, came over to their house and asked him to go for a walk. During their stroll, Rachel told Pete that they were glad he wrote them because the foundation was set up specifically to help people like him, then she offered to pick him up the next day when he got out of school to take him to their office in Pittsburgh. Excitedly, Pete accepted Rachel’s invitation. When Pete returned home, his mother angrily asked him where he went. With a gleam in his eye, Pete told his mother to shut up, and, to his surprise, she became quiet and vacuumed the room.

The next day at school, Joe jokingly accused Pete of staring at Kris through the entire class and dared him to ask her out, when then Pete told him that he was just was about to do and walked over to her. When Pete asked Kris to go out with him on Saturday she intended to reject his invitation, but then his eye gleamed and, after she slurred for a moment, she told him that she would love to go out with him. Much to her friend's wonderment, Kris then took Pete's hand in hers and they walked away together, while Joe expressed his disbelief. After school, Rachel picked Pete up in a limo. Oblivious of Joe’s calls, Pete got in and met Eel and Weasel, two members of the Eggbreakers, a group of Harbingers who acted as Toyo Harada’s enforcers.

Later that afternoon in an interrogation room in the Harbinger complex in Pittsburgh, a Harbinger executive told Pete that they wanted him to feel at home, and that their meeting was just to learn a little about him and answer any questions he might have about the foundation. Somberly, the executive told Pete that they referred to those who were different like him as Harbingers, and that it was their goal to help him better understand and control his talents as there was much good Harbingers could accomplish and they wanted to make the world a better place. When the executive asked him to tell him about himself, Pete reiterated what he wrote in his letter.

From behind a two-way mirror, Toyo Harada and Todd Bevins, a foundation chief officer, listened in on the interrogation. When Todd told Toyo that they could handle processing Pete and there was no need for him to be there, Toyo said that, unlike other Harbingers, whose abilities remained dormant until he drew them forth, Pete’s had manifested themselves independently and that he was needed there because only he could help him. Toyo then ordered Todd to return to the foundation’s office in Atlanta while he stayed behind. Later that day, Toyo introduced himself to Pete and told him that, as a Harbinger like him, he had experienced much of what he was feeling at that point and offered to help him if he would let them. Keenly, Pete accepted Toyo’s offer.

Two months later in Pete’s house, Joe told him that he had become a jerk and warned him that the Harbinger people were bad news, but Pete accused him of being jealous and lonely because he had a life and a girlfriend. As Pete walked out of the house to wait for Rachel, Eel, and Weasel, Joe went after him and accused him of doing whatever they said and forcing Kris to be his girlfriend. When Joe pulled Pete back, Weasel shoved him and left him crying on the ground, while Rachel got Pete in the car and they left.

That day, Pete was unable to focus while he attempted to lift a car with his mind, so Toyo took control and set it down. Ruefully, Pete said that he had to leave to think, and even though Toyo told him that he reminded him of how confused he felt after he lost his parents at a young age and his powers made him feel like an outcast and urged him to trust him, Pete said that he needed some time alone. After Pete left, Toyo told Rachel that Pete had doubts about them, and that since he was too powerful for them to let go, they had to deal with him.

That night at Kris’ house, Pete lamented that he let the foundation turn him into a jerk and believed in Toyo, but then Kris seductively moved towards him and told him not to think about them and focus on her. As Pete slid his hand inside Kris’ blouse, he realized that his attitude was not the foundation’s fault and released her from his control. Though Pete apologized for using his powers to influence her, Kris angrily told him that what he had done was evil and that she never wanted to see him again. When Pete went to Joe’s house looking for absolution, he found his best friend dead on the floor. In tears, Pete ran to Pittsburgh and apologetically asked Toyo to forgive him. Soothingly, Toyo assured Pete that they would help him.

Two weeks later, while they watched Pete from an observation room, Toyo told Rachel that Pete was still suspicious and he feared her killing his friend had made him highly unstable. When Rachel suggested he alter Pete’s mind, Toyo told her he could not risk tampering with him to that extent due to his power. Though it saddened him, Toyo ordered Rachel to kill Pete. Two nights later, Pete called Kris and, after he apologized to her, he told her that he felt very confused and she was the only person he could talk with. Forgivingly, Kris urged Pete to relax and assured him that she would be at the Harbinger complex soon. Unbeknownst to them, Toyo and Rachel heard the call.

While Pete waited for Kris, Rachel came to his room and, discreetly, tried to shoot him in the back of the head. Meanwhile, as Kris made her way across a darken stretch of highway, Eel and Weasel ambushed her and tried to kill her. Soon as Rachel pulled the trigger, Pete’s subconscious mind released a massive energy wave that destroyed the building and killed thirty two people, including her. Shortly, Pete rescued Kris from Eel and Weasel and they ran away together as far away as they could.

The next morning, Ms. Ando informed Toyo that the explosion at the Harbinger Complex killed thirty-two people, including Rachel and three Eggbreakers, and left over two hundred injured. Troubled, Toyo told Ando to be thankful the event occurred at two am, when the building was relatively empty. When Ando accused Pete of being a monster, Toyo told her that Pete was just a confused boy with the power to destroy the world, and, as he explained that he was in Rachel’s head during the encounter, he said that Pete was completely unaware when Rachel shot him in the back of the head.

Confused, Ando wondered how Pete survived and Toyo told her that Pete’s power saved him and allowed him to incapacitate Eel and Weasel and escape with his girlfriend, though he doubted that he consciously remembered what actually happened. Worried, Ando asked Toyo what they were going to do since Pete’s subconscious mind would prevent him from dying and he told that they had to probe Pete and test him, and then, when they found a weakness, they would kill him.

Children of The Eight-Day

On June 2nd 1991 near the Washington national airport in the district of Columbia, Pete Stanchek startled his girlfriend, Kris Hathaway, when he levitated her car after he noticed that two men on a WJJQ News chopper were staring at them. Worried that they knew who they were, Pete confronted the reporters and asked them who sent them, and when they refused to tell him, he forced the helicopter to land. Moments later, as the reporters told Pete that a guy who claimed that he was with the FBI paid them to spot cars to catch drug dealers, Kris spotted Eel, Lump, and Weasel coming down the road.

While Weasel knocked Pete off his feet and pinned him down, Eel warned Kris to stay by her car or she would electrocute her. As Kris angrily asked Eel why she could not just leave them alone, she asked her how she could have a relationship with Pete and if he was forcing her to be with him. After Pete swatted Weasel off, Lump picked him up with one hand and almost tore his head off his shoulders, but then Pete, regrettably, yanked on his optic nerves and blinded him. Though Kris told her to back off, Eel warned Pete not to use his powers against her, but then he moved the car so she could not use it as a conductor and slammed Lump with it. After Kris punched Eel in the stomach and ran towards Pete, Eel released an electric bolt that ignited the gasoline from the car’s gas tank and set off an explosion. As a wave of heat slammed into Kris, Pete moved them real quick and they escaped, while the Eggbreakers suffered the blunt of the blast.

Hours later, Kris and Pete landed outside the Moonlight Motel in Richmond, and, though it scared them when he did what she called his Jedi mind trick, Pete forced the clerk to give them a room after he refused to due to their age so Kris would have a place to rest. While Kris griped about her ragged hair in the bathroom and offered to wash their clothes on the sink, Pete fell asleep on the bed.

The next morning, when Pete found an advertisement from the Harbinger Foundation like the one he answered while they had breakfast, Kris said that Eel, Lump, and Weasel were their age, and that if they had met them at a dance they might have liked them. Certain that the foundation convinced other kids like them that they were on a mission for goodness and right, Pete and Kris decided to intercept the letters people wrote to it to save them from falling for their indoctrination. That night, when Pete and Kris broke into the post office, Kris expressed her hesitation at committing a federal offense, but even though Pete told her that if she did not want to get involved she could leave, she promised that she would never desert him. After they found the foundation’s PO box and took the letters inside it, Pete and Kris fled just as the police arrived. At the hotel, Kris found a sincere letter from Faith Herbert and they decided to visit her.

The next day, when Kris knocked on Faith’s door, Faith’s mother, Martha Herbert invited them in and said that Faith would be delighted to see them. As Faith came downstairs, Pete asked her if they could speak in private and she reluctantly invited them to her room. When Faith asked her what they wanted, Kris showed her the letter, which mortified Faith, who thought they wanted her to beg them not to show it to everyone in school. As Faith lashed out, Pete rose off the floor, and told her that he wrote a letter like hers and that the foundation had killed his best friend and tried to kill him. When Faith thought that the foundation was a school for mutants, Pete warned her that if she could do what she claimed they would try to use her as well. Though Faith insisted that she could fly, when Pete looked into her mind he discovered that she was normal, so he told her that they just wanted to warn her about Harbinger and then he and Kris left.

As Pete and Kris could not stop giggling at Faith’s wild claims and pop culture-induced images of grandeur in her mind, Faith suddenly flew out of her window and started them. As Faith cheerily floated in midair and asked if she could help them since people like them had to stay together, Pete pondered that he had triggered something in her mind when he looked inside it. After Faith changed into a bright blue costume and packed a trunk with her stuff, she, Pete, and Kris flew to the Moonlight Motel, where the police were waiting for them.

That night, while Pete, Kris, and Faith hid in an abandoned van in Eberhardt's Auto Salvage, Faith asked Pete and Kris if they could huddle to keep warm, but Kris refused and told Pete that if he wanted to sleep with Faith they could have each other. When Faith accused Kris of being jealous because she was just an ordinary human and Kris called Faith a cow, Pete made them lay down beside him, but he then immediately released them from his control and apologized. While Kris recoiled, upset that Pete had controlled her again, and Faith complained that her head throbbed, Pete said that he did the kind of thing that Toyo Harada would have done. As Kris asked Pete if he was forcing her to be his lover and he said that he was not, she asked him if he knew that what he did was evil and warned him that if he ever did it again she would kill him. Determined, Kris told Pete and Faith that they were going to find more people like them and stick together as a team, and, someday, become an army and pay everyone they owe. After she openly declared war against Harada and everyone else who played God, Kris relented and allowed Faith to huddle besides them so they could go to sleep.

The next day, when Pete walked into the foundation’s office in Atlanta, he met Charlene Dupré, a fiery Southern Bell who was on her way to meet with the foundation executives. Concerned for her safety, Pete told Charlene what he knew about the foundation. While Charlene waited for him in the elevator, Pete forcibly broke into the office’s file room, when then Todd Bevins startled him. Calmly, Todd told Pete that people like him were special and that he faced unusual pressures that made it seem like everyone was against him, then he urged him to look at the crimes he committed, like the murder of his best friend, and offered to help him before it was too late. When Todd warned Pete that they were not his enemy unless he made them so, it sickened Pete, who swatted him aside and left with a bag full of files. Though Todd told him that he was not as all-powerful as he thought, warned him that they had ways to neutralize him, and urged him to sit down to talk with him before he headed for disaster, Pete ignored him and left with Charlene.

At the abandoned Holmes-Standard Textile Mill, Pete introduced Charlene to Faith and Kris, and while Kris disliked her due to her overt sexuality, Faith eagerly asked her what she could do, and, at Pete’s behest, she set herself ablaze to demonstrate her control over fire. When Charlene charred her clothes, Faith found her something to wear in her trunk while Kris chastised Pete for not helping her stop. Moments later, as they read the files Pete brought over, Kris found a folder with thousands of names marked investigated/negative, except for Charlene’s, which was marked Class A, when, then, Faith found the file of a guy named John Torkelson marked investigated/inconclusive -- Class D and suggested they go find him. While Pete said that it would be a waste of time because if he were special the foundation would have found out, Kris thought that they should check it out, and when Pete insisted that it might be a long shot or a trap, she walked out and accused him of only wanting to check out other girls. Relenting, Pete agreed that they should all go.

Hours later Pete and the others found John at his work in Sonny's Garage, and while at first he sent them away, when he heard that three of them were girls he turned his attention towards them. When Pete asked John if he wrote a letter to the Harbinger Foundation, he told him to leave before he beat him up, and while Pete dragged Kris and Faith away with him, Charlene stayed to flirt with John. As Pete rushed off, he told Kris and Faith that he looked inside John’s mind long enough to know that he was illiterate and someone else had written the letter to Harbinger about him, but then Kris told him that she figured that out just by looking at him and accused him of not looking in his mind. Just then, Charlene and John drove up to them in his mustang, and while the girls left with them, Pete stayed to sulk.

That night while they cooked dinner, Faith mused that her mother might be out combing the country side for her and asked Charlene if her parents would worry if she did not return home, but she told her that her mother was surprised when she did. When Faith thanked John for buying them dinner, he told her that she had to eat because she was a growing blimp and Charlene laughed at the put down. After dinner, Charlene seductively told John to take her for a ride, but he only had eyes for Kris and pushed her aside. When John walked over to Kris and asked her if she missed Pete, she told him that she could tell that her macho attitude was a cover up to hide the shame he felt over his ignorance. Mockingly, John told Kris that she did not fool him either and he knew that she was not an ice queen, then he told her that he was going to sleep in the car and invited her to join him so maybe they could both learn something.

When Kris stood up to go after John, Charlene told her that he belonged to her and pulled her hair down. As Kris slapped her, Charlene lit her hands and accused her of going after John because Pete was making eyes at her. As Charlene attacked Kris, Pete pushed them apart and ended their fight. When Pete accused John of working for the foundation and he denied it, he forced himself into his mind to learn the truth and realized that he was wrong. Enraged, John lifted his car over his head and threatened to kill Pete, but Faith made him realize what he was doing and he set it down. Rueful, Pete apologized to John for acting like a kid and told him that the things he saw in his mind of what people did to him when he was kid were unspeakable.

Suddenly, Pete jerked back and fell to his knees with his hands on his head while Li Yan, the Eggbreaker code–named Thumper, leapt out of a chopper and landed besides them. As Kris urged John to help them protect Pete and shielded him, Faith tried to shake off the Foundation Troopers as they repelled down from the chopper, but she was too slow and they shot Kris in the back. When she realized that there were too many troopers, Faith boarded the chopper to stop them at the source. Meanwhile, Li Yan punched John straight through his mustang, and when she grabbed a boulder to disable him, Charlene set her ablaze and saved him. Inside the chopper, Faith rendered a Harbinger who suppressed Pete’s abilities unconscious and Pete recovered his senses.

After Pete dispatched the troopers and destroyed the helicopter, Todd contacted him through a trooper’s radio and warned him that he had crossed the rubicon and declared war against the foundation. Before he ended the transmission, Todd urged Pet to realize that they had the power to destroy him and told him that if he cared about his friends he would not drag them down with him. Dismayed, Pete loomed over Kris’ body and had no idea of what to do, while John wanted to take care of Kris and then rip the troopers’ throats out. While neither Charlene nor Faith wanted to stay behind, the latter said that being a hero was not as she thought it would.

The Root of All Evil

On the early hours of June 6th 1991, Pete Stanchek, Faith Herbert, Charlene Dupré, and John Torkelson barged into the Saint James Hospital ER and demanded medical assistance for Kris Hathaway. While Pete demanded to see a doctor and John followed him with Kris in his arms, Faith urged the nurse to make an exception for superheroes and Charlene asked for ice for her eye. When Doctor Lawrence Heyward walked into the ER, Pete threatened to rip his lungs out unless he helped Kris, but he dared him to do it and warned him that he did not work well under death threats. When John told him that Kris was barely breathing, Pete went inside Lawrence’s head to make him treat her, but then realized that his pushing him could screw up his skills and pulled out as fast as he went in, which left him with a headache. In the hope that he could help Kris, Pete gently ripped the bullets out of her back while the others watched in dread, and after he was done, Lawrence could see that she was in shock and offered to help her long as they behaved.

Tense hours later, Lawrence told Pete that Kris’ condition had stabilized and she would be fine. When Lawrence asked him how he did what he did, Pete offered to return someday to pay their bill and tell him. Despite the doctor’s objection, Pete lifted Kris as gently as he could and left before the people that shot her would find them, but soon as they came out of the hospital, a group of snipers took a shot at them. While Pete shielded them, Faith and John tried to steal a car and Lawrence tossed them his keys and told them to be careful with it. To Lawrence’s amazement, Pete levitated the vehicle and it flew out of sight. Shortly, while the kids debated where to eat dinner, Lawrence called them on his car phone and told Pete to take a map to his summer house out of the glove box and meet him there.

The next morning when Kris woke up, Faith eagerly told her they won their first battle and defeated the troopers that tried to kill Pete, who urged her to relax and told Kris that Dr. Heyward fixed her and he would tell her everything that happened after she rested. As Kris passed out from exhaustion and urged him to keep them together and not let them fall apart, Pete promised her that they would stay together forever. While Kris slept, Lawrence told the kids to make themselves at home and asked to speak with Pete in private.

While Lawrence took Pete out to the veranda, Faith asked John and Charlene if they wanted to play Super Mario Land, but John mockingly told her to go advertise tires and hurt her feelings. As Faith walked out, Charlene offered to fetch John another beer and threw herself at him, but he coldly told her that he could have her anytime and then swilled his beer. Out in the veranda, Lawrence asked Pete why they called him Sting and he told him that he got his name from the way it hurt people when he forced his way into their heads. When Lawrence failed to understand what he meant, Pete forced him to pick up an ashtray and abruptly pulled out of his head and gave him a headache. When Lawrence asked Pete if he made the car fly, Pete made the water in the pool float in mid air to demonstrate his power.

That night, Faith donned her costume and returned to the Holmes-Standard Textile Mill to retrieve her trunk. As Faith flew into the abandoned mill and soliloquized about their victory against the troopers, she pondered that their team needed a name, then, as she stood at the edge of the demolished structure, she noticed that her trunk, John’s car, and the wrecked chopper had vanished as if someone removed every trace that there ever was a battle. Suddenly, two troopers grabbed Faith from behind, but then Pete pushed them off her with his mind. When Pete told her that they were supposed to be a team and she should not go off on her own without telling anybody, Faith told him that they were not much of a team since they did not even have a name and she was the only one who wore a costume. Just then, a trooper tossed a grenade at Pete and Faith, but Pete pushed it back against him and contained the explosion. Though they refused to tell him anything, Pete pulled out all the information he could from the troopers’ minds.

