Issue #3 Beacon of Despair – Part 1
In order of the pictures left to right:
Excalibur – SID Intelligence Operative and team designated Sgt.
L.A.N.Ce – SID Anti-Supers Response Solution. Created by Novatech.
Overload – SID Agent, Speedstar with the ability to command electricity. Team transport officer.
Major Armstrong – SID Agent, Strength and Toughened skin. Teams Pilot.
After Thought – SID Agent, Telekinetic, and Psychic. Teams Public Relations Officer
Hotspot – SID Agent, Fire controller . Teams maintenance officer.
Scene 1: Bank Raid
A Gust of wind blew them all out of the front of Barclays Bank in Dagenham. Glass shattering everywhere. Rolling to their feet to where L.A.N.Ce stood announcing to the crowd to stand back for their own safety. A torrential storm of thunder and lightning raged about them, the crowd silhouettes, creeping nearer to get a look at the action. Police keeping them back.
Following the officers and the windforce that blew them out of the bank, came Climate. A weather manipulater and petty criminal. Wearing a trenchcoat that snapped in the wind, a pair of jeans and a green and yellow t-shirt he ran down a side street with the storm chasing him.
‘The suspect is escaping!’ announced L.A.N.Ce.
‘You don’t say Mr Obvious!’ Retorted Overload and took off in a blur after Climate.
The rest of Pendragon close on his heels. Agent Hotspot erupted into a ball of fire that hissed in the torrential rain and flew over the roof tops to give the team a birds-eye view.
‘Hotshot! Make sure you don’t get seen!’ commanded Excalibur, the team’s leader.
‘I see him Sarg! weaving between the alleys of the backstreets.’ Hotshot informed
As fast as they could they gave chase. Climates lungs were burning, but it was hopeless the air around him began to spark in static electricity. When all of a sudden, beside him, a blinding flash with the dark shape of a man at its nucleus, ignited the area in a ball of electrical charge. Climate shot through the air, slamming into the wall and slumed to the ground.
‘Caught him.’ Agent Overload said with a cocky tone. Standing over the fallen Climate with his hands on his hips.
‘Don’t just stand there cuff him.’ Agent After thought shook his head as he passed his colleague and cuffed the suspect.
Excalibur called in that the suspect was apprehended and a SID Nullification van, black transit, with special Novatech dampening field inside to prevent captured supers from using their powers.
As Climate was driven away to a temporary cell awaiting transport to HMP PArkhurst on Isle of White. A call from command announced that Pendragon had to return to SID command in Hampshire to be debriefed…
Scene 2: Downtime
Inspector Johnstone entered the briefing room with a stern look upon his face as normal. ‘Well done team, you captured that freak before it was too late. We don’t know what damage media wise has been done. I hope for all our sakes you didn’t get seen too much. I doubt it will be long before the whole world knows. But till then lets keep this shit tight.’ He said as he stepped behind his desk. ‘Well it’s your time now go do whatever you do, but before you leave. There is a charity ball tonight. You will be there at 21:30 prompt. It’s for a good cause.’ His face grew sorrowful. ‘It’s for the widows and children of our fallen comrades. Luckily the Director of Novatech will be there so we will be showing L.A.N.Ce off tonight. Dress code is smart. While there I won’t have to remind you to take the time to speak to Miss Sally Simmons. She is hosting this charity event. Any questions before I dismiss you?’
It was Agent After Thought who asked what they were all thinking. ‘Who is Miss Simmons?’
‘Sally Simmons is the Sister of Alan Simmons, Quantum, Sgt in the SID. He went Missing after the stonehenge incident. She has organised Never Forgotten Charity. It is for the families of the fallen and missing officers of SID.’
With no more questions the team departed for the evening. Most returned to their homes and got ready for the evening ball.
L.A.N.Ce returned to his recharge station in the high security facility at Hampshire’s base. Attended to by Dr Walsh a Blonde technician wearing a lab coat reassured L.A.N.Ce that his armaments will not be need for tonight. Just in case. Patting him tenderly on his metallic arm she said. What ever you do tonight L.AN.Ce do not step out of the white light. I can’t begin to explain how catastrophic that would be for you. But don’t worry CEO of Novatech will be there. Mr Novario will be eager to hear all about your progress here in SID. Must be nervous to meet your maker?’
