Sidekicks

Chapter 3: Trouble in the Gap

This is a brief write-up. I'll add more detail at some point in the future. 

A week passed since the fight with Tick-Tock at the docks. Hyper-Girl has been doing a lot of research on the thief and had discovered that he'd been pretty active over the last nine weeks, probably committing a theft at least six times over that time. He always seemed to be able to get in and out without setting off any kind of alarm. Nothing concrete was found, but it was a start. 

Bullseye and Waverider arrived at the Bunker, as they spent the weekdays at home with their mentors instead of living at the Bunker full-time, and the team decided to head out to pizza for lunch, where they discussed the next day's meeting with Leonard Gordon, owner of Gordon Technologies, the company Tick-Tock and Red Rhino had robbed. The team spent that night training and watching terrible movies. 

The meeting the next day with Gordon went alright, discovering that Tick-Tock had stolen an Anti-Gravity Machine that Gordon had designed and that he may have used knowledge of the future to do so. Hyper-Girl gave Gordon a description of the time-manipulator and Gordon agreed to keep an eye out for him and to tell the Team if he found anything. 

The next day, the Team was gathered by Watchman and given their first assignment: a team of scientists disappeared in the Darien Gap while studying strange energies detected near an impact site somewhere in the jungle. The team had not made contact with M.E.R.L.I.N. in more than a week and the Guardians could not go to find them due to how Central and South Americas viewed superheroes in general. To avoid being perceived as an act of war, the team would operate under Stealth Protocols: they were to dress in civilian clothes unless in direct contact with a paranormal enemy. Their mission would be to travel to the scientist's last known location in the jungle, by way of the river with the help of the vigilante known as Challenger, and discover what had happened to the scientists. However, the energies meant that comlink communication with the Guardians would be impossible.

The team teleported to the satellite before taking a jump-jet to Yaviza, Panama. Once there, Bullseye and Hyper-Girl found Challenger and worked out how things would go down. On Challenger's boat it was his rules and at the main site, he'd wait for them at the boat: if he left to go to shore with them, his ship could be stolen by members of the cartels, guerillas, psychic monkeys and worse.

The team departed with Challenger that day, taking turns between keeping watch and sleeping in a crowded storage area below deck. It was hot, humid and miserable. Two days into the journey, the boat hit some kind of jam and Waverider checked it out. He found a weird hunk of metal and told them that he'd need Hyper-Girl to help clear it. So, she changed into her swimsuit and joined him in the river, clearing the jam with a single, powerful punch. However, she was immediately grabbed by a metallic tentacle and dragged underground! 

She found herself in a weird unloading area surrounded by guys with guns. However, a mad scientist named Dr. Madness cleared his goons away, noticing that he'd not apprehended their boat as he'd hoped but instead pulled her down into their lair (unaware she was a superhero). He gave her his lab coat and explained that he and his men robbed boats traveling down the riverway (mostly the cartels) in order to fund his Disintigration Ray research, since heroes wouldn't stop him from robbing the cartels. As he was escorting her outside, he figured out she was a hero based on what she'd told him about why she was in the Darien Gap. He groaned, saying, "Alright, well, if this is gonna be a fight, let me go grab my ray-gun…" 

Hyper-Girl convinced him she didn't want to fight and since Dr. Madness primarily targeted members of the cartels, the two eventually worked out a deal: he would give her information on the whereabouts of the science team based on his surveillance gear and she'd leave him in peace and never tell anybody about his operation. He held up his end of the bargain and escorted her out of his HQ, letting her know that if she was in the market for an arch-nemesis, to let him know. 

Hyper-Girl returned to the boat, to her teammates relief, and they immediately made for the coordinates Dr. Madness had printed off for her, though she was vague on where she acquired it. The team eventually found the campsite, Feral caught a scent—headed in the direction of the coordinates—and quickly made their way. 

Before they could get there, however, they were ambushed by the tribe of psychic monkeys, led by their most powerful warrior named "Great Ape". The team managed to negotiate the tribe into letting them go unhindered, as they were after the "bad men" who were "defiling" the monkey tribe's land. Great Ape agreed to let them pass as long as they defeated the "bad men" and the group continued on their way. 

They found the camp and Hyper-Girl volunteered to fly in and scout out what they were facing. She found a makeshift campsite with a large sheet-metal shed lined with lead. They were definitely expecting Guardian intervention, or were at-least preparing for it. She also discovered that heading the group who had kidnapped the scientists was Spasm—a former pro-wrestler who became a mercenary after he developed elastic shapeshifting powers in the Event. 