After Pete and Faith dropped the troopers into a pile of sludge, they followed an address he gleamed from their mind to a specialty clothing store. While they checked out the place, the owner rushed in with a gun and warned them to put their hands up or else he would shoot, but Pete slammed him against a pile of boxes and disarmed him. After Pete discovered that the owner’s gun was a water pistol and apologized for slamming him, Faith found a box full of Harbinger uniforms and an invoice with the address to the world headquarters of Eight-Day Inc., a front office of the Harbinger Foundation. When the store owner asked them if they worked for Eight-Day Inc, Pete and Faith pretended that they did, and got him to give them three boxes full of custom-made uniforms of different sizes and then they left.

Two days later, while Faith keenly told Charlene and John that she could alter the uniforms to make them look more like a team, Pete suggested that they raid Eight-Day Inc., but John insulted him and Charlene refused. Confused, Pete told John that he thought he wanted to help him get the guys who shot Kris, but John told him that he was not going to go look for trouble with him watching his back. Just then, Kris told John that she could see through him and could tell that, while he had Superman’s body, he was a lonely boy who never had anyone on his side. She then told him that he liked being with them, but he could not believe anyone could accept him, so he tested them to prove that they did not care, but they were already the closest thing he had to a family and the reason he was against the raid was that he did not want them to get hurt. As she came into the living room, Kris told John that families could support him, but they could also let him down, that they could be there for him but he could also lose them. As she told John that he had to be brave, Kris told him that if he was one of them he was going on the raid wearing one of the costumes.

Very early the next morning, Pete flew the others to the worldwide headquarters of Eight-Day Inc. in the World Trade Center in New York City aboard Dr. Heyward’s car. On their way there, John asked Pete what they were after, and as he told him that they were after anything they could get, he reminded them that Dr. Heyward said they could only say with him until Kris was better. While Faith savored their flying into battle, Charlene worried that she would get beaten up like in all her other fights. While John and Charlene waited in the car, Pete and Faith went inside the building and found the Eight-Day Inc. office on the 47th floor.

Shortly, the four of them took the elevator up to the office, and while they looked around, Pete wondered how they came up with the name Eight-Day and Charlene told him that it came from the Bible in reference to God’s creation of man. Just then, Faith uncovered a hidden elevator behind a bookcase and they decided to take it down to the bottom floor. On their way down, Faith hoped that they would find a secret sub-basement crawling with armed guards and deadly super-foes where Harbinger trained people like them and kept a danger room where they honed their powers to combat readiness, and her zeal made Charlene very nervous.

When the doors opened, Pete and the others came upon a large group of troopers who were expecting them. As Pete ordered a retreat, the others lost consciousness and collapsed on the floor. From above an observation deck, Toyo Harada told Pete that he put his friends to sleep and would try not to harm them, while his power and irrationality endangered the world. After he urged Pete to make it easy on himself and let the first shot kill him, Toyo ordered the troopers to open fire. As Pete blocked the bullet with his mind, Rock, Sparrow, Swallow, and Weasel came into the open and attacked him. While Pete used Charlene to disarm the troopers and kept four Eggbreakers back with his telekinesis, he drenched John and Faith with water from a pool to wake them up and they defeated the Eggbreakers.

After he dispatched the troopers, Pete challenged Toyo to fight him one-on-one without his troops, but then Weasel distracted him and Toyo escaped. While Faith expressed her disbelief at their victory, Pete apologized to Charlene for pushing his way and thanked her for saving them. Shortly, after the four resistance fighters boarded the elevator to escape, they came out into a penthouse office, where, while Pete brought the car up to them, Faith found a wall safe and John broke it open. As they flew back to the Heyward summer house with countless wads of cash, Pete and the others serenaded Kris over with phone with We’re In The Money.

One Small Step…

On July 6th 1991 at the Heyward summer house, Pete Stanchek urged the others to hurry so they would not miss their plane, then he asked if anyone had seen Kris Hathaway or John Torkelson, and Faith Herbert offered to go find them. When Faith found Kris and John in the game room, Kris awkwardly asked her to wait for them upstairs to hide that she was teaching John how to read, but gave her the wrong impression of what they were doing. Meanwhile, Pete found Charlene while she covered the black eye that Kris gave her with makeup and urged her to hurry. When Charlene told Pete to leave without her since nobody would miss her, he assured her that she was part of the team, but she said that she was not and that they did not even ask her if she wanted to go, they just assumed she would tag along with John Torkelson, who did not care about her either. Worried for her, Pete told Charlene that she had to take care of herself and that being one of them made her special, then, when he told her that he thought she was beautiful, she warned him not to let Kris hear him or she would pound both her eyes shut. When Kris and John came upstairs from the game room and Charlene joked that they disappeared for a long time, Kris told her that they just lost track of time.

Though Lawrence offered to take them to the airport, Pete flew them there in a car that he bought them with the money they liberated from the Harbinger Foundation. During their flight to Seattle in first class, as Kris showed Pete an article about ESP and Faith told Charlene that John traded seats with her, unaware that he did not want to sit with her, a stewardess asked John to put his cigarette out and obliquely made fun of him when he eat his meal with a shrimp fork. Upset, John accused the stewardess of trying to make him feel ignorant, but then Kris told him that people like here were ignorant and asked him if he cared about what the stewardess thought or what she did. While John did not say anything, Pete looked at them suspiciously.

That evening in the Lake Union Mall, Pete and the others met Ax, an obnoxious self-professed computer wizard with a natural affinity for electronics who Faith called after they found his bulletin board notice to help them break into locked-up disks they took from the foundation. When Ax took them to his father’s company, he impressed them when he figured out the keypad code and let them in. When Pete told Kris to give Ax the disks, he charged them $500 USD and Kris told him that having a talent did not made up for his being a lowlife, but then he told her that to get over in the world she had to either give it or take it the hard way.

An hour later, as Ax was unable to break into the disks’ encryption, he said that he would only try once more and he was keeping the money. When Kris asked Ax why they called him that and he said it was because he played his guitar as if he was wired into it, she and Pete agreed he had the symptoms of someone with Harbinger potential. Though Pete wanted to unlock Ax’s ability so he could crack the disks, Kris worried that if he turned on his power he might do terrible things with it. Pensively, Pete thought that Ax’s introversion, which reminded him of how he felt before he popped, as if something was wrong, was what made him so annoying, so he decided to rummage around his head to figure out if he was one of them or not.

After Pete popped him, Ax could hear a buzzing from the computer, while the disks told him how to open them. When Ax opened a file labeled extraterrestrial landing sites, Kris thought it was a joke, while Pete believed it was a code word, and Faith suggested they go check out one of the addresses. When John asked what they were going to do with Ax, Faith said he was dangerous and could tap into NORAD and start World War III like in War Games, while Kris asked Pete if he could un-pop him and he told her that he could make him forget what happened. Pleadingly, Ax asked Pete not to take his ability away as he had spent his entire life looking at the world through a keyhole and now the doors were wide open. While Faith thought they could harness Ax’s power for good and Pete believed he deserved a chance, Kris and John were certain he was insane. When Pete asked Charlene what she thought, she did not want to voice her opinion, but he coerced her into voting and she said that everyone deserved a chance.

That night, Pete and the others followed a map to a clearing by a waterfall in the Olympic National Park, and while they looked around before it got dark, an electronic hum that came from a tree told Ax that the stump concealed a landing beacon inside. At Ax’s suggestion, the group stayed the night to wait for something to land, unaware that the Spider Aliens, a race of blood-thirsty extraterrestrial aliens, were watching them. After Faith returned with burgers from McDonald’s and they ate dinner, John wondered how long they were going to wait and Ax accused him of being afraid of the dark. While Faith told Ax that he did not have to be a jerk all the time, he suddenly got the feeling that something high-tech was coming their way right before a Spider Might opened fire on them.

After the smoke cleared, Pete and the others laid safely behind a shield he raised when Ax warned them. While Kris urged a frightened Charlene to help and Faith dodged the aliens’ lasers and yelled for help, Pete covered John and he destroyed the tank. When the aliens ran away, Ax shot one of them in the back with his own gun much to the other’s chagrin. Coldly, Ax said that no one would miss the alien, then he pushed a button on a unit in the alien’s belt that had been screaming at him that activated a subterranean hangar, and as the earth trembled, a Spider Alien Transport Vessel emerged from the ground. As they made their way inside the ship, Kris asked Pete if he really thought that it came from another planet, and while Faith was certain that it did, Pete suggested that they leave before the aliens came back. Frightened, Charlene agreed with Pete and begged John to leave with her, but Kris told her to stop being a wuss. Enthralled with the alien technology, Ax activated the ship’s engines, and as the vessel shot up into space, the auto-pilot took them on a pre-programmed course. Though John threatened to rip Ax’s throat out unless he took them down, he told him there was nothing he could do.

Two hours and thirty-six minutes later, the vessel headed to the dark side of the moon and Kris saw the Spider Alien Moonbase glistening in the sun. While Pete dreaded the trouble Ax got them in, John threatened to make him pay for taking them there and Charlene kept her eyes closed throughout. While Faith wondered if a long-dead civilization lived under the surface and Ax could barely contain his excitement, a door opened and a docking clamp pulled the ship inside. As they walked off the ship, Charlene told Pete that she was terrified and wanted to go home, but he told her that, while he could not promise everything would be all right, they were a team and took care of each other. When the door to the base opened, Pete suggested that they look for a way to open the docking bay so Ax could fly them out, but then they all lost consciousness and collapsed. While they kids were out cold, a group of Spider Soldiers took them to an exam funnel while Rexo, a Vietnam veteran the aliens transformed into a bionic enforcer, grabbed Ax and said that he might be useful.

Five months later, Ax woke up Faith from stasis and told her that he made a deal with the aliens to help them build a ship big enough to get them out of their solar system and they agreed to let him have her to keep him company. Shocked, Faith rejected Ax and awoke Pete, and even though Ax tried to stop her, Pete rendered him unconscious. Moments later, after Pete and Faith woke up the others, they left Ax cold on the floor while they went to look for their ship, but when they turned a corner, they ran across Rexo and the Spider Soldiers, who blocked their path to the ship. While Charlene cowered in fear, John beat up the soldiers and Pete disabled Rexo’s aerial bomb, but Rexo realized that Kris was the resistance’s leader due to the way she ordered Pete around and snared her in his tendrils and rendered her unconscious. When Faith tried to rescue Kris, Rexo captured her as well, then he rendered Pete unconscious too when the strain of the battle proved too much for him to handle. While the soldiers swarmed over him and bit him, John shouted for Charlene to help him, but she cowered in fear and could not move. Enraged, John called her a slut right before he lost consciousness and Rexo snared him.

Though Rexo offered to let him kill Pete and the others, Ax told him to let the aliens eat them, especially Charlene, who reminded him of all the girls who thought they were too good for him but let any jock or preppy have their way with them. Pleadingly, Charlene told Ax that she wanted him to go with them and that she honestly thought he was cute. As she told him that she could have had her if he wanted to, Charlene threw herself at Ax’s feet and said that she could make him feel good. As Rexo ordered the soldiers to drag her and the others away to have their blood drained, Charlene burnt Ax’s testicles and stood up to confront Rexo, who ordered the soldiers to kill her.

Where The Love Light Gleams…

Inside the Spider Alien moonbase on the far side of the moon, Charlene Dupré lit herself ablaze and warned Rexo to stay away from him, but he called her a slut and threatened to skewer her for what she did to Ax and carve all her goodies off before he killed her. Frightened, Charlene warned Rexo that she would burn him, but he mockingly said that all the heat she was making would cook her friends before it did him major damage and then slapped with a blade that cut her face and told her that he hated girls and had no use for them since he was 90% bionic. While Rexo joked that Charlene made him a favor when she burnt Ax and made him more like him and now they had a lot more in common, she softened the floor beneath him and fell through it.

While she freed the others from the tendrils, Charlene hoped she had not burned them before she figured on making the heat go into the floor. Worried that they were not safe, Pete said that they had to find the ship that brought them to the moon and ordered John to bring Ax with them. Shortly, Pete and the others boarded the vessel, and, as John warned Ax to take them home or he would take his face off, he activated the autopilot. When Ax fell on his knees in excruciating pain, Pete wondered if his injuries were severe and Kris, Faith, and Charlene looked at them and gave him first aid. As the ship neared Earth’s atmosphere, Pete worried that the aliens were waiting for them where they found the ship, so he carried it the rest of the way home, a feat that impressed Faith. On their way back to Savannah, John tossed Ax off the ship near Waycross, Georgia, and though Pete thought that it was kind of nasty to drop him in the middle of nowhere when he was hurt, the others told him that he was a traitor and no better than Rexo.

After Pete found Dr. Heyward’s house, he hid the ship beneath the water in case they ever needed it. As they flew inside the house, Faith lamented that, without Ax’s electronic power, they could not fly the ship, while Kris wondered why it was so cold outside. As they went in and Pete noted that the house looked closed for winter even though it was July, Faith shivered and said that it did not feel like July. While Kris found some blankets, John told Charlene to get him a beer, but she refused and told him to get it himself because she was busy starting a fire. When Faith turned the television on to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, an ad for the Parisian that announced there were only three days left until Christmas made her realize the aliens kept them in suspended animation before they escaped and they had been gone for over five months. Dismayed, Faith told Pete that she missed her Senior year, but he did not know what to say other than to apologize. As Kris noted that they were all exhausted, she suggested that they figure what to do the next morning.

That night, Pete told Kris that things had gotten crazy, and that, while it was not bad enough that they had to stop the Harbinger Foundation from taking over the world, they now had to worry about aliens. Certain that they could handle it, Pete reiterated to Kris that all they had to do was stick together like she always said, and told her that with John’s muscles, Faith’s flying, Charlene’s heat, and his head they were unbeatable. As Pete told Kris that as long as he had her he could face anything and pulled her close to him, she turned her back to him and told him that she was going to miss her graduation as well and did not feel like making love to him.

The next morning, Pete found Charlene in the kitchen and asked her where everybody else was. As Charlene told Pete that Faith went home and she was leaving too, she gave him a note Faith left him and told him that she learned a lesson on the moon and had been lint on John’s sleeve long enough and she had more to her than being trash, but he ignored her and asked her where Kris was. Minutes later by the pool, Pete witnessed as John kissed Kris while she taught him how to read and the sight of them together angered him. When Pete asked Kris how far she went with John and told her that she might as well tell him since he could read her mind if he wanted, she told him that when John kissed her she wanted more and he did not own her. Angered, Kris told Pete that she did not need to read minds to know he had the hots for Charlene ever since she showed up and he turned into a drooling boob every time she wriggled hers, and that for all his power he was still an immature brat. As Kris stormed off, she told Pete that the Harbinger Foundation might be right about him and he was like a child with a loaded gun, and she hoped he would grow up for the world’s sake.

Meanwhile in Seattle, Ax retrieved the foundation’s disks and the money that the resistance paid him from a locker in a Greyhound Bus Terminal and returned home to pick up some clothes and his dog, Boba Fett. An hour later, Ax returned to his father’s company to see if there was anything in the disks he could use to get to the resistance before the Harbinger Foundation did, and, moments later, he found a list of three Harbinger Foundation training program expellees he thought would help him get even.

Two days later in the Dupré house in Abbeville, Alabama, Charlene begged Mrs. Dupré, her pious mother to look at her because there was something she wanted to tell her, but she refused to divert her gaze from an altar to Jesus in her living room. Pleadingly, Charlene told her mother that she knew she never wanted her because all she was to her was proof she committed a sin seventeen years earlier, and reiterated that, when she was little, she needed her badly and loved her very much, but she never had room for nothing in her life except her meetings and the Lord. Hurt, Charlene told her mother that she tried to hurt her back and done everything she could not abide to make her stop thinking about Heaven and think about her a little, but she had been to the Heavens and looked down on the world and everything seemed so small. As Charlene said that she had realized that it did not seem like anything could be worth hurting somebody over, she told her mother that, all of a sudden, she decided to start caring about herself and wanted her to know that she was not going to hurt herself or try to hurt her anymore. When Charlene told her mother that she did not have to love her back and she wanted her to know that she still loved her, her mother turned to her and stuttered her name.

Meanwhile, in the Herbert house in Lynchburg, Virginia, Faith stared out the window while her mother told her that she could not stop looking at her and thought she would never see her again. When her father, Henry Herbert, said she could open up one of her presents just because they were so glad to have her back, Faith excitingly leapt off the coach and grabbed the biggest box she saw under the tree. While her father said that he and her mother were pleased when they found her gift, and her mother told her that she knew she was going to love it, Faith opened the box and was greatly disappointed to find a Batman action figure and a Batmobile toy vehicle.

Minutes later and hundreds of miles away in Decatur, Georgia, John stood outside Sonny’s Garage gazing at the boarded up windows when Joe Bob drove passed him and asked him where he had been. Concerned, John asked Joe Bob what happened to Sonny Mur and he told him that Sonny died asking for him, confused over why he left after he raised him from a child. Saddened, John barely heeded Joe Bob when he said that they put his stuff in the shanty after Sonny made them promise not to touch anything in case he came back for it and that he did not know why he cared. After Joe Bob left, John locked himself in the shanty to mourn his foster father.

An hour later in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania, Kris returned to her parents’ house and saw her mother and little brother celebrating Christmas. Though she wanted to go in, Kris only stayed a few minutes and then walked over to Coverdale, where she saw two men in a van watching the Stanchek house, which reminded her of what Pete was up against and what they had been through together.

Three days later, while Pete came inside the summer house with bags of groceries he bought to make up for all the stuff they had used, he found Kris waiting for him in the kitchen. When Kris noticed a couple of school books on a table, Pete told her that she made him think that, while he could not graduate, it did not mean that he could not learn and he got a part time job in town. When Pete asked Kris why she came back and she told her what she saw, he said that a lot of it was his fault and apologized as they embraced.

That night, Ax led Donald W. Tietz, a sociopath with sadistic tendencies, Eugen Mulholand, an extremely hostile anti-social recluse, and Frank C. Treese a paranoid- schizophrenic, to the shanty where John lived. While Ax wanted to check if John had any company, Eugene refused and they agreed that any friend of John was as good as dead. After Eugen opened fire on the shanty with his bazooka and John came running out, Ax warned them that it was going to take a long time to kill him. As Ax and the others piled on John, he tackled down Eugene, but then Donald skewered his heart with an electromagnetic javelin that inflicted him with great pain. When John swatted Donald out of his way and ran into the woods to escape, Ax ordered the others to go after him. Exhausted, John stopped outside a Christmas tree lot to rest, but when Ax and the others caught up with him, Donald and Eugen continued their assault.