‘I’m more nervous that I am being disarmed.’
‘No need to be. It’s a charity ball. Your team mates will be there and so will I. I won’t let any harm come to you.’
Meanwhile in Bude, Cornwall, at Castle Camarthon of the White Knight.
The shower felt warm and soothing as it sprayed up a nice mist in the bathroom. As Excalibur shampooed his hair with his one good eye closed, he heard a window break. Climbing out of the shower and wrapping a towel around him he crept out of the bathroom and onto the upper landing. Peering over the banister into the main reception hall. He could see the wind blowing the huge heavy curtains and rain coming in through a broken window. He descended into the hall. Looked about and could see nothing. He walked over to the window peered out. ‘Typical Cornish weather.’ He grumbled.
He crouched down to examine the floor, he followed them to an enormous rug in the middle of the room where the feet were rubbed dry. ‘Clever bugger.’ He thought. Then he heard the glass behind him move.
Turning, he saw the shards lift from the ground and surround his head. ‘What are you doing in the White Knights home?’ Came a voice from the shadows of the stairs. It was female, full of anger.
Without flinching, Excalibur turned and said ‘I live here. Why did you break into my home?’
‘Your home? I… I don’t understand… The White Knight. I must speak to him.’ Stepping out of the shadows came a beautiful woman. Looked to be in her late teens early twenties. Was hard to tell. She stood about 5’3 wearing a ornate leather basque with celtic knotwork engraved into it. A skirt of leaf shaped material forest green and rustic reds. Her hair was a wild white/blonde. Her eyes almond and full of life, energy. Her ears slightly shaped into points. Her hand stretched before her as she commanded the glass to poise about Excalibur’s head. The air shimmered slightly about her fingertips.
Walking over to a whiskey decanter. He poured a glass for himself. and took a drink. ‘Can I offer you a drink perhaps? It seems we both seek answers regarding the White Knight. He has been missing.’ Looking to the window. ‘You could have knocked.’
Suddenly the window repaired itself at the will of the intruder. Excalibur noticed that she was shivering and her clothes and hair was soaked. ‘Where are my manners. Come, dry yourself by the fire.’ He led the way into the lounge, where a large fireplace still burning, dominated the far wall. above it was the portrait of his mentor and foster father. Winston Knight. The White Knight. Winston in the portrait cut a dashing figure in deed. Full of confidence and a head of stark white hair.
Once they were seated he asked.’ Who are you?’
‘I am Fey Twiceborn. I’m sorry about the window, but I really must find The White Knight. I have nowhere else to go.’ She wrapped her arms around her knees and curled up on the chair, like a frightened animal.
Henry the butler walked in. Henry was the Butler to Winston Knight and continued to stay when Mr Knight went missing. ‘You called for me Mr Lancelot?’ He asked politely.
‘Yes Henry, prepare the guest room we will be having a guest for a while. Also if you could prepare the car. I don’t want to be late.’ He turned his attention to Fey, once Henry left. ‘Stay for a while. I need to attend a ball tonight. When get some sleep and once I return from my affairs tomorrow. We shall talk.’
They engaged in small talk for a while longer before Excalibur finished getting ready and left for the charity ball…
Scene 3: The Ball
The London Metropolitan University, London, Holloway, Charity event: Never Forgotten.