After telling the team what they'd seen, the group immediately set to figuring out how to take down one of the Guardians' most dangerous enemies. Bullseye knew the way the Guardians took down Spasm before was to use ice, but they had none. It was Hyper-Girl who figured out how that they could use liquid nitrogen to do the job, if there was any inside the makeshift lab the scientist team was being kept in. Bullseye decided that the team would break in loud and distract Spasm while Hyper-Girl grabbed the liquid Nitrogen.

The plan started off strong as Bullseye blew open the doors and the others set to work on the goons immediately inside. However, the guards were better trained and better armed than they had anticipated and the four of them got clipped by machine gun fire a few times. As Hyper-Girl crashed into the lab, Spasm stepped out of hiding and fired an Rocket-Propelled Grenade at the four heroes storming the gates. The resulting explosion not only injured Zip-Line and Waverider, but severely injured Bullseye, whose primary arm was badly burned and damaged to the point that he'd be unable to use his bow. 

The fighting outside raged brutal and surprisingly bloody as Spasm engaged in combat with the team, dealing out a devastating amount of damage while shrugging off the team's own blows thanks to his healing factor derived from having such a malleable physiology. Meanwhile, Hyper-Girl made it into the lab and was ambushed by Spasm's partner, an assassin known as the Scorpion who used an adamantine sickle-blade on the end of a whip. Scorpion was quick and strong, but Hyper-Girl was faster and stronger and she put him down relatively easily with a powerful blow to the head. 

She grabbed the liquid Nitrogen and flew back outside to see Waverider unconscious, Bullseye with one bum arm and his other devastated and now broken, forced to fight with only his feet and an injured Zip-Line and Feral pushed to their limits against Spasm, who was relatively hale. 

In a fury, Hyper-Girl dropped her cannister and flew into Spasm, determined to take him to the upper-atmosphere and knock him out due to the lack of oxygen. However, Spasm was more slippery than she'd anticipated—literally—and escaped her grasp, turning into a glider and returning to finish the job he'd started. Hyper-Girl, however, was faster and tackled the mercenary to the ground, pinning him there. Right as Spasm readied to once again escape her grasp, Zip-Line ran over with the cannister of liquid Nitrogen and spilled it onto Spasm, freezing him there. The team was victorious, despite how close they'd come to defeat. 

The team eventually freed the scientists and discovered Spasm had been hired to capture them to force them to figure out a way use a meteorite as an energy source, potentially for a weapon. The team made their way back to the boat and the trip back to Yaviza before taking the teleporter back to the Satellite HQ of the Guardians. 

Bullseye had received some healing from Waverider, but the half-Atlantean's magics were not strong enough to heal him completely, so Bullseye was taken to the Infirmary while the others went to the Guardians' war-room for a debriefing. Hyperion apologized for sending them in without vetting the operation further and promised that they wouldn't send them in blind again. 

Afterward, Waverider, Feral and Zip-Line went to get some food and unwind, while Hyper-Girl visited Bullseye in the infirmary. Bullseye apologized and insisted he'd still be useful if he couldn't fire his bow anymore and Hyper-Girl assured him that he would always be a part of the team no matter what.

The two shared a moment and Hyper-Girl spent the rest of the ray with Bullseye, watching shitty Spanish soap operas. 

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Chapter 2: First Day on the Job

This is a brief write-up that I'll go into more detail on later.

In the skies above Emerald City, Hyperion and his younger cousin Hyper-Girl, flew toward the new base of operations for the Team, located in an old safe-house built in a bunker beneath an abandoned lighthouse on the edge of town. Hyper-Girl was excited and for good reason: she was going to be a part of a super team and begin her career as a superhero! Superheroine? Oh, it doesn't matter, she was going to save lives and stop the bad guys!

They arrived at the Lighthouse and she met Bullseye, Feral and Zip-Line with their respective mentors. Watchman gave them a tour of the Bunker, with Ocean Man and Waverider arriving a little late, and explained the ground rules:

  • The team is expected to intervene in local incidents but they should stick to monitor duty and not go out "looking for trouble". 
  • They aren't to operate outside of Emerald City limits unless they are sent on a mission by the Guardians. 
  • Dating inside the team is strongly discouraged for a variety of reasons. 
  • Someone is to always be on monitor duty. 