Simultaneously, while Pete and Kris prepared for dinner, Faith and Charlene knocked on the door and Faith joked that two and a half of the world’s mightiest super heroines were in their doorstep and asked them if they wanted them back or if she had to sit on them. When Kris asked what made them change their minds, Faith said that it was hard to get excited about pretend super-heroes once she had battled aliens on the moon, while Charlene said that, once she straightened out what she had to take care of, she could not think of a better place she would rather be. As Kris wished that John would come back as well and Faith shouted that he would be back because he needed them, Charlene noted that he was too stubborn to admit that, but then Pete suggested that they go find him themselves.

An hour later, Pete and the others discovered John’s burnt shanty and found Ax and the rogue Harbingers in the empty tree lot. As Kris wondered who the men with Ax were and Faith feared that if they knocked John down they were tough, Pete knocked Ax out just as he was about to hit John with a hammer. While Donald skewered Pete with his electromagnetic javelins, Charlene leapt at Frank, who erected a force-wall between them, Eugen opened fire on Faith with a machine gun, and Boba Fett attacked Kris. Though Charlene warned Frank that there was somebody behind him, he ignored her and failed to stop Faith from using him as a shield to deflect Eugen’s bullets and then toss him at him to knock them out. Meanwhile, though Donald impaled him, Pete refused to stay down and knocked him out when he threatened to put a javelin through his brain. As Boba Fett almost tore her throat out, Kris knocked him off her with a rock, but then Ax pushed her against the ground and threatened to kill her with his hammer. When Ax sarcastically threatened to molest Kris with his hammer, John pulled her off her and she kicked him in the testicles. With Pete’s help, the resistance flew away from the lot and left Ax and his rogues in the ground while the police arrived on the scene.

The next morning, as Faith passed out Tylenol, ace bandages, and mercurochrome as if they were Christmas gifts, Kris wished everyone a merry Christmas. When Pete noted that Christmas with his friends was the best he ever had, Charlene asked God to bless them all.

King’s Crossing

On March 1st 1992 outside the Chrysler Building in New York City, the Harbinger Resistance gathered to discuss their discovery that Toyo Harada hired Karl Breznoff, the mercenary called Sniper, to attack Aric Dacia, a 5th Century Visigoth lost in the modern age who possessed the Manowar Class Armor, the most powerful weapon in the universe. When Faith Herbert told the others that Toyo arranged to meet Aric in New Orleans, Pete Stanchek proclaimed that Toyo’s presence in the States was their opportunity to stop him before he became a dictator. When John Torkelson reminded the others that Toyo played for keeps, Kris Hathaway told Pete that he had to kill Toyo and reminded him that he was the only one of them who could take him on. While Faith worried Aric might try to stop them, Pete told her they would politely ask him to step aside because they were the good guys.

That night in New Orleans’ French Quarter, the renegades watched as Toyo took Aric and Ken Clarkson, a devious effeminate schemer and Aric’s friend, o the La Bas Jazz Club and waited for the right time to strike. Shortly, while Toyo, Aric, and Ken listened to Jack Boniface, a jazz player, the renegades waited in the bar for Toyo to become inebriated before they attacked.

Later that night, as Toyo took Aric and Ken to Bourbon Street, the Harbinger Resistance attacked, and while Toyo called his guards, Aric attacked John, who punched him through a wooden fence. As Aric donned the Manowar armor and dispatched John and Charlene, Pete deflected his lasers and tossed his in the air where Faith tackled him. As John grabbed Aric’s ankles, he tossed him against a shed, but when Charlene climbed down to check up on him, he used a broken water main to douse her flames. In a huff, Charlene evaporated the water around them and created a curtain of steam that hid Aric from her and allowed him to punch her out and defeat John and Pete. Suddenly, Kris drove up to the club and the renegades escaped in her car.

As their car sped out of the city, Pete told the others that they would get another chance to get Toyo, but that they would have to lay low for the moment until he gave them another opportunity. Troubled, Pete worried that they now had two powerful enemies to deal with.

All For One…

On March 5th 1992 in New Orleans, the Harbinger Resistance renegades took a team photograph, a picture damaged by a beam of light which covered John Torkelson that Pete remarked would remind them of their first vacation together. While Kris Hathaway paid the photographer and clarified to him that they were not students, Charlene Dupré said that she had never been on vacation, except for a revival meeting in Tallahassee with her mother, and Faith Herbert told her that she had been on lots of vacations and they were the best.

After Kris reminded them that they were meeting at a Mexican restaurant for dinner, Pete went off on a walk, Faith flew away shouting Up, Up, and Away despite Kris’ concern that people would see her, John left to check a strip joint, and Kris and Charlene went to an art gallery.

As Pete sat on a bench to look at the photograph while he enjoyed an ice cream bar, a kid asked him what he was doing and he told him that he was searching for a dangerous super-villain named Harada with his super-telepathic powers. When the kid asked him if he was going to eat the ice cream by himself, Pete used his telekinesis to pay for another ice cream bar with a dollar bill in his pocket and gave it to him. As the kid left, he asked Pete what his name was and Pete told him that they called him Sting and he had to get back to work.

As Kris thanked Charlene for letting her go with her to the art gallery and said she did not know she was interested in art, Charlene told her that she learned about it to spite her mother, whose idea of art was Jesus painted on black velvet. Reflectively, Charlene told Kris that the more she saw of it the more she liked it, specially the impressionists pictures in which everything seemed beautiful and nice, and how she used to wish she could step into one of them.

Later that day, while Faith flew over the city, she saw John watching the polar bears in the zoo. Though at first Faith did not believe that she had seen John, she concluded that since nobody else other than Schwarzenegger was as big as him it could only be him.

As Faith swooped down from the sky and asked John what he was doing, she startled him and he grabbed her. When John accused her of spying on him and threatened to rip her face off, Faith told him that she was not following and she wanted to see the zoo. After John let her go, Faith asked him why he was there when she thought he went to a girlie bar and he told her that he had never been to a zoo, but he heard other kids talk about it and he wanted to see what the big deal was. As Faith told John that there was nothing to be ashamed of, and that there was nothing wrong with having fun, he confessed that his foster father locked him in the smokehouse when he caught him playing. Lost in thought while Faith told him that he could do anything he wanted, John broke a fence. After Faith told John that he did not have to be macho around her since she was always doing kid stuff, he agreed to go with her to see the monkey house.

That night in the restaurant, while Charlene asked John about the girls in the topless bar, Faith told her that no one wanted to hear about a bunch of dumb dancing girls and asked her to tell them about the art gallery. Just then, Pete got an image in his mind and sensed that Harada was on his way there. While Pete pondered that something must had happened that shook Harada and made him let his guard down, Faith pointed to a TV just as a report about an explosion that destroyed one of the tallest skyscrapers n Dallas came on. Silently, the renegades listened as the reporter explained that, while the police cordoned off the area, even from his position he could see the incredible destruction, and that, in his opinion, though the police refused to comment on the possible cause of the catastrophe, he believed that they just did not know what happened yet.

Meanwhile in Dallas, Toyo Harada exited his private plane and entered a limousine where a foundation executive informed him that Robert Muñoz, a Class A Eggbreaker code-named Puff, lost control of his power and set off an explosion that devastated the building in which the Harbinger Foundation maintained its regional office. On the way out of the airport, an executive informed Toyo that their emergency team found Robert before the police and firemen arrived and quickly removed him to their research facility. Pleased, Toyo remarked that the team’s fine work and courage were commendable.

As Toyo and the executive entered the facility, Ms. Ando informed Toyo that the blast killed forty-three people, injured eighty, and that there were seventeen individuals unaccounted for at the downtown site. While the executive explained that their latest calculations showed that if Robert were to lose control he would take out the metro area, Ms. Ando told Toyo that they took Robert to the sub-basement, which would contain a major explosion a little.

As Toyo made his way into the sub-basement where Robert laid in the center of a crater under highly potent strobe lights, Ms. Ando explained that, while Robert struggled to control himself, he was steadily puffing whatever he touched. Troubled, the executive informed Toyo that, though there had been no violent explosions since the downtown site, they felt it was only a matter of time. Wondering if there was anything he could do, Toyo floated over Puff and, as he told him that he was a very fine young man and that he cared very much about him, he offered to help him find a solution to his problem and then went into his mind to learn what had gone wrong.

Hours later, aboard a charted aircraft over Dallas, Pete asked Captain Smith, the plane’s pilot, if he might recognize the facility they were looking for if he showed him what it looked like. As Pete used his powers to insert an image of the research facility into his mind, the captain told him that it was a factory on North Road a couple of minutes from the airport that he always passed on his way home. After Pete told Kris that he found what they were looking for, he got the captain to fly them right over it. Minutes later, much to the captain’s surprise, Pete and the renegades jumped from the plane.

As Pete lowered the others down to the facility, he said that the whole time they were in New Orleans he felt Harada like an itch he could not scratch, especially after their run-in, and Kris remarked that this time they would scratch him for good.

Once on the ground, Pete and John deal with the security guards while Charlene melted a lock on a door into the facility. During the fight, as Pete commented on the lack of security in spite of Harada’s presence, Kris mused that, if Harada traveled there as abruptly as he believed he had, that maybe he could not bring his usual army.

That night, while Toyo held Robert aloft to prevent him from causing more explosions, an executive informed him that the Harbinger renegades had breached the facility’s first level, while another executive refused to accept a call from someone who claimed that he urgently needed to speak with Toyo. Troubled, Li Yan, Robert’s girlfriend asked Toyo if Robert was going to be all right, which prompted him to ask Li if she and Robert were close. As Li told Toyo that she and Robert were just friends but they had been together since they began training, he told her that the mental process by which Robert manipulated energy was complex and that since he was not certain how he lost control, trying to help him regain it was difficult. Upset, Li asked Toyo what would happen to Robert, and he told her that if he did not find the answer he would have to take drastic steps.

Just then, an executive reported that the renegades breached the facility’s second level and Toyo, concerned over the timing of the renegades’ attack, ordered a withdrawal and informed Li that he had to terminate Robert because they could not take him with them. Appalled, Li ran towards Robert and, in spite of his and Harada’s warnings not to, put her arms around him and told him that they were staying together or would let Harada terminate them both.

Suddenly, the renegades broke into the sub-basement through a hole that Pete ripped on the wall, and as Toyo inquired whether they had an Eggbreaker squadron on the way and an executive informed him that it would take them an hour, Ed and Seymour, two foundation scientists, stood in the renegades way to protect Harada. As Pete ordered the others to take care of the guards while he dealt with Toyo, John pushed Seymour to the ground and then threw a bodyguard’s Uzi at Faith as he tossed the guard across the room.

When Faith tried to shoot the guards’ guns out of their hands, the kick from the Uzi’s discharge pushed her against a guard who held a gun against her and ordered her to drop her weapon because he intended to use her to help them escape. Refusing to become a hostage, Faith propelled herself backwards to break free from her captor’s grasp and collided against a glass window which shards impaled the bodyguard. Shocked, Faith loomed over the guard as he bled out on the floor.

While Pete and Toyo silently faced each other amid a whirlwind, an executive told Seymour that it made no sense for them to fight anymore since their security men were down, and that it all was really on Toyo’s shoulders, and once he dealt with Pete, the others would present no problem. Troubled, yet confident, Seymour reminded the executive that Toyo was still keeping Puff aloft, and then, though he wondered if he could win with his attention divided that way, he cheered for Toyo.

Standing on the sidelines, Charlene asked the others whether they should help Pete, but Kris did not think they should interfere and told them that it looked like Pete was winning. Just then, however, Li Yan, who worried Toyo was in trouble, tackled Pete to help him.

After Li Yan tossed Faith at Charlene and Kris, she tossed John against a wall with one punch and threatened to smash his skull. While John stared in shock at the glass shards protruding from the wall, Li Yan told him that she was going to break Charlene’s neck, and as she punched him in the stomach, she said that she was going to kill all of them so Toyo had nothing else to worry about except saving Robert.

Fed up, John grabbed Li Yan by the neck and pushed her off him. Curious to how someone as small as Li Yan could hit as hard and feel like she weigh a ton, John removed her coat and discovered that she was wearing weights under her clothes. As John punched Li Yan on the floor after he got rid of the weights and threatened to rip her throat out, Pete urged him to leave her alone.

Suddenly, Robert released a massive discharge that evaporated part of the floor and caught everyone’s attention. As the renegades and Li Yan gathered around Robert, Faith told them that she hurt one of Toyo’s men really bad and that she was not feeling well and was shaking all over. Though Faith begged them to leave, Pete told her that they first had to find out what was happening to Robert.

Worried for Li Yan’s safety as he felt himself starting to lose control again, Robert urged her to leave, but she refused. As Pete levitated Robert above the ground as he had seen Toyo doing, Robert told him that he made things disintegrate, but he had lost control and was in danger of blowing up anything solid that he touched. As Robert told Pete that he had forgotten how to control himself and suggested that he dump him out in the hills or kill him, the phone rang and Kris answered it.

As the operator told Kris that a caller on one of the outside lines said that it was important that he spoke with Toyo, she asked her to connect the call and, all of a sudden, Phil Seleski, the energy entity called Solar, came out through the phone demanding to see Harada.

When Pete wrongly assumed that Solar was one of Harada’s Eggbreakers, John rallied the others to attack him, but then Faith assured them that he was a good guy, a super-hero. As Faith gleefully told everyone that there used to be a comic book about Doctor Solar a long time ago, she asked Solar what he was doing in real life, but he told her that it was a long story and asked her what was happening.

Nervously, Pete told Phil that they went there after Toyo, but he escaped and they were trying to help Robert not blow up even though he and Li Yan were Eggbreakers. As he got the drift of the situation, Phil reminded Robert that he had told him before that his ability to interfere with molecular cohesion was tricky business, and he had to have fine control to prevent violent explosions.

As Phil told Robert that once he lost control he could start to get a mental block and that he wished he could coach him but he could not begin to describe how he did it, Pete asked him to demonstrate using a piece of rock. As Phil disintegrated the rock, Pete went inside his head and got a mental image of how he did it that he relayed into Robert’s mind.

While a thankful Robert embraced a relieved Li Yan, Phil chastised Pete for extracting information from his mind and angrily asked him whom he thought he was, when, just then, Harada returned to the sub-basement accompanied by a squadron of Foundation Troopers. Pleased to see the other two most powerful beings on the planet, Toyo sarcastically told them that there was much to settle among them.

One For All

The kids wanted to fight, but Solar took them away and left them in the woods. As the kids returned to the facility to kill Harada, Eggbreakers and soldiers ambushed them. Escaping with Thumper and Puff’s sudden aid, the kids hid in an abandoned home where Pete tried to persuade Puff and Thumper to join them to no avail, as though they helped them escape they still believed in Harada’s doctrine. The next morning, after Flamingo learned that Kris was late getting her period that month, she was surprised when Torque apologized to her for treating her like dirt when they first met. Going their own way, Puff and Thumper arrived in Oklahoma, where they ran into Takashi Kuramoto. While Kuramoto interrogated them on where Pete’s rogues were, Harada read their minds and discovered that Pete and the others were returning to New Orleans. On their way to New Orleans, Harada’s Eggbreakers attacked the kids, and during the fight Rock killed Torque.

Flowers For The Living

As the cops arrived, the kids hid and watched them leave with Torque’s corpse. Shaken up by what happened, the kids made their way to a hotel in Louisiana. As Kris and Torque had been romantically involved, his death hit her the hardest. Inconsolable, Kris made the others break into the morgue to retrieve Torque’s body so they could give him a proper burial. The next day, Pete and Faith returned to their hotel in New Orleans to collect their stuff, and while going over Torque’s possessions Faith found a wad of bills in his pants. That night, the kids stole Torque’s body and took him to a burial home, where they used all their savings to give him the best funeral they could afford. The next day, after they had all said goodbye to their friend, Faith convinced them to use the money she found to fix Torque’s car to honor his memory.

The Origin of Harada

Returning home, Harada shared the evening’s events with his wife Noriko. While Harada slept, Noriko took a knife out of a bureau and plunged it down over him, seemingly stabbing him. The next morning, she visited Madame Rowena, the psychic responsible for unlocking Harada’s powers when he was a boy. Troubled by the many deaths Harada had caused during his life, Noriko confessed to Rowena that she contemplated killing him, when then he walked through the door. Taking Noriko with him, Harada confronted her over her cutting herself with the knife again. Confessing that while she still believed in him, Noriko asked Harada to wipe away her doubts, but he refused, insisting that there had to be control and that when she stopped believing in him she should just end it. That night, Harada stood watch over Noriko while she slept.

Unity

When Erica Pierce, the God–like entity called Mothergod, tried to achieve Unity, a convergence of all the timelines, the Geomancers of two eras gathered the heroes of Earth to stop her in one final decisive battle for all eternity in the Lost Land, a place outside time and reality.

Heart Failures

While washing dishes with Dr. Heyward’s wife, Monique, Kris revealed that she was pregnant with Torque’s baby and was considering having an abortion. Just then Geoff McHenry whisked them off to fight in the Unity conflict. Arriving in the Lost Land, Faith thought that Magnus looked familiar, when then Mothergod’s forces attacked. As Solar engaged Mothergod, Pete learned that Solar had died. Escaping Mothergod’s forces, Pete discovered Kris’ condition and, believing the child to be his, decided to keep them out of the fight. After Geoff told Sting that he could not send them home, the kids hid in a bunker for three months. Worried that discovering that Kris’ baby was not his would upset him, Flamingo unsuccessfully tried to seduce Pete, who learned that Kris cheated on him with Torque. Enraged, he lashed out against Mothergod and came close to killing her, but she blindsided him and he collapsed. Returning to the bunker, Pete coldly consoled a remorseful Kris.

Children of Destiny

157 days after they arrived in the Lost Land, Kris went into labor. Desperate, Pete brought Armstrong to help with the delivery, which occurred soon after. Kris gave birth to a boy whom Geoff had told her would become Magnus. Just then, Faith returned from an assault on Mothergod’s complex and said that Magnus had fallen in battle. Scared, Kris made Sting go get him. Rescuing Magnus and Geoff, Sting brought them back to their HQ, where Geoff told them that Solar was alive. As the heroes broke into Erica’s complex to rescue Solar, two robs entered their headquarters and captured Kris. Finding Solar trapped in a wormhole, Sting entered his mind. Finding himself in Unreality, Pete almost succumbed to his shortcomings, but fighting past them he helped Solar escape. While Solar led the heroes against Mothergod, Sting rescued Kris and the baby. As Mothergod’s reactor destroyed reality, Sting and Kris made peace over her infidelity. As Pete flew away to help Solar, Geoff appeared and told Kris to give him the baby. As Pete found Kris, he discovered that the baby was gone before they all vanished in a flash of light.