Ambient Music filled the air from a nearby Orchestra. The halls of the London Metropolitan University were doused in a soft blue light. In the centre of the room stood L.A.N.Ce surrounded by a white light and maintenance team. Banners hung here and there with the ‘Never Forgotten’ Logo. The soft murmur of conversation filled the air. Ins. Johnstone greeted the SID team. ‘Glad you made it. Let me introduce you to Miss Simmons…’
Suddenly the gentle tinkle of a spoon against a crystal champagne glass hushed the music and the chatter. A gentleman in a suit stood on the stage before the large crowd of attendees. ‘Ladies and Gentlemen may I introduce our host tonight… Miss Sally Simmons!!’ The crowd applauded as a beautiful young woman stepped shyly onto the stage. She stood up to the mic. Licked her lips and then said.’Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to thank you all for attending tonight’s Charity ball. I wont keep you for long. But I want to thank you all for your kind and generous donations. I’m not good at long speeches’ She laughed nervously and the crowd laughed with her. ‘But here to tell you of our charity on my behalf. is the Fiance of one of my honoured guests and American superstar, Carrie Carstien!’ The crowd applauded once more as a stunning glamorous woman stepped onto the stage and up to the mic. Her long blonde hair shone in the light as did the sequins on her dress. ‘Ladies & Gentlemen, it’s my pleasure to share with you why we are here tonight. We are here to give to a great cause. A great cause to support the families of the Men and Women who put their lives on the line so that we can sleep soundly at night. I for one am grateful especially. I was kidnapped from my hotel room here in London a year ago. If it was not for the brave officers and agents of SID I would not be here today. I especially have to thank Quantum. The brother of Sally Simmons here. Quantum who has now fallen. Sacrificing his life for the greater good. So let us all honor the fallen and give generously!’ She raises her champagne glass. “To the those who shall never be forgotten!”‘ Eventually the crowd went back to its conversations and agents were guided by Johnstone to intercept Sally.
‘Miss Simmons, May introduce to you some of the agents of SID who have attended tonight?’ Ins. Johnstone then went through the introductions.
Sally thanked them all for the service they provide the country and led them to meet her honored guest Jeremy Harrison and Carrie Carstein.
‘Carrie, I would like to introduce one of the latest teams of SID that has been put together.’ Sally went through introductions once more.
‘It’s mighty pleasure to meet you all.’ Carrie said in her American Accent . ‘My Fiance and I are eternally grateful to the agents of SID. If it wasn’t the likes of officers such as yourselves I wouldn’t be here. It’s a shame that the good Sgt. Quantum disappeared shortly after. Isn’t that right dear?’
‘Indeed, I am Jeremy Harrison, perhaps you have heard of me?’ He said with a dashing smile.
‘Yes, I have. Billionaire, that does a lot for charities, If I’m correct?’ Excalibur offered.
Jeremy smiled and shook his hand. ‘I think you boys do a fabulous job, dangerous as hell facing off against the supers out there. keeping the world under wraps. I was just talking to Dr Drake about that very thing wasn’t I Dr Drake?’
At the mention of his name Dr Dylan Drake turned from conversing with the CEO of Novatech who hovered near L.AN.Ce. ‘Ah, yes.. I find it all fascinating. By the way I’m Dr Dylan Drake. I work with SID officers who have suffered trauma as a result of their powers or encounters with the super or supernatural.’ Explained Dr Drake, who appeared to be in his late forties with a salt and pepper goatee.
L.A.N.Ce ran a name check on Dr Drake and ascertained he was telling the truth. Also he noticed agents Hotshot and Overload leave the ball. Both were uncomfortable being out of touch with their powers.
‘How do you do it? How do you live with the powers you have and face those with as much control as you do?’ Dr Drake asked.
After Thought interjected. ‘It’s all part of the service , sir. It’s our duties as officers of the law.’
‘I understand but what is it you offer the team?’ He asked Major armstrong.
‘I’m ex-military, I offer my experience and with my powers of…’ Major Armstrong started to explain. But was cut short by After Thought.
‘He, offers his powers in the service of the good people of the UK. Isn’t that right Major?’ After Thought noticed.Jeremy was taking great interest in their conversation, and was getting frustrated when answers regarding their powers was not being given.
‘Well.. of course…’ Stammered Armstrong.
L.A.N.Ce picking up on After Thoughts sudden intervention. Running an investigation on Jeremy Harrison. He found nothing out of the ordinary. He was too clean for his liking.
‘You are ex-Military? There was another member of SID that was ex-military. Took part in the government experiment headed by a colleague of mine Dr Belle. The operative was monitored as he suffered great psychological damage and almost was imprisoned when his he struggled with the powers he had. Alas, he was one of the agents that went missing…’ Dr Drake explained.
‘You must have some tales to tell good Dr.?’ Asked After Thought.
‘Indeed I do, but sworn to secrecy like your selves. I’m in the same mind as Jeremy Harrison here. It won’t be long before the people of the world learn publicly of the existence of Supers. Activities are getting too common to keep under wraps. But David Navario here tells us that he and his team in Scotland have been working hard to aid the Government prepare for that dreaded day.’