He also introduced the sidekicks to ComBot, a member of the Guardians who volunteered to be the team's unofficial "Den Mother". Afterward, the Guardians left to go do official business and the team was left to their own devices. Again, they almost immediately decided to derp around. 

They decided to get some coffee and went into the city but before they got there, they stumbled upon destruction being wrought by a Russian mercenary in a suit of powered-armor called the Red Rhino. The team leapt into action: Zip-Line cleared away civilians and cops in the line of fire, Waverider used his hydromancy to shield people and his teammates from attacks and Bullseye, Feral and Hyper-Girl attacked Red Rhino directly. Hyper-Girl quickly proved her strength as she delivered massive damage to the chassis and arms of Red Rhino's armor while Feral and Bullseye continued to throw him off balance. In the end, a combination one-two punch from Hyper-Girl and Zip-Line's mach punch took the Red Rhino down for the count. 

They peaced from the street when the PRA vans started rolling up and the team left to get some well-deserved coffee (and derp around at an arcade). But a question lingered on their minds…what the hell was Red Rhino doing? 

That night, Bullseye and Zip-Line left to interrogate Red Rhino while Hyper-Girl and Waverider did some research to determine what his motives might have been. They discovered that Rhino was a Russian mercenary who specialized in thefts and assassinations. Blatant destruction wasn't really his style. Together, Hyper-Girl and Waverider eventually deduced that he might be running a distraction while a partner might have committed the actual robbery, most likely from Gordon Technologies, a futurist tech design company run by a paragon with Invention abilities. 

When they returned, Bullseye and Zip-Line told them that they were unable to break Red Rhino with what little time they had with him, but they did find a sticky note inside a compartment in the armor. Zip-Line deciphered the message from Russian and Hyper-Girl eventually decoded the weird message: a machine he called a "Rolly-Poly" was to be delivered to Husky Shipping Yard that night. Obviously, the sidekicks would intervene. 

The team decided to approach the docks from the water, taking a stealth speedboat close to the dock yard. The plan was that Waverider would keep a lookout in case of reinforcements or an escape by water. Hyper-Girl would provide aerial recon and provide support if they need it, while Bullseye, Feral and Zip-Line infiltrated the dockyard, took out any mooks standing guard and find Red Rhino's partner. 

The fighting started well enough, but Zip-Line was anything but stealthy. The mooks were alerted and the gunfire alerted every goon within a half mile. As her teammates fought below, Hyper-Girl remembered she had X-Ray vision and scanned the warehouses until she saw a yougn man about her age with a weird, basketball-sized machine in a duffle bag. 

Hyper-Girl crashed into the warehouse where the thief seemed nonplussed. She demanded that he hand over the Rolly-Poly, to which he replied—amused—that he had no intention of doing so. Hyper-Girl regrettably leapt to battle, knocking him back but then he…disappeared. Hyper-Girl spotted him with X-Ray vision and alerted her teammates and they all closed in on his location.

They all attacked the thief at once but he seemed to be able to stop both Bullseye's arrow and Feral in midair entirely before disappearing, evading Zip-Line and Hyper-Girl. The team, understandably a little shocked, split up to find the guy as he couldn't have gotten far. Hyper-Girl eventually saw him escaping via car and landed in the street in front of him, stopping the car and lifting it off the ground. The thief, annoyed, rewound time and instead ran for a parking garage after lighting a beacon. Hyper-Girl still found him. 

Hyper-Girl tried to talk him down and convince him that he didn't have to steal; the Guardians could help him. The smarmy thief seemed delighted by this and played along long enough to reveal that she could stop stalling for Zip-Line to arrive: he had frozen the two of them in a stasis bubble while he waited for his escape route. Hyper-Girl moved to stop him, but he just kept "teleporting" around until he finally froze her completely (using his time manipulation power). He revealed his name of Tick-Tock as a portal appeared and he disappeared. 

Hyper-Girl was devastated that she let him get away but Zip-Line assured her that it happens to everybody once in awhile. They'd get him eventually. The pair returned to the shipyard, where they found Bullseye interrogating the dock harbormaster for information on where the boat was going. Hyper-Girl, horrified at his actions, convinced him to stop once the harbormaster pissed himself. Bullseye was horrified at his own actions and was quiet the rest of the journey back to the Bunker. 

Once back, the team agreed to keep their eyes open for Tick-Tock and essentially just went to bed. Bullseye apologized to Hyper-Girl and the pair made amends before going to watch some shitty Nicolas Cage movie together. 