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

As the kids returned from the Lost Land, Kris collapsed from exhaustion after giving birth. The next morning, Pete conveyed everything he experienced during Unity into Dr. Heyward’s mind. Four days later the kids left for Hoboken where Dr. Heyward had arranged for Pete to get with an old friend of his, unaware that the HARD Corps were watching them. The next day after they found an apartment they could afford, Pete faced Kris over what happened to her baby and she told him the truth. While Faith got an interview at a comic book store and Flamingo considered becoming a model, Kris was not as lucky in finding employment. That night the kids returned to Eight–Day Inc’s offices, only to discovers that the place was deserted. Deciding to resume their search for other Harbingers, they visited an arcade at Faith’s urging where they met Shatiqua, a girl with uncanny reflexes. As they followed Shatiqua and her boyfriend Darryl to talk with her, the HARD Corps attacked. Confronted with Pete’s power, the corps fled, but maintained their surveillance over them.

Hard Choices

While Faith left for her job interview, Flamingo discussed her apprehension over recruiting Shatiqua with Pete and Kris, when then the HARD Corps broke into the apartment and captured them. Returning to find an empty apartment, Faith went to look for Shatiqua to ask her for help finding her friends. Reluctant to help at first, Shatiqua left with Faith after she learned that someone was watching them. As Faith realized that the HARD Corps was using a blimp to follow them, she and Shatiqua snuck onboard. The blimp took them to a ski lodge in Upstate New York where the HARD Corps used their technology to replicate Harbinger abilities. Breaking into a munition depot, Shatiqua set off an explosion that distracted the Corps while Faith freed Pete. Discovering the ruse, Gunslinger led the others back to the lab, where a one sided fight between the Corps and Pete ensued. Taking the others with him, Pete popped Shatiqua to help her fend off Maniac. As the kids left, Gunslinger and Pete came to a mutual understanding as they realized that they were on the same side.

Revenge

As Charlene’s dreams about Torque’s death grew increasingly worse, Pete and Faith broke into Eight–Day Inc’s offices and used computer passwords taken from an employee’s mind to find Weasel, the Eggbreakers’ leader. Though Shatiqua’s association with Pete’s Harbingers was putting a strain on her relationship with Darryl, she nevertheless went with them to Chicago, where they found Weasel and Pete took Rock’s name from her mind. Making their way to a motel where Rock was waiting for Weasel, the kids confronted Rock, who taunted them over their inability to kill him. As Flamingo and Pete argued over what to do, a group of Eggbreakers burst through the wall and attacked. While the reengages engaged the Eggbreakers in battle, Rock chased Flamingo to a gas station. Using her power, Flamingo set the station ablaze with Rock inside, and though the fire did not kill him, it did scorch his lungs and he passed out. In the end, however, Flaming found no solace in taking revenge for Torque’s death and walked away.

Wrath Of The Subterranean Underground Dwellers

While on her way to work at the comic book store, Faith collided with a group of thugs, one of which brandished a switchblade at her. Saved by a homeless man named Sam, Faith hurried to the store. Opening a box of new comics, Faith found the newest issue of Elfquest, her favorite series. That night after work, Faith ran into Sam, who had a mask on and said that he was a super hero. Saying that she was a super hero too, Faith showed Sam what she could do. Claiming that he could do the same with his magic ring, Sam took Faith to his hideout in the subway to give her one. There, Faith learned that Sam had a daughter named Cindy that died, when then the thugs from that morning showed up and beat them up. Waking up, Faith took Sam to the hospital. Inspired by her comic book, Faith attacked the thugs and forced them to confess to the police. Though realizing how much she had grown up that night, Faith retained her child-like wonderment, signified by the “magic ring” in her finger, a soda can lid.

Secret Weapons Prelude

Dream Child

While at the park, Zephyr helped a boy untangle his kite from a tree, unnerving Pete, who was worried that someone might see her. After appeasing him, Kris turned her attention to a group of kids from a daycare. That night, Kris’ guilt over abandoning her baby pushed her away from Pete. Dreaming of the day she gave birth, Kris had a nightmare in which Mothergod took her child. The next day, Pete told an inattentive Kris how well his job was doing, then when he confronted her about her lack of interest in him, she lashed out at his selfishness. That night, Kris had a nightmare in which a robot garbed as the grim ripper approached Magnus ready to strike him with his scythe while all she could do was watch. The next night, Kris had a dream in which she willed herself to help Magnus, who after thanking her for her aid assured him that she did the right thing giving him up and should not feel guilty for it. The next day, Kris got a job at the daycare where being around children made her happy. Elsewhere, Harada promoted Stronghold into an Eggbreaker.

Hard Boiled

Returning to his apartment in NYC after his battle with Bloodshot, Ax began to work on building a new arm for himself, when then, Twenty–Twenty, one of his rogue Harbingers, told him that he was still in Spikeman’s head seeing what he saw. In a Harbinger training room, Stronghold was having a difficult time controlling his power during a training session with the Eggbreakers. That night, he shared his concerns with his girlfriend, Amanda McKee, who did her best to encourage him. Meanwhile, as Pete, Flamingo, and Shatiqua were Christmas shopping, Scout, one of Ax’s rogues, caught their attention and they decided to follow him. Tired of seeing through Spikeman’s eyes, Twenty–Twenty switched his remote sensing into Fort, who unbeknownst to him was on his way to see Harada. Discovering the intrusion, Harada severed Twenty–Twenty’s link by putting him in a coma and then sent the Eggbreakers to eliminate Ax. Following Scout to a penthouse building, Pete, Flamingo, and Shatiqua were surprised when they came face to face with Ax and his rogue Harbingers.

Scrambled

Using his power, Pete kept the rogues off balance while he airlifted himself and the girls up the elevator shaft. As they escaped to an adjacent rooftop, Pete collapsed. In Hoboken, Kris saw a man standing outside their window who mysteriously vanished. Back in NYC, the girls awoke Pete by throwing snow on his face just as the rogues found them. Bazooka shot a water tower, and as the water rushed toward them it pushed them off the roof. While holding on to the ledge, an Eggbreaker assault craft hovered behind them, but instead of going after Pete and the girls, the Eggbreakers went after Ax and his rogues. During the fight, Bazooka overpowered Stronghold, who he would have killed if Amanda had not dismantled his weapon. After Bazooka hit Amanda over the head with a pistol, Stronghold grabbed him and accidentally absorbed his mass, instantly killing him. Meanwhile, Spike-man and Roxy betrayed Ax to the Eggbreakers, who took them away to the foundation. As Amanda and Stronghold ran away, they came across Pete in an alley. Though Pete asked them to join him, Stronghold refused to let him or Harada use him, proclaiming that he controlled his own destiny now.

Interlude

Camouflage

Two days before Christmas, Pete, weakened due to illness, barely stopped a truck from colliding with traffic. As sirens approached, Kris carried Pete away while Faith and Flamingo followed. The next day, Shatiqua had another fight with Darryl about her hanging out with the rogues, whom he considered freaks not fit to go to their friend Monica’s Christmas party with them. Upset, Shatiqua left the apartment in a huff. Meanwhile in the Harbinger Foundation’s complex, Simon Morrell, an introverted kid with the ability to become invisible who Rachel Hopson found in a mental institution a year earlier, asked his therapist if he could be allowed to go outside and be with other kids. Though the doctor forbade him to leave due to his inability to contain himself when interacting with other people, Simon used his ability to sneak out of the complex. Finding himself with not a penny to his name, Simon tried to beg a hot dog vendor for some food, but the vendor reacted violently toward him. Hearing the commotion as walked by, Shatiqua paid the vendor and then asked Simon if he wanted to go to the party with her, an invitation he hesitantly accepted.

That night, Pete and the girls arrived at Monica’s house. As they made their way through the crowd, Darryl came up from behind them and shoved Pete. Angered, Darryl, who was ready to punch Pete, demanded to know where Shatiqua was, when then she arrived with Simon. Enraged even further, Darryl verbally abused Simon, who ran away and vanished. As Shatiqua went looking for him, Simon turned back and assaulted Darryl, pummeling him as hard as he could, empowered by the rage he felt towards him for calling him a freak and his parents for abandoning him. Going outside, Pete stopped Simon from hitting Darryl, who admitted that he deserved what he got. Just then, a group of Eggbreakers led by Rock arrived to take Simon back with them to the foundation. Standing up to Rock, Pete was prepared to stop them from taking Simon, but ultimately the Eggbreakers and Kris convinced him that the foundation was better equipped to help him, so he let them take him. The next morning, Pete pondered over how much growing up he had to do.

Friends and Enemies

Walking down the street, Faith noticed a man in a trench coat following them who Flamingo and Shatiqua dismissed as a gawker staring at Flamingo. Going inside the arcade where they met Shatiqua, the girls ran into Scout, who ran away and threw a grenade that the man in the trench coat encapsulated in a force field as it exploded. Calling himself Screen, the man, who also encapsulated Scout, convinced the girls to let him go home with them so they could talk. Meanwhile, Dr. Heyward examined Pete, who had been sick for weeks. Taking a blood sample, Dr. Heyward promised to find out what was wrong with Pete.

At the Harbinger Foundation, as Harada prepared to leave, Walter Sakai questioned his decision to allow Pete to continue attacking his facilities and recruit Harbingers, a course of action that made it look like he had lost control of him. Replying ominously, Harada stated that it only seemed that way, implying that appearances were deceiving. Across the globe in New Deli, Ambassador Toynbee contracted Kaliph, a mercenary, to retrieve his daughter Natalie from the Harbinger Foundation.

After Dr. Heyward left, Pete passed just as the girls and Screen came home. Waking up in the living room, Pete saw Screen in the kitchen. Reacting instinctively, Pete attacked Screen, who pushed Pete against the ceiling with a force field. As Faith ran toward Screen to make him stop, he pushed her away. Realizing his overreaction, Screen apologized and released Pete, who demanded to know who he was. Warning Pete that the foundation had the house under surveillance, Screen told Pete that Harada knew what he was doing, but Pete ignored his words as his only concern seemed to be a desire to live as normal a life as possible until they gathered their forces to attack Harada. Disappointed, Screen said that he had been through this before and cautioned the kids that their time was up before he left. The next day, Pete and Kris were shocked to see Toyo Harada standing beside Bill Clinton during his swearing–in ceremony as President of The United States.

Enter Kaliph

Enter Kaliph

At the Harbinger Foundation complex in NYC, Natalie Toynbee, tired of being probe and prodded, refused to pee in a cup for a doctor, when then Pete and the girls broke through a wall and said that they were there to rescue her. Confusing the rogues with Eggbreakers due to their outfits, Natalie believed this was a test, then when Pete explained who they were she accused them of being ruffians. Nevertheless, Natalie left with them as she felt that she deserved more respect that what she was getting at the foundation. As the kids ran toward their car, Kaliph’s spies spotted them leaving with Natalie and followed them. At the airport, Kaliph arrived in the States and used his ability of persuasion to compel a belligerent taxi driver to drive him to his destination, where Malik informed Kaliph that Natalie was with the rogues, who they had under surveillance.

Back in Hoboken, the kids took Natalie to their apartment, which she instantly found disgusting. Insulting everything she saw, Natalie quickly incurred the girls’ wrath. The next night, Kris furiously went to the store to buy Natalie some mineral water. On her way out, Kris ran into Kaliph, who used her ability to make her tell him everything about her friends. As Kris told Kaliph of Pete’s illness and Dr. Heyward’s test, a man at the testing center mailed a copy of Pete’s test results directly to Toyo Harada.

Compelling Kris to take him home, Kaliph tried to use his power on Pete in vain, as he resisted his attempt to control his mind. Just then, Kaliph’s men broke in through the windows and shot the kids with tranquilizer darts. Grabbing Pete and Natalie, Kaliph and his men left, leaving the others unconscious on the floor.

Iranian Lights

With Screen’s help, the girls traveled to Iran to rescue Pete, who was in a dungeon in Kaliph’s fortress where Kaliph’s servant women were pampering Natalie. Contacting the Harbinger Foundation, Kaliph told Walter Sakai that he had captured Pete Stanchek. That night, while Screen and the girls broke into the fortress, Pete escaped the dungeon when Kaliph’s men tried to inject him with a tranquilizer and went to find Natalie.

Making their way through the fortress, Screen and the girls found themselves surrounded by Kaliph’s men Setting the rug they were on ablaze to keep Kaliph’s men back, Flaming lost control and inadvertently trapped herself and the others. Meanwhile in the dining hall, as Kaliph told Natalie that her father had hired him to find her, she became enraged and he used her power to tranquilize her. Just then, Pete flew into the room.

Weakened by the drugs and his illness, Pete lost control of his flight and crashed against the table. While his men held Pete up, Kaliph looked into his eyes and used his power to break Pete’s spirit, but then Natalie jumped on him from behind and blinded him with her ability. Breaking into the dinning hall, Screen and the girls rescued Pete and Natalie and they all escaped together. Hours later, as the kids stood outside the fortress and watched it burn, Natalie told them that she had decided to return to the foundation and they parted ways.

Two weeks later, the once feared Kaliph was on the run from those he trampled in his quest for power.

Interlude II

Resolutions

Although Pete hid the results from the tests Dr. Heyward ran on him, the girls found them and discovered that he had mono. Mad at him for lying to them, Kris forced Pete to stay in bed until he felt better. That night, Pete had a terrible nightmare about his father that compelled him to return home and face the ghosts of his past.

Returning to his parents’ house, Pete recalled the times he spent in his bedroom day dreaming of Kris while playing with his powers with Joe to hide from his parents’ fighting, as well of the last time he saw his father the night that Joe was killed. Entering his parents’ room intent on confronting his father’s abuse and mother’s neglect, Pete learned that his father was in the hospital after falling into a coma due to his heavy drinking.

Entering his father’s hospital room, Pete entered his mind as he did Torque’s to find peace with the only man he had ever feared. Finding himself in a black void within his father’s mindscape, Pete confronted the abuse he suffered at his hands and lashed out at his father, who reacted like an abused child. Seeing his father’s mental image revert into a frightened boy, a reflection of a part of himself he did not like, Pete came to understand that his father had no love to give him and left, certain that someday he might forgive him.

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot…

While in Coney Island with Kris’ uncle Mel, the girls ran into Archer & Armstrong. Recognizing Aram as the man who put the moves on his fiancé while he was in Europe during WW II, Mel went to Anthony Carino and asked him to kill Aram. A mobster who also had a score to settle with Aram, Carino agreed to help Mel.

Back in Coney Island, Flamingo found Archer meditating on a rooftop and they bonded over their religious beliefs. Meanwhile in the boardwalk, as Kris told Aram that the baby he helped deliver in the Lost Land was Magnus, Carino’s men showed up and threatened to shoot them unless they went with them.

Pushing the men out of their way, Aram grabbed Kris and they escaped. Hearing gunshots, Archer and Flamingo turned back and saw Carino’s men shooting Aram. Borrowing a man’s motorcycle, Archer and Flamingo went after Aram and Kris. Standing in the food court talking about Pete, Faith and Shatiqua were startled when Aram, Kris, Carino’s men, Archer, and Flamingo ran past them.

Joining the chase, Faith and Shatiqua went after the others. Chasing Aram and Kris into a subway car, Carino’s men subdued them at gunpoint. Missing the train that Aram and Kris were on, Flamingo, Archer, Faith, and Shatiqua barely avoided a second subway train bearing down on them.

At Mel’s house, the girls told Mel what happened and he confessed what he did. Taking the kids to Carino’s restaurant, Mel and the others found Carino and his men lying on the floor and Aram talking on the phone with the restaurant’s owner, Benito Carboni, an old acquaintance that apologized for the inconveniences he put them through. Opening a bottle of wine, Aram offered Mel a drink for old time’s sake.

Meanwhile in an alley in NYC, Twenty–Twenty found Ax crawling out of the sewer and took him to an apartment he set up for them where he stashed his armor and equipment.

Twilight Of The Eight–Day

Twilight Of The Eight–Day – Part I: … The Most Unkindest Cut Of All

Cornered by Harada’s soldiers while breaking into the Harbinger Foundation private hangar at La Guardia airport, Sting, Flamingo, and Zeppelin were against the wall until Zeppelin fooled the soldiers into shooting a fuel barrel, which caused an explosion that knocked everyone out except for them as Sting protected them from the blast. In a nearby room, Kris and Shatiqua printed out a list with names of kids from all around the world with Harbinger abilities. Escaping the flames, Sting made his way to a private foundation plane where he came across Walter Sakai. Scanning Walter’s mind, Pete came across information that he dismissed as lies and then flew away to be with his friends. Hours later, Sakai, ashamed for his weakness, met with Harada, who assured him that everything was under control, and said that until Pete made a move they would wait.

A week later Pete lost his job, and though Kris and Flamingo asked him to trust them he retreated from them as if trusting them was the last thing he could do. A few days later, while the girls went over the print out, Pete, having grown tired of lies and games, called Harada demanding to know why he had not made a move against him despite knowing where he lived and everything he did. Enraged at Harada’s silence, Pete lashed out psyonically and created a maelstrom in both Harada’s office and his apartment that threw the girls against the walls and ceiling. Realizing what he was doing, Pete hung up and silently berated his actions.

One late night days later, Kris got up from bed to answer the phone. Moments later, Pete heard a loud scream coming from the living room. Flying there to investigate, Pete was shocked to find Flamingo, Kris, and Faith standing threateningly over Shatiqua, who Faith had cut in the arm with a knife. Attacked by the girls, Pete defended himself without hurting them, then he grabbed Kris and shook her to bring her out of the daze she was in, unaware that Faith was coming up from behind him brandishing the knife.

Pushing Pete out of the way, Shatiqua said that after Kris answered the phone she told something to Faith and Flamingo that made them want to go after him with the knife. Just then, Flamingo fired a blast of fire that separated them. While Kris kicked and punched Pete into submission, Flamingo cornered Shatiqua and pushed her out the window with a blast of fire. Fed up, Pete lashed out psyonically and stunned the girls

Flying outside, Pete found Shatiqua laying on the ground dead, so he picked her in his arms.