‘Dreaded? I welcome the day people know..’ Retorted Jeremy.
‘I disagree.’ Added David Navario, a tall man with shoulder length hair. slightly scruffy, puffing on a cigar. ‘I think the longer we can keep this under wraps the better. We bring out the next in Anti-Super, Like L.A,.N.Ce here, what will they bring?’ David said.
‘They? Who are they?’ Asked Jeremy
‘Criminals of course.’
‘Excuse me sir, it’s against the law to smoke in a public place.’ Excalibur leant across and took the cigar from Navario.
A Stunned silence went through the group as they looked between Navario and Excalibur.
‘Ah, of course.’ David smiled as his face flushed. ‘How rude of me, please accept my apologies Sally.’
The conversation continued late into the evening. The event coming to a close. The ball a huge success for the Charity. everyone retired for the night…
Scene 4: Climates Escape
The next day Pendragon was called to a cordoned-off scene of crime area.
As they approached . Officer Allen said. ‘I’m glad you are here… There has been a prisoner break out from transport Alpha82. It was transporting Prisoner 113.’
L.A.N.Ce accessed the prisoner transport manifest for alpha 82 and who prisner 113 was. It was Climate! ‘Sarg, Prisoner 113 is Suspect Climate we apprehended yesterday for the Bank robbery…’
‘Thanks Lance.. Ok Team talk to forensics, search the area, what do we have?’ Excalibur ordered.
The team interacted with the forensic officers, corden officers and studied the area for themselves.
‘Well, the meat wagon was Enroute to Isle of White Prison HMP Parkhurst.’ Informed Major Armstrong.
‘I’ve got three bodies at scene, Sarg. A driver and escort detail of two armed officers. They were shot.’ Reported After Thought.
‘Witnesses say that they heard gunfire and masked men 3 possible 4 armed men assaulted the Prison truck.’ Added Hotspot.
‘CCTV shows six assailants armed with automatic rifles. They shoot the driver, the van overturns and then a brief firefight take place. The detail is killed. Prisoner rescued. They get away in a white transit van showing VRM: HW 05 LVC.’ Announced L.A.N.Ce in his robotic tone.
‘Who’s it registered to?’ Asked Overcharge.
‘Van is registered to Auto direct. They reported it stolen two days ago, outside their yard. No CCTV footage of the theft. Further footage shows the Van heading to East India Docks Industrial Estate. There are some abandoned warehouses at the location.’ L.A.N.Ce answered after a momentary pause.
‘Ok team back in the vehicle, We will leave this to the Police. Lets check out the Warehouses’ Excalibur said.
They left for East India Docks…
Scene 5: Wharehouse 15
They arrived at the abandoned warehouses. There were twenty of them. They decided to recon the area first by driving up and down the industrial Estate, looking between the buildings.
Just as they were passing between a couple of warehouses Overcharge pointed out the tail end of a white van on the far side of Warehouse 15.
They approached with caution and Excalibur set the team on a perimeter formation. After Thought scanned the area telepathically and picked up no traces of psychic energy accept for the teams. ‘I’m not picking up anything from te area of within Sarg.’
‘Ok L.A.N.Ce, move in’
L.A.N.Ce’s servos echoed across the industrial estate deafened only by the thudding of his huge mechanical feet. He stepped up to the doors and tore them open with little effort, and walked in. He flooded the warehouse with his lights. Revealing it empty except for the lone figure tied to the chair at the far end. The person was Climate. He slumped in the chair with a whole in his head.
On the wall behind him in blood was a message:
‘The world shall be ridden of the impure’ and the symbol of a star burst was on the wall beside the writing.
Wasn’t long before forensics and the Police were on scene. Inspector Johnstone walked in and shook his head… ‘Not another one!’
L.A.N.Ce had already a holographic display of a similar victim with the exact whole in his head.
‘Ok, SID. The Case is yours there are four other murders just like this. Use the facilities at Hampshire. This is your top priority, understood? Lets hope there wont be another victim before you catch whoever did this.’ He ordered…
To be continued….