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Chapter 1: Trial by Fire

This is a quick write-up of the basic plot. I'll expand on it later.

The Guardians are the world's premier superteam, comprised of the world's most experienced, respected and iconic superheroes. There's not a person on Earth who doesn't know their face and they have become the face heroism. What most people don't know is that several members of the team have teenaged apprentices that they are training to become heroes themselves. 

  • Watchman, the vigilante crusader of Bedlam City, has Bullseye, a cocky young archer he's been training for the job for nearly a decade.  
  • Ocean Man, a Prince of Atlantis, is training his illegitimate, half-Atlantean son codenamed Waverider, a hipster hydromancer who grew up on the surface world.
  • Redline, the fastest man alive and protector of Emerald City, has been running with Zip-Line, an ADD retro-grunge-hipster with a love of video games, classic music and kicking bad-guy ass.
  • Beast Master, the lord of the wilds, has taken in Feral, a vicious young half-man/half-monster who was the result of an experiment by the sinister Dr. Simian.

This particular day, the Guardians were to meet a collection of government representatives including the Vice President to discuss possible new restrictions on the laws governing superhero activity. As a way of introducing their sidekicks to the art of diplomacy and negotiation, it was decided that the sidekicks would come along and watch, taking notes on the whole affair.

The team and their apprentices met in Liberty City's city hall. After a brief introduction by their mentors, the meeting began. However, an earthquake in Rome called for the Guardians' attention, causing them to hastily leave, tasking the sidekicks to "hold down the fort" in their absence. Being a group of teenagers, they proceeded to do the opposite.

They left city hall, hit up a Starbucks and then went to the mall, where they checked out an FYE and a Barnes & Noble, derped around a little and had some lunch before starting to head back, though just as they were getting ready to leave, a group of armed thugs started to rob one of the stores in the mall. The sidekicks made quick work of them and peaced, on a rush from the brief battle.

By the time they got back to City Hall, they heard screams of panic as an alien ship descended on City Hall, bringing up a force field to keep law enforcement out. The band of sidekicks debated on what to do, with Waverider insisting they wait for the Guardians to return but Bullseye figured they didn't have time. They realized it was on them to drive the aliens out and protect the people inside.

First, to get inside, they had to get into the alien drop-ship and figure out a way to switch off the force field generator. They saw three armed and armored alien soldiers guarding the ship and Bullseye decided he might be able to use an EMP to disable the ship if he could get inside, tasking Waverider, Feral and Zip-Line to take out the soldiers. 

The fight started with a bang as Zip-Line crashed into his opponent and Feral and Waverider followed-through with powerful attacks, Waverider directing a poweful blast of water that knocked his opponent to the ground and Feral tearing through the armor of his foe with his unbreakable claws. Bullseye made it into the ship, though he was distraught to discover that he couldn't figure out where to use his localized EMP to take out the generator. Zip-Line rushed in and used his knowledge of science and tech to figure out where the largest source of power had been partitioned to give Bullseye the info he needed to take the Drop-Ship out.

Afterward, the four of them burst into city hall and took out more soldiers, including one in a huge suit of powered armor, and saved a bunch of hostages. After interrogating a fallen alien soldier, they ran to the court-room where the aliens—named the Combine—had gathered the leaders who has met to talk with the Guardians and were using some sort of jelly-fish-like organic machines to extract information from their minds.

The sidekicks fought against the Combine and their field leader. It was a brutal fight, but the sidekicks eventually had the bad guy against the ropes. However, at the last second, the drop-ship came back online and filled the courtroom with turret fire. The group had to dive for cover and protect the innocents while the Combine leader and his remaining soldiers escaped. IN the aftermath, the Combine soldiers left behind initiated a suicide protocol in their armor that shocked them to death.

The Guardians returned soon after and despite the shock of the blatant attack by a hostile alien force, congratulated their sidekicks on their good work. They left not long after and took their sidekicks up to their satellite headquarters and after a private meeting between the Guardians, it was decided: due to their good work fighting off the Combine, the sidekicks would be formed into their own shadow team to go places and perform missions that the Guardians could not due to their high profiles. They would operate out of a safehouse in Emerald City and continue training while not on missions for the Guardians.

The four were totally hyped to be a part of their own group apart from their mentors (except Feral; but he hates everything) and Hyperion, the unofficial leader of the Guardians, had a good idea of another young hero who could join the team… 

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