Twilight Of The Eight–Day – Part II: Dead End

After an ambulance carted Zeppelin, Kris, and Flamingo away after the incident Pete spent half the night searching hospitals for them. Infuriated by his inability to find them, Sting wrecked havoc at St. Mary’s hospital in New Jersey, which alerted the cops to his whereabouts. Lashing out, Pete inadvertently blew up a squad car, and would have killed the cops and doctors had it not been for Screen, who helped him escape.

The next day, Pete convinced Screen to break into the Harbinger Foundation’s headquarters in New York with him to search for the girls and he agreed, even though he knew that it was what Harada wanted them to do. Walking into the building, Pete and Screen dispatched Harada’s security force as they made their way through the floors, until they arrived at the training level, where they came across Rock and the Eggbreakers.

Twilight Of The Eight–Day – Part III: Armageddon

Angry beyond reason, Sting pushed Rock out of his way like a rag doll to deal with him after he finished with the Eggbreakers. Unfortunately, Sting’s rage blinded him, so while he dispatched the Eggbreakers Rock killed Screen. Staring down at Rock, Sting peered into his mind and popped a blood vessel in his brain, killing him instantly to avenge Torque’s death. Making his way through the empty hallways, Pete found the girls, who he was shocked to discover had no memory of him. Defeated, Pete pointed the girls toward the exit and told them to go home, then he turned back and went to find Harada.

Reaching Harada’s office, Pete confronted Toyo for taking his job, friends, and whole life from him. Alas, Harada revealed he had been controlling Pete’s life from the beginning, using him to find Harbingers across the country on his behalf, and that his friends, girlfriend, and objective were all a sham, a declaration that verified what Pete gleaned from Sakai’s mind. Enraged, Pete lashed out and threatened to kill Harada, who held him down on a chair with his mind. Musing over his expectation that Pete would become his greatest Eggbreaker, Harada offered him the opportunity to be his lieutenant of his own free will, but Pete refused, so Harada tried to take control of his mind by force, an act that enraged Pete, who broke free from Harada’s hold.

Standing over Harada, Pete pushed him through the floor with his mind all the way to the cellar, and for a moment it seemed like he had triumphed over him, but then Harada returned. With a glance, Harada pushed Pete out of his office and threw him across a dozen city blocks. The ensuing psionic conflict of epic proportions leveled entire buildings as Harada pushed Pete into falling to his whim, but Pete refused to bow down despite having lost everything that made him who he was and rejected Harada’s offer. Suddenly, without explanation, Harada succumbed to a stroke that put him in a coma.

As the dust settled and Harada laid by his feet, Pete discovered that he had inexplicably lost his powers. Hours later, while escaping the scene, Pete came across Flamingo, who told him that unlike Faith and Kris, who had gone home, she had no where to go. Asking her if she liked to go with him, Pete took Flamingo’s hand and they took off for parts unknown, proclaiming that Sting was dead and Pete Stanchek’s life had just begun.

New Harbingers

The Other Side

Locked in isolation in a Harbinger Foundation installation, Faith saw on the news that in the three weeks since the collapse of the foundation’s headquarters in New York Harada laid in a coma from a seizure and Takashi Kuramoto and Walter Sakai were now control of the foundation. Listening to the reporters praise Harada and his foundation, Faith stares at her television with a sad stare and accuses them of telling lies.

Sometime later, Faith and other students from the New York facility arrived at the foundation’s facility in Bolivar. Meeting with Coach Joseph Nicoletti, who assured her that he would straightened her out after her time with the renegades, Faith learned that she was going to train with one of his Harbinger squads and found herself assigned to share a room with two of them. Dismissed, Faith went to her room and met her roommate, Victoria Martinelli, a slob who turned the room into a mess. Meanwhile in Minnesota, Mira Choudhury, Faith’s second roommate, finished packing her back to return to the foundation much to her father’s dismay.

The next day, Nicoletti introduced Faith to the members of B-Squad; Victoria, Samuel Coleman, Beatrice Lewis, Malik Williams, Simon Morrell, and Butch MacFaddin, who called her Zeppelin, a remark that upset Victoria, who jolted him with a blast of electricity. Not amused by his antics, Coach Nicoletti ordered Butch to run twenty laps while the others ran fifteen. Meanwhile in the monitor room, Katsumi Kabuto, the Squad’s supervisor, analyzed each member’s file while they ran an exercise, paying particular attention to Faith.

Days later in the cafeteria, Butch asked Faith if she knew what happened to Pete after he took on Harada, but she confessed that everything that happened after that was a blur. After the attack, Faith, who had lost years of her life, wandered in a daze until she found her way back to Virginia. Walking into her house looking for her parents, she found that the place was empty, as if no one had ever lived there, except for a representative of the Harbinger Foundation who told her to go to the Bolivar installation. Due to the representative’s refusal to tell her what happened to her parents, Faith had doubts about whether or not they really were her family.

As Sam asked her if the foundation was forcing her to stay there and Faith said that they were because that place was not real, the elite Eggbreakers stormed into the cafeteria. Accusing her of being a murderer due to Pete killing Rock, Weasel told Faith that she was a fat cow and that no one else wanted her there. That night, taking Weasel’s insults to heart, Faith broke out of her room and flew away, unaware that Victoria saw her and that elsewhere a technician in the monitor room detected her escape and alerted Katsumi and Nicoletti.

As Faith made her way across the sky, two Eggbreakers caught up to her and knocked her down to the ground. Surrounded by the elite, Faith was in tears and begging them to let her go, but kneeling beside her, Blast said that they were going to teach her a lesson. Just then, Jolt and the rest of the B–Squad showed up to rescue Faith. As the two teams skirmished, Katsumi and Coach Nicoletti arrived and stopped the battle.

While everyone got inside the coach’s van, Victoria urged Faith to stay, convincing her that some of them wanted her to be there. Deciding to stay for her own reasons, Faith returned to the facility with the others.

Cabin Fever

Following Victoria, Faith and Simon snuck out of class and met up with Butch and Sam, who had acquired a beat up car that they all drove away from school in. As they left, a taxi dropped off Mira, who went looking for her room. Upon seeing the mess the room was in, Mira questioned her reasons for being there. Stopping in a gas station on the way to Brookfield, Butch learned from the attendant that a bear had mauled two people a week earlier, but Butch dismissed his warning as the rantings of a nutcase.

That evening at a cabin that belonged to Butch’s uncle, while Butch teased Victoria, who took the attendant’s warning to heart, Simon, who did not feel well, went to walk in the woods and came upon a Spider Alien that would have eaten him if it had not for his ability to become invisible. Meanwhile back in Bolivar, Katsumi and Walter Sakai discussed their annoyance with Kuramoto’s intentions to cut back on the foundation’s training and education programs, the very foundation of Toyo Harada’s quest for Harbingers.

At the cabin, Simon told the others what he saw, but no one believed him, not even Faith, who suggested that they call the police. Convinced that Simon saw a bear, Butch grabbed an ax and led the others into the woods to look for it as well as to find a tree. Finding a garden of trees that they deduced was manmade, Butch went ahead and tried to cut one down, when suddenly the Spider Alien leapt from the branches to stop him. During a skirmish with the alien, the kids continued to inadvertently damage his trees, which resulted in his paying more attention to the safety of the timber than to them. Though her memories were fuzzy, Faith remembered that the Spider Aliens revered plant life as sacred. Turning to the others, Simon told them that they could not just leave the alien there. Meanwhile, back in school, Katsumi met Mira and recruited her for a secret project.

The next day, after reporting the alien to the authorities, the kids packed their car and returned to school.

Heal Thyself

In Evansville, Indiana on January 27th, 1987, Butch MacFaddin used a sonic blast to kill his abusive father, but in the process he also killed his mother and sisters, an accident that sent him to a mental hospital for years.

In 1994, Dr. Clark, a psychiatrist at the Harbinger Foundation in Bolivar, gave Butch’s file to Dr. Harrison, a newly–promoted psychiatrist, to study them. Meanwhile, during a training session Mira defeated the entire B–Squad until she and Sam were the last ones standing. Somersaulting toward Sam, Mira failed to account for Simon, who tripped her into Sam’s arms. Stopping the session, Coach Nicoletti came in with Katsumi, who said that she removed Beatrice and Malik from the squad because the others were a bad influence on them. At her wit’s end after their unauthorized trip, Katsumi appointed Mira leader of the squad in the hope that she could point them in the right direction, a notice that upset Butch, who accused Mira of being a mark and refused to obey her. After the others left the training room, Mira stayed behind and sat in a corner to cry.

The next day, Walter Sakai walked into Harada’s hospital room and found Takashi standing next to his bed. Accusing Takashi of destroying everything Harada had worked to achieve, Walter said that his petty envy was getting in the way of how the Foundation should be run, but ignoring him, Takashi left to return to Dallas. Meanwhile, as Sam and Simon left their room for class, Sam told Butch that he would see him in the cafeteria after his shrink appointment. Minutes later, Sam and Simon ran into Mira, Faith, and Victoria, who told Sam that she had a plan to get back at Mr. Smalls for making him and Butch mop the cafeteria floor.

That afternoon during a therapy session, Dr. Harrison confronted Butch with the question of how he survived the explosion that killed his family. Forcing him to remember what happened, Dr. Harrison asked Butch if his Harbinger ability had anything to do with the explosion, a question Butch refused to answer that nevertheless stirred his memories of the event and made him remember that he killed his family. Lashing out with a sonic blast, Butch threw Dr. Harrison against a wall, which broke his ribs and sent him to the hospital. Later, while Sam reassured Butch that he did not mean to kill his parents and reminded him that he had said that when his powers manifested he could not control them, Butch said that maybe his powers manifested before that night and that he knew exactly what he was doing, which lead to an uncomfortable silence between them.

Days later at the Harbinger Foundation, Katsumi briefed the executives on Stronghold and Livewire, who in the last few months had clearly shown that they could not function without their auspices and she intended to bring back into their fold whether they liked it or not.

The Price

A few days after they escaped the aliens’ colony, Amanda and Eddie searched the wreck of her apartment for her stuff, when suddenly Amanda’s landlady slapped her with a lawsuit for the damages to her property. Feeling responsible, Eddie promised to somehow get Amanda the money she needed. Meanwhile in London, Neville Alcott, Jillian Alcott, and Charles "John" Sinclair discussed their inability to use electronic devices to find the Weaponeer’s vault because their use alerted Webnet. Holding a picture of Bloodshot, Neville said that he was in New York to find Geoff so that he could find the vault using his ability to speak with inanimate objects.

The next day, Eddie walked into the First National Bank expecting to get a loan because his father was the bank’s chairman, but much to his dismay his father denied his request. Meanwhile that afternoon, Amanda’s boyfriend, Seth, broke up with her because she was too weird for him. Later that evening, when Eddie and Amanda returned to his apartment they found Katsumi Kabuto and Blast waiting for them. Offering to pay for the damages that Eddie caused during his rampage and to settle the lawsuit against Amanda, Katsumi asked them to return to the foundation to how learn to properly use their abilities. Though Eddie considered going back, Blast’s taunts enraged him and he lunged against him, pushing him into the street through a wall.

As a fight broke off between Eddie, Amanda, and the Eggbreakers, Gilad Anni-Padda arrived, but much to Eddie and Amanda’s surprise he was there to convince them to return to the foundation as he was the one who contacted Katsumi to take them back. Refusing to have others tell her how to live her life, Amanda flew away. Finding Amanda atop the Statue of Liberty, Eddie convinced her to go back with him to the foundation, promising to make things better. Watching from afar, Gilad assured Geoff that they would be better off in the foundation, when just then Bloodshot arrived and recruited then on a mission to find the Weaponeer’s hidden vault.

Search For The Vault

Late one night in Battery Park, as Bloodshot told Gilad and Geoff of his need to use Geoff as a bloodhound to find the Weaponeer’s vault, snipers onboard a Webnet stealth helicopter opened fire on them. Running away, Gilad dispatched a group of Webnet goons coming out of a van just as Bloodshot saw a second van coming their way. Following Geoff to the subway, they ran inside the train as the doors closed, but then the Webnet agents cut the power and the train stopped. As the Webnet operatives boarded the train, Gilad, Geoff, and Bloodshot escaped through a grate into the sewer. Meanwhile, 100 feet below Heathrow Airport, in a shooting range within MI–5, Richard Grant arrogantly showed his superb marksmanship skills to Charles Sinclair.

Hours later, in the Lower East Side, as Gilad, Geoff, and Bloodshot left New York aboard a speed boat, Webnet operatives shot at them with a bazooka from a yacht and destroyed their transport. Jumping into the water before the missile hit, Bloodshot, Gilad, and Geoff swam to the yacht and dispatched the agents, then, using his ability to speak with machines Bloodshot jammed Webnet’s frequencies so they would not be able to locate them and commandeer control of the boat.

The next day in the Balkan mountains, Felina, a guide, led Gilad and the others to a cave that Geoff discerned was were the vault used to be before it was moved. While making their way down the mountain, Bloodshot heard the faint sound of an assailant taking out a Webnet sniper, but dismissed it. Twenty six hours later in Hong Kong, Geoff looked out at the city from the roof of a hotel and found the vault. Making their way south, Gilad saw two Webnet cars coming at them, so he led them into an outdoor market to end their pursue. While Gilad and Bloodshot dispatched the Webnet agents, Felina took Geoff to the other side of the market, but two agents found them. While Felina fought off an agent, the other one offered not to kill Geoff in exchange for his help finding the vault, but then, through means he refused to elaborate on, Geoff knocked out the agent.

Sometime later, on an island off the coast of the Philippines, Geoff took the others into an active volcano that he assured them was where they would find the vault. Finding the Weaponeer’s weapons cache in a massive cave, Geoff asked the security system to let them in, then he and the others found a specific crate that Neville was looking for. Just then, however, a group of Webnet agents came out of the shadows to take it from them.

Elsewhere, the Weaponeer wrote down an entry in his journal detailing his assistance to Neville’s men looking for his vault and his hope that Neville would put weapons they found there to good use.

Search And Destroy

Though surrounded on all sides by the Webnet agents, Bloodshot and Gilad dispatched them and escaped. Carrying the three crates that Neville was looking for on their shoulders, Gilad, Geoff, and Bloodshot found a submarine in a dock within the volcano. Sensing the approach of more Webnet agents, Geoff said that they should stay and hold them off, but Gilad urged him to get inside the submarine and leave. Staying behind with a crate, Gilad dealt with the agents while Bloodshot took Geoff and the remaining crates away in the sub. As their submarine sped away from the island, Geoff saw two enemy vessels following them on the radar. During a firefight, the submarine hull breached and the vessel went down to the bottom of the ocean.

Back in the cave, Gilad engaged the Webnet agents in a fist fight, but they overpowered him and took the crate, which in reality was a bomb primed to blow up within seconds. Fighting his way through the agents, Gilad escaped the explosion and leapt off a ledge onto a rope ladder hanging from Felina’s chopper. As the chopper flew away, the island exploded behind it. Meanwhile, beneath the ocean, Bloodshot rammed the Webnet submarine with his own. As the hull cracked and the submarine filled with water, Bloodshot gave Geoff an aqua–lung and dragged him to the surface, where Sinclair was waiting for them aboard a boat.

That night in Bangkok, Gilad took Felina to dinner to repay her for saving his life, while back in London, Neville admired his new acquisitions, eagerly looking forward to begin Project: Secret Weapons.

Truth And Consequences

While making her way to class Faith noticed a crowd gathering at the entrance to the school and saw Harada’s enforcers escorting Stronghold and Livewire inside. Upset, Amanda lashed out at Coach Nicoletti for treating her and Edward like criminals, while, ashamed for dragging her into this mess, Edward promised her that he would make things better and change. As the Eggbreakers took them away, Amanda saw Faith watching her. A week later, Amanda asked Faith to help her find Eddie, who she had not seen since they got there. Worried that something had happened to him, Amanda told Faith that she was the only one she could trust and that together they could find Eddie and escape, but, unsure of what she could do, Faith declined to help her.

Days later, while Faith Victoria, Simon, and Butch played in the snow and Sam told Mira that he ended up with the Detention Squad after he trashed Mr. Smalls’ car on his first day during a fight with Butch, Amanda abruptly came flying out of an underground facility chased by the Eggbreakers. Enraged after learning what happened to Eddie, Amanda lashed out, but she ultimately fell when hit by a burst of energy from Blast. After the enforcers took Amanda away, Butch was appalled to see Natalie Toynbee hanging off Blast’s arm and told Sam that she needed to hang out with a guy who had charm and class like him, not a loser like Blast.

Later that day, Takashi informed Mr. Smalls that the lab technicians assured him that Amanda would be dealt with, promising better results than they got from Edward. As Takashi left, Mr. Smalls said that Harada would be upset to learn that he had allowed the doctors in the labs to tamper with his children, unaware that Victoria was listening in from inside the ventilation shaft. That evening, after Victoria told the others what she had learned, Faith, who felt guilty for turning her back on Amanda, convinced the rest of B-Squad to help her find her in the underground labs. Worried that Faith would get the others in trouble, Mira objected to no avail.

That night, Faith and the others made their way through the underground labs and found Edward laying on a gurney with a surgical scar on his forehead that indicated he had been lobotomized. Just then, the equally–lobotomized Amanda trapped the B–Squad in a makeshift cage. As enforcers entered the room, Faith pleaded with Amanda to listen to her, but Amanda told her to save her concern, which was a little too late.

The next day, Mr. Smalls discovered that someone had activated the sprinklers in his office and called a janitor to clean it up. As Livewire came walking down a hallway, the janitor accidentally splashed her boots. Calling him janitor an idiot and leaving, Livewire failed to recognize that the janitor was Edward. His memory gone, Edward apologized and said that he was cleaning the floor to make things better.

Bad Omen

Bad Omen – Part I

At the Ranch, the HARD Corps’ underground headquarters in Albuquerque, Director Sigmund Heydrich charged the Corps with a mission to breach the Harbinger Foundation Complex in Bolivar to record Toyo Harada’s brain waves for inclusion in their Harbinger powers database and to assassinate him.

Later that day, at the foundation complex in Bolivar, the members of B–Squad, punished with cafeteria duty after the prank they pulled on Mr. Smalls, coped with their reprimand. While Sam, Faith, Mira, and Victoria served Sloppy Joes and tater tots, Butch and Sam bused tables. After clearing Beatrice’s table, Butch ran into Nathalie and tried to cozy up to her, but Blast warned him to leave her alone. Meanwhile, Takashi Kuramoto informed Mr. Kabuto and Mr. Sakai of his decision to cut down on the foundation’s security measures, as in his opinion their enemies were no longer a threat. Leaving in a huff, Mr. Kabuto exclaimed that she was glad that she would be relocating to New York and would not witness Kuramoto tear the company apart, unaware that Kuramoto planned to dismiss her and her colleagues from the foundation for good.

That evening, Simon noticed Sam was distracted and asked him if he was okay, so Butch mockingly revealed that Sam had the hots for Mira. Though he denied at first, Sam asked Butch if he thought if Mira would go out with him, but Butch told him not to bother with her because she was a cold fish. While getting dressed to go out, Butch told Simon that he could tell he had fallen head over heels for Mira, but that inevitably something would go wrong and he was the one who would have to hear him moan about it later. Walking out the room, Butch told Sam that he was leaving to go see Natalie in spite of Blast’s warning that he stay away from her.

Elsewhere, Ms. Kabuto told Mira that since things with the B–Squad had not improved since she assigned her as team leader she had no choice but to break them up due to their many indiscretions. Returning to her room, Mira told the girls and Butch that in two weeks Ms. Kabuto would relocate them to different branches of the foundation, with some of them going with her to New York. Feeling guilty, Victoria offered to confess that she flooded Mr. Smalls’ office, but convinced that it would only make things worse, Faith dissuaded her. Upset, Victoria asked if there was something they could do, and Butch said that they could go get drunk.

That night, B–Squad broke into the hospital cafeteria to have a last meal together. Reaching for a six pack, Butch split the beer with the others, except for Mira and Faith, the latter of whom said that her friend Torque let her have a sip once and it tasted awful. Raising her bottle, Victoria promised to visit the others and offered a toast that Simon sealed by yelling out that “Nothing Beats A Bud”. Just then, the kids saw the Corps walked into the cafeteria in Ghost Mode. After a brief skirmish, the Corps defeated the B–Squad, except for Simon, who turned invisible and ran away. While Flatline and Hotshot stayed behind to watch the kids, the others proceeded to Harada’s room, where after copying his brain waves, Gunslinger trained his weapon on his head.

Bad Omen – Part II: Hard Decisions

Standing over Harada’s bed, Hammerhead urged Gunslinger to pull the trigger, but feeling at odds with his orders, Gunslinger requested to speak with Heydrich, when suddenly Simon grabbed his arm and pulled it away. Punching Simon aside, Hammerhead knocked him out, but then Sam and the rest of the B–Squad broke into the room with Flatline and Hotshot in tow. Though the Corps got the upper hand again and defeated the B–Squad, the sound of the security alarm in the distance forced them to retreat. Meanwhile in the cafeteria, Faith told the security guards that she and the others were there investigating noises when the Corps attacked them. Hearing the sound of an explosion, the guards ran into Harada’s room and saw a hole in the ceiling.

While the Corps made their way toward their rendezvous point with their evac chopper, the foundation’s security guards surrounded them from both sides in the hallway. Breaking through a tilted window to escape, the Corps inadvertently found themselves facing dozens of guards waiting for them outside. Flying toward the roof, the Corps took cover while they waited for their chopper. Meanwhile, while Walter Sakai chastised Kuramoto for risking Harada’s life, inside the hospital, Katsumi questioned the B–Squad. Seeing their chopper, the Corps made a break for it and got away, certain that Harada would not wake up from his coma.

Inside the hospital, as the kids confessed that they broke into the cafeteria not worried that they would be punished since she had already broken them up, Katsumi told them that they were heroes for saving Harada’s life. Meanwhile, Walter and Kuramoto were astonished to discover that Harada had awoken from his coma.

Bad Omen – Part III: Last Rites

During an assembly, Harada asked the members of B–Squad to stand so he could have a look at them. Feeling proud, Mira pulled Sam by the arm so he would stand up with her, while feeling embarrassed, Victoria, Faith, and Simon slouched in their seats until Ms. Kabuto forced them to stand up to be congratulated. Calling the B–Squad a shinning example of the Harbinger courage and spirit, Harada told them that he looked forward to meeting with them that afternoon and then broke off the assembly. While Victoria and the others left for the infirmary to see how Butch was doing, elsewhere in the auditorium, Coach Nicoletti asked the Eggbreakers where Blast was. At that moment in Natalie’s bedroom, as Blast walked out the door she asked him when she would get a try out with the Eggbreakers, but rolling his eyes, he said that it would happen soon and then left.

Sometime before noon, in Butch’s hospital room, the kids felt weirded out that everybody was treating them like heroes, especially Victoria, who could not stand being congratulated for saving a guy she did not even know. Unlike the others, Mira was excited that they were going to meet Harada, who wanted to thank them personally. Later that day, while Toyo and Walter discussed their imminent strike against Omen Enterprises, Kuramoto’s fate, and the whereabouts of Pete Stanchek, they ran across Edward Sedgewick. Looking into Eddie’s mind, Harada was appalled to learn what happened to him. Meanwhile, in Takashi Kuramoto’s office, sensing his impending doom, Takashi called an unidentified associate and gave him access to the foundation’s network to steal its classified data as a way to ensure that he be remembered long after he was gone.

That afternoon in the gym, Sam asked Mira if she had seen Faith, who was supposed to give him a computer lesson. Feeling left out because all her friends and family were in Minnesota, Mira told Sam that Faith was probably with Victoria as they barely left each other’s sight. Telling Mira that she was her friend, Sam gazed at her and told her that she did not have to be alone. As Mira reached out to hug Sam, Victoria and Faith interrupted them. Grabbing Sam’s arm, Faith pulled him away for his computer class. As Mira left, Victoria asked Sam if he was making a move on her, but calling her shrimp he told her to mind her own business.

Sometime later, in Harada’s office, Toyo assured the B–Squad that he would deal with the people responsible for assaulting the foundation and attempting to kill him as they took something from him that he wanted back. Commending them once again for saving his life, Harada told the kids that it was a joy so see them thrive and reach their full potential, especially Faith, who he was glad had adapted well to foundation life. After Harada sent the kids on their way, Simon turned back and asked him if there was anything he could to do stop the squad from breaking up, and Toyo promised to take care of it. Leaving Harada’s office, the kids padded Simon on the back for having the guts to speak to Harada on their behalf.

That night, while Mira told the kids that Katsumi told her that they were going to let them stay together, back in Harada’s office, Toyo discharged Takashi for dishonoring the foundation and him with his ploys. Bowing to Harada, Takashi left to reclaim his honor. Following Takashi to his office, Harada found him kneeled on the floor holding a katana to his abdomen ready to perform Seppuku. Telling Harada that he did not regret anything he did, Takashi said that he did not think he could go through with killing himself, so Harada pushed the sword into his stomach with his mind and then walked away.

That night at the HARD Corps’ headquarters in Albuquerque, as Gunslinger delivered the device that held Harada’s brain scan to Heydrich, a squadron of Harbinger fighter jets attacked the Ranch.

Bad Omen – Part IV: H.A.R.D Retribution

While Softcore talked with her mother on the phone, the window exploded and the lights went out. Looking outside, Softcore witnessed a small contingent of Corps led by Hammerhead holding their ground against a barrage of Harbinger foundation troops descending on the Ranch. As a foundation soldier fell beside the open window and trained his weapon on Softcore, Hotshot killed him. Throwing a weapon at Softcore, Hotshot told her to follow her. Meanwhile, at the Harbinger Foundation complex in Bolivar, Harada oversaw the assault against the Ranch on a monitor bank. Ordering his troops to focus on the Corps above ground, Harada said that he had a weapon that would destroy the underground levels and retrieve what the Corps stole from him.

Back in the Ranch, director Heydrich retrieved the device that held Harada’s brain scans from his safe and ordered Gunslinger to ensure its safety. Leading Heydrich away from his office, Gunslinger was interested in getting back with his team. Looking to reach Softcore, Gunslinger got in touch with Lifeline, who found the Corps and Softcore in the battle field. Surrounded from all sides by foundation troops, the Corps was in trouble, when then, Shakespeare arrived on a commandeered foundation helicopter and killed their attackers.

While Gunslinger and Heydrich ran down a darken hallway, a piece of equipment fell over a tech that was running behind them. Though Heydrich urged him to leave the man behind and get him to safety, Gunslinger ignored him and went to help the tech while Heydrich ran away. Meanwhile, outside, Livewire, Harada’s weapon, destroyed the helicopter that Shakespeare commandeered. Escaping using flight mode, the Corps followed Livewire to stop her. Reaching a dead end, Heydrich ran back down the hallway to go find another way out. Stumbling on a piece of metal on the floor, Heydrich dropped the scanning device. Reaching for it, afraid that he broke it, Heydrich inadvertently activated the device, when just then Livewire flew toward him.

After taking the device, Livewire bond Heydrich with metal wires. Looming toward him, her hand glowing bright, Livewire was ready to kill Heydrich, when then the Corps arrived and stopped her. While Gunslinger recovered the device, Hotshot protected the team behind a force shield and Shakespeare and Flatline kept Livewire off her feet. Defeated, Livewire collapsed the ceiling and sealed the hallway. As Hammerhead released him, Heydrich demanded that Gunslinger return the device to him. Throwing the device at Heydrich, Gunslinger told him that he did not trust him and was watching him, then they all got out of there.

That night in Bolivar, Harada told Walter Sakai that their attack against Omen had not ended, and that he could not allow Omen to ever use his psionic power, for in the wrong hands it would devastate the world.

Interlude III

Incandescent Expectations

In the gym of the foundation complex in Bolivar, the B–Squad took part of a training exercise with Gilad. After Sam punched Gilad on the jaw, the kids pilled on him, but Gilad easily pushed them off him. Calling off the exercise, Coach Nicoletti sent the kids to the showers. Asking Faith to stay, Gilad asked her if she knew where her former renegade teammates were, but she told him that she did not remember much about her time with them. Placing his hand on her shoulder, Gilad told Faith that he believed that she remembered more than she wanted to admit. Walking away, Gilad said that Faith owed her family and friends not to let her happiness stop her from learning the truth about her past. Meanwhile, Butch learned from Beatrice that Blast was stringing Natalie along with the promise of giving her a spot with the Eggbreakers and left in a huff.

Sometime later, Katsumi gave Sam the keys to a van so that the kids could drive themselves to the foundation headquarters in New York with Toyo’s permission. Suddenly, Blast came crashing out through a wall into the parking lot. Walking through the rubble left by his sonic scream, Butch accused Blast of having no intention of helping Natalie get into the elite squad. Shooting Butch with an energy blast, Blast threatened to make him pay for attacking him, but then Sam and Katsumi stopped him. While his friends held him back, Butch told them what Blast had promised Natalie. Telling Katsumi that it was a misunderstanding, Blast said that he never promised Natalie anything, unaware that Natalie was listening in from amid a crowd. Meanwhile, Faith returned to her room and told Victoria that she was going leaving to go find out what happened to her parents.

That night, while Toyo told Gilad what happened to Stronghold and Livewire, elsewhere, Natalie confronted Blast. Lashing out with her fireworks, Natalie blinded Blast, who shot the floor beneath her feet and sent her down the roof to the level below them. Following the light show to the roof of the building, Butch and the others asked Blast what happened and he accused Natalie of being crazy. Rising up, Natalie lunged against Blast, when just then Gilad arrived and stopped her. Holding her down, Gilad told Natalie that he did not want to hurt her, but grabbing his head, she told him to let her go. Reaching out to her, Butch told Natalie that that what she was doing would not solve anything, and assured her that he did not need help to get a shot at being an Eggbreaker. Tears streaking down her cheeks, Natalie powered down and walked away with Butch.

A few days later the B–Squad packed their van and left for New York, leaving Beatrice behind pinning for Butch. Hours later, at a public phone, Butch called what he thought was Natalie’s number and left a message on an answering machine, unaware that she had given him a random family’s phone number.

Total Eclipse

On January 18th, 1979, in Lynchburg, Virginia, Toyo Harada visited Faith Herbert when she was a toddler.

15 years later, the B–Squad’s van got a flat tire somewhere in Ohio, and while Sam held the van up for Butch to check the torn tire, Mira yelled at Butch for blowing it out. Since they had used their spare tire, Victoria suggested that Faith fly back to the last town they drove through, Murry County, to find a tow truck. Just then, a truck drove by them and the kids told Faith to wave it down, but, lost in thought, she did not hear them. Soon, Faith and Victoria left to go find a tow truck. Back at the Harbinger Foundation in Bolivar, inside an observation deck overlooking an operating room where Stronghold was undergoing a mysterious procedure, Harada assured Katsumi that he had the B–Squad’s van under surveillance, and that he hoped that their trip would build character in Faith and her friends.

An hour later, at Murry County Middle School, Dr. Eclipse held a classroom full of children hostage after he killed their teacher, Ms. Hockryder, whose corpse he sat behind her desk at the front of the class. A native of the town, Eclipse regaled the children with stories of his childhood and transformation. Meanwhile, in a gas station, Faith told Victoria that she was thinking of going back to Virginia, but since she was scared of what she might find there she thought it be best to stay with her and the others. Telling Faith not to be a chicken, Victoria suggested that Gilad was right, and that it was time that she went out and straightened out her past.

Just then, Dr. Eclipse came out of the school yelling that he was renaming the town Benderville. As the cops opened fire on him, Faith and Victoria ran to the school to see what was happening. Using his necromantic energy to kill two police officers, Eclipse held a third one in his grasp to suck the life out of her, but then, Faith kicked him across the head. Looming over the girls, Eclipse said that they were full of the necromantic energy he needed, when then, Victoria hit him with an electric jolt that dispersed him across the street.

While Faith and Victoria helped the police officer, Eclipse’s ooze coalesced back into a humanoid form underneath a school bus. Holding the bus over his head, Eclipse threatened to drop it on the girls, when then Sam and the others arrived. Grabbing the bus, Sam pushed it off Eclipse’s grasp. Licking his lips, Eclipse was eager to suck the energy from the young Harbingers. Yelling at Eclipse to get lost, Butch’s sonics were futile against his energy form. Punching Butch on the jaw, Eclipse lunged toward him and grabbed his head to rip it off his neck, when then Mira threw a brick at his head to make him chase her.

Leading Eclipse toward the gas station, Sam leapt at him from behind to help Mira, but he fell right through his liquid body and Eclipse grabbed them both. Facing Victoria, Eclipse hit her with a blast of necromantic energy. As Eclipse turned back, Sam hit him on the face and ripped his head from his body. While Sam and Mira ran away, Faith dozed Eclipse with gasoline and then lit him up with Butch’s lighter. Flying away before the station blew up, the explosion pushed Faith off balance and she fell on the ground next to the others. Back in Bolivar, foundation scientists briefed Harada on their discovery of dozens of Spider Alien vessels taking off into space from different locations on Earth. Surmising that they were gathering to plan an attack, Harada decided to destroy them before they launched a first strike.

Sometime that evening, in a market’s parking lot, Faith found a camera/tracking device on the van while taking her bag out. Walking up to her, Simon asked Faith where she was going, so she told him that she was returning to Virginia to find out what happened to her missing parents. Telling the others that she had another life before she met them, Faith said that she had to try to find a way to clear the clouds that covered her memories of it. Though Sam offered to go with her, Faith told them that even though she was scared, she knew that she would never be able to live with herself unless she put the pieces of her life together alone. As tears ran down her cheeks, Victoria promised Faith that they would cover for her, and told her that seeing the way she handled Eclipse she knew that she was ready for anything. Watching Faith fly away, Victoria asked Sam if they would ever see her again, but Sam answered that he did not know.

As the van made its way to New York, Dr. Eclipse stroke again, filling the car with his liquefied necromantic self to drown the B–Squad. Floating in the ooze, Sam could not get any leverage to break the roof, while the harder he pushed the deeper he sank. As the kids drowned, Dr. Eclipse’s laughter filled the night.

Chaos Effect Delta

The Gathering – Part I: A Call To Arms

At the office of Toyo Harada in Bolivar, Aric Dacia asked Harada if he had any information about the Spider Aliens, whom he was certain were up to something after they sent a thief to steal a ship in Orb Industries. Confirming Aric’s suspicion, Harada said that he had recorded dozens of Spider Alien vessels leaving Earth. Presuming that they were gathering in space planning an attack, Harada told Aric that Omen Enterprises and the government faction that ran the Armorines were launching two shuttles out into space to investigate. Interfacing with Harada’s computer, Aric downloaded the location of the Omen spacecraft into the Good Skin and took his leave. Before Aric left, Harada reminded him that this was another favor he had done for him with no questions asked, and that he expected him to do the same for him someday.

Inside a van somewhere in Ohio, the kids from B–Squad drowned in Dr. Eclipse’s liquid body one by one, when then, Butch let out a sonic scream that blew the top of the van off. Chocking on Eclipse’ fluid, yet still alive, the kids crawled into the road, where Victoria saw Eclipse looming over them with a mocking smile on his face. Taunting them, Eclipse challenged the kids to take on him, so Sam Silently stood up to face him. Grabbing Sam in his oversized hand, Eclipse pulled him toward his mouth, when suddenly, the chaos effect enveloped the world and filled him with an influx of necromantic energy. Mad with power and delusions of Godhood, Eclipse took to the skies and left the B–Squad behind to wonder what was happening.

Amid glowing chemical lights, Harada told Walter, Katsumi, and others that he had spent two hours reaching out across the globe and felt the fear, confusion, and death left in the wake of the chaos. Explaining that the laws of nature no longer applied, Harada said that a dark energy was sweeping the world, blocking the sun’s rays and disrupting the electromagnetic spectrum, causing electricity to become erratic. Proclaiming that they were witnessing the fall of man and that they were spinning chaotically in a world that no longer welcomed them where science no longer ruled, Harada said that magic and faith were their masters. Fearing the worst, Harada told Walter that he believed that the Spider Aliens were behind the worldwide crisis, and that the Armorines, Omen Enterprises, and X–O Manowar might be battling them in deep space with the fate of everything hanging in the balance. Pointing out that communications were out, Walter said that there was no way they could find out what was happening, but Harada suggested that there was a way he could find them.

Somewhere in West Virginia, Faith landed in the woods to find shelter from the weather before she got lost in it. Just then, a dog called Chief jumped her from behind and threw her on the ground. Following Chief, Jack, a young kid, apologized to Faith and pulled the dog off her. Introducing himself, Jack told Faith that he and his uncle had a campsite nearby and invited her to join them. Five hours later, somewhere in Ohio, the kids from B–Squad gathered around a campfire beside their van and wondered when the skies would clear up.

In Bolivar, while on their way to a specially prepared room, Harada told Walter that he planned to reach out mentally to the Omen shuttles in space to take possession of somebody’s body, preferably Aric’s, so he could not only see the end of the Spider Alien threat, but play a part in it as well. Disrobing to go inside a sensory deprivation chamber, Harada told Walter to transcribe everything he said, and that even if the chaos effect ended, he was not to be disturbed. Entering the chamber, Harada spent the next few hours focusing his mental abilities in an effort to reach out to any of the warriors fighting against the Spider Alien forces.

High above the Earth, the Armorines and HARD Corps engaged the Spider Alien fleet in a no holds barred battle. Astonished, Antonio Cordova could not believe that they were taking on an alien fleet in space, while Michael Sirot was satisfied that the proof was right in his face. Seeing a squadron of alien warriors coming their way, Flatline suddenly grabbed his head and keeled over in pain as Harada took over his body. Staring out into the void of space, Harada looked at the others with contempt.

The Gathering – Part II: Search And Destroy

On the morning of June 20th, 1994, in a remote launch site owned by Omen Enterprises located somewhere in New Mexico, the space shuttles Voyager and Intrepid launched into orbit carrying the Armorines and HARD Corps within them. Inside the Voyager’s cargo hold, while Major Lane complained over the cramped space, Clark Hossen felt elated that they were going out into space, but urging him to loose the starry–eyed attitude, she told him that they were going to war, not an episode of Star Trek. Behind them, Gunny Lewis agreed with Myra Lane that they could not take the luxury of taking in the scenery, not when an alien invasion threatened the entire Earth. Soon, the shuttles reached escape velocity and were well on their way to rendezvous in high Earth orbit.

Down in ground control, Phillip Zahn told Heydrich that he was surprised that he did not sent Softcore up with his agents since she activated their Harbinger powers. Explaining that they had found that they ran less risk of discovery by keeping Softcore at the home base on all of HARD Corps’ missions, Heydrich said that it gave them tighter control over the Corps’ members. Offering his due respects, General Kendall told Heydrich that he found the ability to brain–fry their own personnel on a whim to be somewhat disturbing. Telling Kendall not to be sanctimonious, Heydrich accused him of building his distinguished marine corps’s reputation on false propaganda and deceit. Looking to dissuade the argument, Zahn called Kendall and Heydrich’s attention to a monitor. Behind them, Softcore established contact with the HARD Corps aboard the Intrepid and told them that she would be switching them to shield mode until further notice.

Onboard the Intrepid, Flatline told Hotshot that he was not too keen on working with the Armorines, who tried to kill them. Agreeing with him, Hotshot said that if they turned on them while they were up there they would be dead meat. Calling them paranoid, Gunslinger told them that what happened before was a mistake, and that Gunny Lewis was a good man, when suddenly the shuttle wobbled and threw them off balance. Running to the cockpit to find out what happened, Gunslinger learned that there was some kind of major disruption in the Earth’s electromagnetic geosphere and that the pilot had lost contact with Voyager.

Reestablishing contact with Intrepid, the two crews learned that there was some kind of global disturbance that caused a communications blackout that left them completely cutoff from Earth. Contacting Gunslinger, Gunny turned his attention to a massive alien fleet in the distance that had spotted their approach. Back in ground control, Kendall found Zahn staring at the sky, amazed by the electric field that encompassed the Earth, and ordered him to return inside to help Heydrich’s staff. Telling the General that there was nothing they could do, Zahn said that the aliens may have caused the electrical freeze using some type of weapon to keep them defenseless for when their invasion force stroke. Looking at the sky, Kendall proclaimed that that could mean the end of everything as they knew it and Zahn concurred. Meanwhile, onboard a Spider Alien vessel, Marc Anthony told Aristedes that their mothership was not scheduled to arrive for a few hours and asked him what they were going to do about the two shuttles, which surely contained a human attack force. Reluctant to risk loosing anymore ships, Aristedes ordered Marc Anthony to sent out three squadrons of their finest warriors in X-O Wolf Armor to engage the humans in hand–to–hand– combat.

Equipped in EVA suits, the HARD Corps exited the Intrepid’s cargo bay through the open canopy while the Armorines approached them in their armors from the Voyager. Hearing Flatline complain about being stuck on shield mode and loosing their offensive strategy, Gunny realized that cut off from Softcore they could not switch to any of their other powers, which put them at an immediate disadvantage. Showing off a high–tech gun, Hammerhead told Sam to be glad that he insisted that they bring those along. Nevertheless, Gunny suggested that they work together and watch each other’s backs. Agreeing, Gunslinger said that their first priority was to find a way to disable the aliens’ ships. Watching the alien’s first wave of defense troops bearing on them, Gunny ordered everyone to lock and load for a fight.

His heart pounding like a hammer, either due to an adrenaline rush or the cold fear at the sight of the aliens, Gunny wondered if they were going to have a chance against them and their technology. Contacting Myra, Gunny told her to scan the outer hull of the closest ship to find a weak spot they could penetrate with their weapons. Taking Gunslinger with him, Gunny blew a hole on the side of a Spider Alien vessel with his ion cannons and the two of them went inside to find its main power source and destroy it. Meanwhile, outside, Toyo Harada’s consciousness took over Flatline’s body. Taking the others by surprise, Harada used the Omega Power to switch powers and dispatch two alien warriors, then he flew away, leaving Shakespeare in doubt.

Inside the alien vessel, Gunny and Gunslinger reached the engine room. While Gunslinger kept the aliens at bay with his force field, Gunny fired his PBC cannon at the engine and destroyed it. Blowing a hole through the hull, Gunny and Gunslinger escaped the vessel before it rammed another ship. Taking cover behind a shield, the two withstood a massive explosion that resulted from the collision of both vessels. Floating aimlessly, at the mercy of two alien warriors, Gunslinger was too weak to put up another shield, while the energy levels in Gunny’s armor had dropped severely and were a few minutes away from going back on–line. Just then, X–O Manowar destroyed the aliens and rescued them. Cursing the hard skins, Aric promised that they would die like all the rest of their kind. Assuring one another that they were on the same side of the battle, Gunny, Gunslinger, and Aric went their separate ways to fight the aliens from multiple fronts.

Elsewhere, Harada in Flatline’s body watched as the Armorines and HARD Corps engaged the aliens in futile battle atop an alien vessel. Showing outer disregard for the other’s safety, Harada ripped the alien vessel to shreds. Taking cover behind a shield, Hammerhead told the others that he was beginning to believe that Flatline was not himself.

The Gathering – Part III: Old Acquaintances

Leaving Harada’s office, X–O Manowar took off for space, delighted at the prospect of the coming slaughter. Satisfied that Harada’s information confirmed his suspicions about the aliens, Aric vowed that they would not escape his wrath. Urging the Good Skin to hurry and take him to his enemies so that he could fulfill his blood oath, Aric broke orbit right as the necromantic energy pouring out of Ivar’s time arc enveloped the Earth and momentarily lost touch with the Manowar Class Armor. Staring at the Earth, Aric surmised that the aliens were responsible for the energy web around the planet and vowed to make them pay dearly, when suddenly he heard Paul’s voice screaming in his ears. Skeptical at first, Aric listened as Paul said that the X–O armor had not fully absorbed part of his consciousness during the joining due to his being a human host and not an alien. Deducing that the disturbance had awoken Paul, Aric promised to deal with the situation after they killed the aliens. Meanwhile, at the Orb Industries medical center, Ken Clarkson and Tilly Milton discovered that Krollos had escaped.

Above Earth’s atmosphere, Harada took over Flatline’s mind and flew away, while Sirot broke ranks and left. Aboard an alien vessel, Gunny and Gunslinger destroyed the ship’s power source, causing the vessel to ram another ship and explode. Delighted by the sight of so many hard skins, Aric inferred that the gathering must have been why Aristedes desperately wanted Shanhara out of the way. Holding Aristedes responsible for the death of Shanhara and Paul’s current predicament, Aric promised Paul that he would find him and make his juices flow. Floating aimlessly at the mercy of two alien warriors, Gunslinger was too weak to put up another shield, while the energy levels in Gunny’s armor had dropped severely and were a few minutes away from going back on–line, when then X–O Manowar destroyed the aliens and rescued them. Cursing the hard skins, Aric promised that they would die like the rest of their kind. Assuring one another that they were on the same side, Gunny, Gunslinger, and Aric went their separate ways to fight the aliens from multiple fronts.

Meanwhile, in a small town near Vancouver, Randy Cartier informed the rest of Department W that David’s autopsy revealed that whoever murdered him was an experienced assassin. Explaining that the coroner found a gelatin fragment and broken skin along the bruise on David’s neck, Randy said that David was poisoned. Calling it a unique method of assassination, Ian said that the only individual in their files that fit that mo was an assassin who called himself Snakebite, named after the legendary silent killers of World War II. Intent on tracking down Snakebite, Randy urged the others to help her. Just then, a sniper’s bullet killed Stephan.

Breaking into an alien vessel, Aric found Aristedes on the bridge and tore him asunder, then he blasted Marc Anthony into space. Elsewhere, Gunslinger and Gunny went to find Flatline, who unlike the other Corps was not stuck in shield mode. Contacting Myra, Gunny learned that Sirot was onboard one of the alien vessels and had shut off visual and audio contact with Hossen.

After ripping the heads off two aliens, Sirot linked his armor to the vessel’s computers, unaware that an alien had trained his weapon on him. Startling Sirot, X–O Manowar killed the alien. Grabbing the interface, Aric asked Sirot what he was doing, so he told him that the NSA wanted him to retrieve as much information about the aliens and their technology as he could while he was up there. Silently, Aric ripped the interface from the aliens’ computer and shattered it in his hand, infuriating Sirot, who accused him of being a stupid, arrogant brute. Just then, the alien ship shook up and threw the two men off balance. Lighting the darkened room with his omni beam, Aric told Sirot that the others might be trying to disable the ship from outside.

Finding Flatline attacking the Spider Alien vessel with arc charge, Gunslinger ordered him to stop what he was doing and told him that one of the Armorines was on board the ship. Calling him naïve for not realizing that Sam Kim was no longer in control of his body, Harada said that the aliens posed a threat to everything he had tried to built and that he did not care who got killed as long as those damned creatures were eliminated. Vowing that he would not be denied Harada delivered a fatal charge that destroyed the alien vessel.

The Gathering – Part IV: Unholy Alliance

Finding Flatline attacking the alien vessel, Gunslinger ordered him to stop what he was doing, and told him that one of the Armorines was on board. Calling him a fool, Flatline said that the Spider Alien posed a threat to everything he had tried to built and that he did not care who was in the way of his slaughter of all of those creatures. Vowing that he would not be denied, Harada delivered a fatal charge that destroyed the alien vessel.

Gathering the Armorines and the Corps, Gunslinger told them that Harada had possessed Sam, and that in his eyes they were expendable. Certain that Sirot was dead, Gunny accused Harada of murder, when then Myra informed him that Sirot was alive and headed their way. In awe, the Armorines and Corps watched as the X–O Manowar armor in its ball configuration flew toward them from the explosion and opened up to reveal Sirot and Aric inside it. After thanking Aric for saving Sirot, Gunny confronted Michael for shutting off visual and audio without permission, but all Sirot would say was that he had his orders. Interrupting Gunny’s reaming of Sirot, Major Lane informed him that one of the alien ships had broken formation and headed for the Voyager. While the others dealt with the fleet, Gunny and Aric flew toward the shuttle to take care of the aliens.

Soon, Aric and Gunny found the vessel attacking the Voyager, which was taking evasive maneuvers. Aware that the shuttle could not avoid the alien lasers for long, Gunny worried that if they did not save the shuttle, they would all be stranded in space. Attacking the ship from different flanks , Aric and Gunny destroyed it. Reaching the shuttle, Gunny raised Myra on their comm–link and told her that the shuttle was hit hard but the hull was not breached. Meanwhile, Sirot suggested that they kill Flatline, but Gunslinger told him that killing Sam to get rid of Harada was not an option as far as he was concerned. Pointing to the last three alien vessels, Shakespeare informed Gunslinger that they were reconfiguring and that Harada had gone on the offensive.

Contacting Harada, Gunslinger urged him to halt his assault, and told him that taking on the Spider Aliens alone was suicide, but Harada ignored his warnings and engaged a squadron of aliens in Wolf armor. Urging Harada to realize that he was jeopardizing the mission, Gunslinger told him that he if he really wanted to beat the aliens he would work with them. Though he was hesitant to work with his would–be assassins, Harada agreed to let the Corps and Armorines protect him while he single–handedly knocked out every alien ship. Protected by the Corps’ shields while the Armorines took out the aliens, Harada destroyed the alien vessels.

Weakened, Harada turned on his brief allies to avenge their assassination attempt on his life before he lost his hold on Sam’s body. Shooting Shakespeare out of his way and disabling an Armorine, Harada, certain that he would not harm him as long as he was in Flatline’s body, grabbed Gunslinger’s neck through his force field and threatened to blow up his helmet, when, suddenly, an Armorine tackled him and pushed him off Charles. Exhausted, and unable to hold much longer, Harada barely had enough strength to raise a force field to deflect a burst from Sirot’s PBC cannon. Regaining control of his body, Flatline came to unaware of what happened.

Sometime later, Gunny and X–O Manowar took out the remaining alien ships while the Armorines and the Corps took out the last of the armored aliens, bringing an end of the Spider Alien threat. Soon, while Gunny informed the team that it would take a few hours to make repairs on their shuttle, Gunslinger bemoaned the fact that as long as the energy field was around the Earth they could not get back, when then the disturbance disappeared as soon as it appeared. Contacting the Intrepid, Gunslinger urged them to reestablish contact with ground control. Shacking Gunslinger’s hand, Gunny told him that as soon as they made contact with ground control they should get out of there, while X–O would stay behind to help the Armorines get back safely. Parting ways, Gunny and Gunslinger agreed that they were getting too old for their line of work.

No Tomorrow

No Tomorrow – Part I

Back in September of 1993 in New York City, during the battle between Pete Stanchek and Toyo Harada, Faith and Kris hid in an alley to take shelter from the wreckage caused by the fight. Confused, Faith did not understand what was happening or how they had ended up in NYC, while Kris, who began to remember everything, said that what was happening was not real.

Hours later, as Kris and Faith walked through the rubble, Kris heard the sound of sirens in the distance and assumed that the worst was over. Sensing that Pete was gone, and feeling that somehow they were to blame, Kris told Faith that she was going home and suggested that she do the same.

A few days later, Faith arrived in Lynchburg Virginia and was surprised to discover that her parents’ home lay abandoned. While searching the house, Faith found a torn picture of her parents on the floor, when just then a woman who claimed to be from the Harbinger Foundation told her that she had to go with her. As Faith asked the woman what she had done to her parents, the woman said that she could not tell her anything more and then shot her with a tranquilizer dart.

In a diner in West Virginia two days after the Chaos Effect, Faith told Jack and his uncle that she hoped that her friends made it to New York okay. Telling her that she worried too much, Jack assured Faith that her troubles were over, but just then, Mak and Gridlock, two Harbinger truant officers, came inside the diner searching for the B–Squad. After Gridlock tossed a man who flirted with Mak through the front window, Mak showed the patrons a picture array of the kids and asked if anyone had seen them. Recognizing her picture on the array, Faith wondered how they found her, when then she realized that the camera she found on the van was a tracking device. Seeing Faith, Mak and Gridlock lunged after her, but Jack and his uncle stood in their way. After tossing Jack’s uncle against the counter, Gridlock grabbed Jack by the neck and pushed him against the wall. Before Gridlock could punch Jack out, Faith broke a bottle and hit him on the face with it. Taking flight, Faith escaped to prevent others from getting hurt, but soon as she came out of the diner Big Girl, an Eggbreaker, grabbed her by the ankles and slammed her against the street. Holding Faith under her arms, Big Girl put her inside a van that took off after Mak and Gridlock went inside it.

Meanwhile, as the B–Squad arrived at the Harbinger Foundation’s headquarters in New York City, Katsumi demanded to know where they had been. After Mira explained that they ran into Doctor Eclipse, who almost had them until the skies turned weird, Katsumi was satisfied that the kids where safe, when then she noticed that Faith was not with them. Though Katsumi demanded to know where Faith was, the kids kept quiet. Nevertheless, Katsumi went inside certain that the Eggbreaker team she would run into Faith.

At a Harbinger aerospace facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina, Toyo Harada oversaw the preparations for the imminent launch of a colony shuttle filled with young Harbingers, teachers, and trainers in suspended animation to endure space travel meant to make contact and form alliances with alien life–forms. Satisfied that the shuttle was in readiness for its launch 24 hours hence, Harada had received word that a late addition to their sleeper colony, Faith Herbert, had arrived. Elsewhere in the complex, Faith awoke in a darken room where she found her mother, who, garbed in a laboratory coat, told her that she was a teacher for the space colony and that she had been working for the foundation since before she was even born. Revealing that she was a breeder, Marta told Faith that the Harbinger foundation matched her with Hank to produce and raise her, then, tearfully, she said that she grew to care for Hank, who was gone now.

Overwhelmed, Faith refused to accept that what was happening was real, and accused her mother of pretending to care for her and only doing her duty for the foundation. Just then, Chief, Jack’s dog, ran into the room followed by Jack and his uncle, who came to get her out of there. While Jack’s uncle held the door close to keep the guards out of the room, Jack opened the window so that Faith would fly them away. Letting the guards inside, Jack’s uncle hit one of them on the face with a pipe, then, as the guard aimed his gun at him, Faith’s mom, much to Faith’s surprise, urged him not to shot.

Holding on to Jack and his uncle, Faith leapt out the window, and upon seeing Harada’s colony shuttle, she wondered what she had gotten herself into. Rushing down too fast, Faith and the others crashed on the ground, then, as they got their bearings, they were shocked to see that Eggbreakers surrounded them.

No Tomorrow – Part II

At the Harbinger Foundation aerospace facility in Jacksonville, North Carolina, the Eggbreakers killed Jack’s uncle during a battle to stop Faith from escaping. Just then, Magnus, Kris and Torque’s son who had arrived in the 20th Century during the Chaos Effect, joined the melee. Engaging the Eggbreakers, Magnus ordered Faith and Jack to get out of there, and assured her that he would catch up with them soon. Tearfully, Faith dragged Jack away with her, blaming herself for his uncle’s death.

Standing in the woods, Magnus asked Faith if she remembered who he was and that they had met before, but as she still suffered from amnesia she could only remember that he was from the future. Extending his hand, Magnus asked Faith to follow him to a hill overlooking the valley, which he said would become a significant place in the days to come as that was from where she would launch the Harbinger resistance. Telling Faith that Harada’s aerospace facility would go down in flames, and that it would be her doing, Magnus told Faith that tomorrow she would realize she had wasted enough time living a lie and that it was time to accept her destiny as the leader of the Harbinger resistance and take down Harada once and for all. Turning away, Faith was reluctant to believe Magnus, who grabbed her and said that the future of their people was in her hands. Even then, however, Faith turned away and said that she had to find Jack. As Faith left, Magnus told her that she could not run away from her destiny.

At the Harbinger Foundation headquarters, as Mira and Sam returned from the movies, Sam tried to give her a kiss goodnight, but Mira, unsure that what they were doing was right and hesitant to lead him on, turned from him and went inside her room. Disheartened, Sam returned to his room, where, after hearing him complain about his date, Butch convinced him to go with him to a club the following week to forget about Mira.

In a barn in North Carolina, Faith abruptly awoke from a nightmare in which Sting, Flamingo, and Kris accused her of abandoning them and joining Harada. In tears, Faith found solace in Jack’s arms, and that night the two of them made love. Meanwhile, back at the aerospace facility, the foundation scientists discovered that their shuttle would not last beyond orbit, and debated the morality of sending its crew into space.

Back at the barn, as Chief’s yelps woke her up, Faith opened the door to let him outside and was shocked to see Harada standing outside.

No Tomorrow – Part III: The Truth

In a barn in North Carolina, Harada ordered his men to put Faith in a van and take her back to the aerospace facility to ensure that she would not jeopardize his space program. Angered by his uncle’s death, Jack lashed out at Harada, who immobilized him where he stood and ordered his men to kill him. After Harada left, taking Faith with him, Magnus came back to help Jack against the soldiers. Back in New York, after Simon got injured during a training session with the rest of the B–Squad, their coach’s harsh criticism made the kids realize that they were no longer in Bolivar and that things were changing for the worst.

At the Harbinger aerospace facility, Harada told Faith that she would join the crew of his space colony. When Faith asked why, Harada claimed that since he had made her he owned her. Reaching into Faith’s mind, Harada showed her the truth of her birth, as well as how he had reprogrammed her, Kris, and Flamingo to attack Pete and bring a swift end to their resistance movement. While inside Faith’s mind, Harada learned of Magnus’ existence, and of what he told Faith. Though he believed that Faith becoming some sort of leader was preposterous, Harada decided to send her into space with his sleeper colony after all. Meanwhile, at the control center, Doctor Benchley wrestled with sending the colonist into space after discovering their slim chances of survival and aborting the mission at the cost of his job or even his life. Back at the barn, Jack took one of the soldier’s uniforms to return to the aerospace facility to help Faith despite Magnus’ warning that she had to accomplish her destiny on her own, or at least without his help. As Jack left, Magnus surprised him by calling him by his name, implying that his deeds would live on for two thousands years as the stuff of legend.

Two hours before launch, foundation soldiers pushed Faith inside the shuttle, where she came across Malik and Beatrice, who, along with others, were taken from the school. One of the Harbingers, Asa, was an empath who sensed that the shuttle would not make it into space and that Doctor Benchley, who visited them earlier, was certain they were doomed. An hour later, Jack broke into the facility.

30 minutes before the scheduled launch, Faith led the other Harbinger on a revolt, during which Jack killed a soldier before he could shoot Faith in the back. While the Harbingers escaped, Harada killed Benchley. While evacuating the facility, Faith used a public address system to tell Harada that she wanted him to remember that the fat girl who could only fly was responsible for beating him. Just then, the shuttle exploded.

Many miles and many hours later, Faith and Jack split off from the Malik and the others to build their new resistance. Thanking Faith for saving their lives, Malik wished her good luck and told her that if she ever needed them they would be there for her. Walking away, Faith said that she might take him up on his offer sometime in the future.

Interlude IV

Metamorphosis

During the Chaos Effect, inside a Harbinger Foundation laboratory in the Bolivar complex, a group of soldiers tried to stop an individual called The Harbinger, whose identity lay hidden in shadows, from escaping to no avail. Pushing the soldiers off him, the Harbinger headed toward the exit, where he came across Mr. Stone, a scientist trying to call security. Begging for his life, Stone showed the Harbinger a picture of his daughter and his wife, Kris, a name that brought the Harbinger to a stop. Dumbfounded by the notion of family and the name Kris, the Harbinger took Stone’s wallet and stared at the picture of his family.

One week later, Walter Sakai approached Toyo Harada to inform him that the Harbinger refused to cooperate with the tests conducted on him. While walking toward the laboratory, Harada mused that the Harbinger was more trouble than he was worth, yet he was proud that he had developed into his ultimate weapon. Expressing his concerns, Sakai told Harada that the test was very dangerous, but Harada retorted that experiments could not always be conducted from the comfort of simulators. Reaching the laboratory, Harada interrupted a debate over the morality of the experiments between Stone and Professor Barrow, who told Harada that the Harbinger obeyed no one and refused to wear his uniform. Taking the uniform, Harada entered the Harbinger’s chamber to speak with him.

Inside the heavily–fortified room, Harada demanded that the Harbinger explain himself for causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage when he tried to escape. Sitting calmly in front of a canvas holding a palette in his hands, the Harbinger told Harada that he threw the tantrum to get his attention. Annoyed, Harada told the Harbinger to put on his uniform. Complying only because Harada asked him, the Harbinger donned a black and red uniform with a helmet that shielded his mind but still allowed Harada to communicate with him.

The next morning, foundation agents released a hunter responsible for killing 20 Harbingers into the Alaskan wilderness and gave him a 30 minute lead before the Harbinger came looking for him. Thirty minutes later, the Harbinger swooped down into the woods and fell for a decoy that the hunter laid for him. Leaping off a tree, the hunter fell on the Harbinger’s shoulders and they rolled down a waterfall, which broke the hunter’s arm and the Harbinger’s helmet. Staring at the Harbinger’s face, the hunter threw pebbles at him and, saying that he was everything he fought his entire life, dared him to kill him. As the Harbinger impaled the hunter with a tree, the foundations agents could hear the man’s screams all the way back at the shore. Later, onboard a foundation vessel, Harada congratulated the Harbinger for passing his test and ordered him to eliminate Alan Stern, a member of the foundation’s board who had failed him. Reluctant, the Harbinger asked Harada if there was another way he could serve him beside killing, but warning him not to even think about disobeying him, Harada said that he could destroy him if he had to and ordered him to follow his commands.

The next afternoon, aboard an ocean liner in Chesapeake Bay, the Harbinger made his way across the deck looking for Stern. Dispatching the security force one by one, the Harbinger arrived outside a room where Stern’s wife and son were hiding, which forced Stern to leap out from his hiding spot to stop him from finding them. Looming over Stern after he tossed him against a wall, the Harbinger asked him why Harada wanted to kill him. As Stern explained that his department had lost the foundation money, his son came running toward the Harbinger and asked him to hurt his father, a plea that reached the Harbinger’s heart. However, as Stern picked up a gun and aimed it at him, the Harbinger, left with no other choice, killed him.

One week later, Harada, pleased with the Harbinger’s performance, visited him in his room and found him painting a picture of Stern's family that, while not quite as clean and uncluttered as his previous work, he found that it actually reflected a better sense of balance.

Pierced Hearts

Outside the Harbinger Foundation in New York City, Mira told Sam that she cared about him and that he had become her best friend, but that that would be all they could be and no more. Telling Mira that he loved her, and that he believed that she cared about him too, Sam said that if her eyes had been lying to him all that time, he would walk away. Apologetic, Mira turned back and left, leaving Sam behind. Meanwhile, Roxy went inside a bar in the East Village looking to get away from Spikeman, who followed her and, with a rough kiss, bit her tongue.

A few days later during a rainstorm, as Victoria tried to cheer Sam up, Butch referred to Mira as an old “cold fish”, which upset Sam, who threatened to clobber him like he did when they first met. As Sam walked away, Butch mused that he knew that once Mira showed up there would be nothing but trouble. Inside a gymnasium in the complex, Mira accidentally fell from the high bars while performing a routing exercise. Watching her fall, Katsumi asked Mira what was wrong, and as Mira told her that she could not sleep, could not eat, and could not focus, Katsumi told her that maybe she was in love. Elsewhere, in Roxy and Spikeman’s loft, Spikeman beat up Roxy after she made a belittling remark about their living situation.

That night, as Victoria made her way to her room across the courtyard, she heard a voice calling her name in the dark, but when she turned to find whoever was calling her she did not see anyone. Later, Victoria came across Butch, Sam, and Simon as they were on their way out for a night on the town. As Simon invited her along, Victoria declined to accompany them as he was feeling sick, when then Butch pushed Simon aside and told him not to invite her because it was a guy’s night out and there were no girls allowed, a lie to provoke Victoria into going with them that worked.

Later, as the kids went inside a bar in the East village, Simon noticed Roxy standing by a public phone calling the Harbinger Foundation, but he did not think much of it. Later, Butch approached Roxy to invite her to dance, but she asked him to stay away because she was waiting for someone. Staring at her bruises, Butch ld Roxy that he hoped she was not waiting for the same jerk who hit her. Just then, Spikeman walked into the bar and made his way toward Roxy. Meanwhile, Simon consoled Sam and reminded him that what made him fall for Mira was that she was his friend.

Walking up to Roxy and Butch, Spikeman told Butch to leave, but, enraged with what he had done to Roxy, Butch lashed out and hit Spikeman with a blast of concentrated sound. As a battle ensued, and Spikeman stabbed Butch with his energy spikes, Sam came up from behind him and punched him clear across the room. Angered, Spikeman shot Sam with multiple energy spikes, but Sam kept coming at him and punched him through a wall. Just then, a Harbinger foundation helicopter arrived and took Spikeman into custody while the kids from B–Squad escaped.

Later, while Butch thanked Sam for helping him, an unseen individual whose features laid hidden in shadows walked out of an alley and startled them.

Renegades

Renegades

Somewhere in New York’s East Village, the kids from B–Squad were shocked to see that their friend Faith was living in squalor in an alley. Assuring them that she was doing better than she looked, Faith said that she was on the run from Harada’s men, who tried to kill her when she found out too much. Telling the others what she had gone through and learned at the aerospace facility, Faith said that she was mean to stop Harada from killing anyone who got in his way of turning Harbingers into a master race. Thought Victoria was hesitant to believe Faith’s claims, Butch and Sam were not as reluctant and felt that what Faith said explained a lot.

Leading the kids away before the police arrived on their regular patrol, Faith took them to an abandoned factory where she had been staying. There, Faith donned a more militaristic uniform and told the kids that if Harada got his way he would wipe normal humans off the face of the Earth, and that she was not prepared to sit back and watch him, even if it meant going to war with him. As Faith said that she hoped they would join her in her endeavor, Sam told her that he was in, but that he wanted to get Mira out of the foundation, which meant that they had to break into Harada’s headquarters.

Back at the foundation, Katsumi told Mira that she was concerned about her friends, which Mira took to mean that she wanted her to try harder to keep them in line. Dismissing her assumption, however, Katsumi told Mira that what she was saying was that she thought it was time that she looked out for herself.

Meanwhile, while Butch entered the building through a side entrance, Simon broke into the security room and knocked out the guards that were watching the monitors, then he let Victoria inside and she fried the security system. Thirty floors above ground, Faith threw a pipe bomb at the roof to distract the guards hanging out in the only room with an accessible window, and soon as the y ran to investigate the explosion, she went inside.

Shortly, the kids gathered in Mira’s room and tried to convince her that Harada wanted Harbingers to be the dominant race on Earth, a truth she was hard–pressed to believe just as she was hesitant to leave with them as she felt that people liked her at the foundation. Just then, Katsumi knocked on the door and the kids hid wherever they could. When Mira opened the door Katsumi told her that security had been trashed and that she believed that the Detention Squad was responsible, then, as Katsumi asked Mira if she had seen her friends, Mira betrayed the others and told her that they were hiding in her room.

Aborting the mission, Faith and the others escaped into the hallway, where they came across a group of Eggbreakers. During a skirmish with Big Girl, Fort, Flashbulb, and others, Faith used a flash bomb that she learned how to make by hacking into some anarchist bulletin boards to get Flashbulb off Simon. Alas, despite Jolt releasing a massive charge that momentarily shocked the Eggbreakers, Harada’s forces quickly gained the upper hand. Meanwhile, at the newly constructed Harbinger foundation facility in Los Angeles, Harada oversaw the damage caused by the Harbinger during one of his many tantrums to get his attention.

Back in New York City, Sam joined the fray with the Eggbreakers and led the others out through a hall in the wall he made while breaking in. While running away, Sam urged Mira to go with them, but she refused, preferring to stay because she felt that she belonged there. Before leaving, Sam told Mira that he loved her, a feeling she reciprocated in a whisper that he could not hear.

While making their getaway on foot, Sam wondered what they were going to do next, and Faith assured him that she had a plan.

The Pursuit Of Happiness

On the run from the Foundation, Faith and the B–Squad exited the Holland Tunnel on the Jersey side and escape to Hoboken, where they hid in an alley. There, standing beside a pole with a picture of Bill Clinton, Simon asked Faith what they were doing next, but all she would say was that she thought she knew exactly where they were going to next.

The next morning, in the Harbinger Foundation building, Harada questioned Mira over why her friends had attacked the foundation, but other than their wanting her to go with them, she did not know what precipitated their actions. Reaching into her mind, Harada asked Mira to think if they said where they were going and what they were planning, but she told him that all they had were all kinds of crazy stories about him and the foundation. Calling Faith a disturbed woman, Harada said how unfortunate it was that she had managed to convince other students to join her paranoia, and then told Mira that he wanted her to return to Muskogee and use her special traits to lead the Eggbreakers. Hesitant, Mira nevertheless felt honored by Harada’s request and left to think about it before giving him an answer. Soon as Mira left the office, the Harbinger stepped out of the shadows and Harada sent him to find Faith and the B–Squad.

The next day, the B–Squad arrived in Washington DC, where Faith took them to see Senator Hamilton, a friend of her father to whom she told the sordid story of everything Toyo Harada was responsible for, from attempted murder to the private space program. Convinced by her tale solely on her word, even though she told him that there was evidence for him to review in New York and North Carolina, the Senator told Faith that he could help, then, before they left, he expressed his pride in her going to see him.

Two hours later near the reflecting pool, Sam asked Faith if she thought the Senator believed them. Telling Sam that she thought he did as they walked up to the statue of Abraham Lincoln, Faith mused over how there were not a lot of countries where people were free to ask their government for help the way they did. Suddenly, the Harbinger swooped down on the kids and shot Sam with an energy blast that hit him on the face. One by one, the Harbinger dealt with the kids of B–Squad, defeating them with his ability to mimic their powers., until Sam recovered and knocked down with a haymaker. Working together, the B–Squad attacked the Harbinger, but he simply would not fall down. Just then, the police arrived and the Harbinger fled, promising to come back for Faith. As the Harbinger flew away, Butch projected a beam that disrupted the cops’ senses so that the B–Squad could escape unnoticed.

An hour later at the Air and Space museum, Sam lashed at Faith, arguing that he did not sign up for the kind of battle they had just gone through when he agreed to leave with her. Tired of fighting and running, and refusing to return to the Foundation, Sam turned his back on the others and walked away.

Postcards

Early evening somewhere in Washington DC, the Harbinger chased down a man he believed was Sam, but soon as he caught up to him he realized his mistake and tossed him on the hood of a car, then he took off to find the B–Squad.

A few miles away, the B–Squad gathered at the base of the Washington monument after they futilely searched for Sam. When Victoria asked Butch if he could tune into Sam’s heartbeat to find him, Butch derided her idea and told her that, even if he could isolate everyone’s heartbeat, remember what they sounded like, and keep track of a billion people, he would still have trouble 'cause he never bothered to listen to Sam’s heart. Pushing Butch away from Victoria, Simon told her to leave her alone, which led to a short skirmish between the two that Faith put a swift end to. Acting like the voice of reason, Faith said that she had an idea of where Sam might have gone. Nearly a hundred feet above them, inside the monument, Sam looked down at the Lincoln memorial while he wrote a postcard to Mira.

Meanwhile in New York, Mira stared at a picture of the B–Squad and wondered aloud why they left. After putting the photograph in a drawer, Mira went to the gym, where Katsumi asked her if she had made a decision about Harada’s offer to lead the Eggbreakers.

Back in Washington, the Harbinger found Sam in the park near the Jefferson Memorial and demanded to know where the rest of the B–Squad was. Kneeling to pick up a handful of snow in his hand, Sam told the Harbinger that he did not know where the others were and then threw a snowball at him that hit as hard as a cannonball. Refusing to return to the foundation, Sam repeatedly punched the Harbinger, who pushed him off him with an energy blast. Pulling a tree off the ground, Sam hit the Harbinger in the stomach, but, sadly, the Harbinger then shot Sam with a blast that ripped a hole in his abdomen and instantly killed him.

Back in New York, Mira met with Harada and agreed to lead the Eggbreakers. Just then, the Harbinger reached Harada telepathically and told him that Sam was dead, a discovery he kept from Mira. Two hours later on the street below, Katsumi saw Mira off to the airport and told to make sure to stay in touch.

In Washington, the B–Squad arrived on the park and saw the Harbinger holding Sam’s corpse in his hands. Pushing the Harbinger aside, Faith knelt beside Sam and held him on her lap while the others attacked the Harbinger. Though Butch and Victoria hit him with everything they had, and Simon placed a pipe bomb by his feet, the Harbinger stood unfazed and released an explosion that threw the kids off balance. Unexpectedly, the Harbinger took flight and left, leaving the kids to wonder what to do with Sam. Ultimately, Faith decided that they would leave him there because if they stayed to bury him the foundation would catch them and Sam would have died for nothing. A few miles away, the Harbinger, sickened by what he had done, removed his mask and held his chest while he puked behind a tree.

Arriving in Bolivar, Mira learned that she had mail waiting for her that the New York office forward to her, but instead of opening it she went to take a shower, unaware that there was a postcard from Sam in the pile.

Back in Washington, Butch stayed behind with Sam’s body while the others took off. Kneeling beside Sam, Butch laid his ear against his chest and mourned that there was no more heartbeat for him to listen to. Standing back up, Butch told Sam that he would miss him and then took off to join the others.

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