Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Summer 2021 

Discovery Channel 


"So that was the secret of the Day of Wrath," said Fast-Forward into the camera, looking rather more serious than his usual mien, a cloud of black smoke rising from the still-smoldering building behind him. "Robot conspiracies, evil dopplegangers, and a plan for Earth that went much deeper than anybody expected it. When we picked this story for our finale, we never imagined we'd find anything like this - perhaps the most shocking moment in the history of...Supercrime!" 



A day earlier....

Link to comment
  • 3 weeks later...

Terrifica and the second hero to bear the name of Archer had been investigating the leads given them by Richard and Paige Cline for months. It hadn't been an easy investigation; they'd been stonewalled at every turn, especially by the Swedish company that had taken all that Curator tech then supposedly lost it all in a major industrial accident that had also seriously wounded the company's founder. They'd been able to find some interesting information; while almost all of that technology had indeed been destroyed in Sweden, a small but significant portion had been taken back to Freedom City where it had promptly disappeared from the records. This was quite a potential scandal, but firing accusations against Archetech was potentially a risky operation indeed. You didn't just accuse America's most beloved scientist of being a robot, especially since everyone knew she was already a robot being controlled remotely by an anonymous superhero. 

(There had actually been a suggestion for a while that Miss Americana was being controlled by Viktor Archeville himself, but that particular suggestion had been convincingly rebutted.) 


But now something new had happened. They had both (though neither of them knew what the other was doing) gotten a confidential email inviting them to a rendezvous at Sunshine Fisheries at the remote New Jersey coastal community of Money Island. The informant had promised them information about their investigation into "the secret plans of the robots", making enough references to the obstacles previously encountered by their investigations that it was clear their informant knew what they were doing. 


So now it was after midnight in early summer and the two of them were just approaching the fishing company's abandoned building from different directions. All they knew was that Sunshine Fisheries had gone bankrupt after Hurricane Sandy had sunk its fleet almost ten years earlier, and had been bought out recently by a company linked to Ukrainian organized crime... 


Link to comment

It was a trap. It had to be. Why else would someone send Connor a freaking invitation? Sure, he had spent some time investigating the thing with the robots that Fast-Forward and Hologram had asked, but it had mostly been dead ends so far. So why a sudden invitation like that?


The old man had agreed, but had suggested he go anyway. Why? Why walk into an obvious trap? Because he'd let the Keller play him again. If he knew it was a trap, then of course Connor would be good enough to get out of it. No issues at all, right?


Connor headed towards the building, staying on the rooftops as best as he could. Keep an overview of what was going on below, see if he could pick out anyone patrolling the place.

Link to comment

Terrifica, meanwhile, was doing more or less the same thing as Archer. She was even skulking over various rooftops on the way there. The difference was her Chameleonic Field Projector rendering her effectively invisible.  It could not have been any more obviously a trap with a flashing neon sign that said so. Still, it was somewhat rare to have her investigations so thoroughly stymied. What was interesting is that this informant knew about her poking around. She’d been quite subtle, as usual.  She’d already discarded that email address. Her contacts had others to use if necessary. She was close enough, she supposed. Sunshine Fisheries was right over there. She pulled out a visor from her belt and slid it over her eyes. Time to see who was home. After all, the building currently belonged to the Ukrainians, and they did not appreciate unwelcome visitors. Especially those with a neon orange T on their foreheads.

Link to comment

There were signs of recent activity inside the warehouse by the time the two heroes arrived. The abandoned equipment that likely should have been here had recently been removed, with faint scratch marks leading up to the loading dock showing where it had probably gone. As far as they could tell, what was left of the former processing plant was now a largely empty warehouse that still bore the faint smell of fish. There were a few rats scuttling about in the corners, and loose papers that when examined turned out to be leftovers from the good old days of the shipping company. Everything seemed normal. 


Except for one thing; in the middle of the big metal and concrete box that was the room was a single brass-colored metal humanoid form, its head and arms tilted downward, its body seemingly-powered down. 

Link to comment

Terrifica walked into the giant warehouse most carefully. She was an ever suspicious soul, and the lack of anything visibly going on was putting her on edge. There was no such thing as a empty, abandoned warehouse. Not in this line of work. However…she was still basically invisible. So she took the time to wonder what the infrared pattern under the skylight was. She couldn’t quite see. And there was someone else skulking around, too. How bothersome. She mentally sighed. Screw it. She took off her visor, returned in to her utility belt, and withdrew something interesting. Ventriloquism was occasionally useful. So it sounded like her voice was coming from a different location in the warehouse. “Someone contacted me. Knew things about what I was looking into that most shouldn’t. Wanted to talk. I’m in earshot now.”

Link to comment

What the hell? A robot in the middle of everything, just standing all alone?


Connor snuck inside, trying to keep his distance. There was some kind of weird pattern on the infrared, under the skylight. Better to stay clear of it. 


Why did he end up on doing stuff like this? He wasn't some kind of super sleuth or anything like that, he was just a guy with bow and arrows.


And... someone called out. Couldn't see anything. He reached for his quiver and nocked and arrow before he replied.


"Yeah. That's kind of my story too. How about you come out where I can see you?"

Link to comment

Terrifica was not an easy woman to surprise. And indeed, here she wasn’t entirely surprised to hear a familiar voice. There were but so many heroes in Freedom City, after all. Her mental speed throttled up briefly. Ah, of course. Archer. The newer one. “Goodness, now here’s a dilemma. Coming out suggests I’m hiding somewhere, and that simply isn’t the case.” Her tone was warm and gently teasing. It was true, without her gadget active she’d be standing in plain view. “And even if I did so, I have the same concerns you do about whoever contacted us. But let me stop being mysterious.” She deactivated but did not put away the Chameleonic Field Projector. “Hello again, Archer. It’s been quite a while.”

Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...

A distinct shadow fell on the heroes from the building's skylight, a rapidly growing shadow that they both managed to dodge.


This was all for the best as the falling object turned out to be a fully-loaded semitruck coming down cab first!


The hurled vehicle crashed through the roof, its load swinging behind it to hit the floor simultaneously with the cab. The creaking wood underneath proved no match for the sudden impact, however, as the truck then broke through it! The impact set Archer and Terrifica desperately dodging as the truck smashed down into the basement and the floor gave way beneath their feet!


The building itself was shaking and rumbling now, its walls groaning and waving in the wind even as the echoes of the crash rang in their ears. Looking up, they could see the outline of a caped figure against the stars above, its eyes glowing a malignant red. 

Link to comment



Connor didn't really have time to react, before he heard the whistling sound, and then a freaking semitruck came crashing down from above.


Cursing to himself, Archer leapt back, out of the way, already staring up into the hole that the truck had created above as it crashed through the ceiling and now into the basement. An arrow already on his string, he flipped back, away from the hole and took aim, letting several arrows fly towards the caped individual while he was mid-jump.

Link to comment



Terrifica had plenty of time to carefully observe the semitruck before she threw herself out of the way of its passage. How she did not see the man (?) who threw it was a question for another time. A side benefit of how fast her brain was gave her all the time in the world to plan how to act in a crisis. So when, mid dodge, she snapped off two shots with her Freonic Ray it was entirely intentional that the first shot missed. It was meant to force the person to dodge right into the second shot, which locked them in ice. The absorbed heat from both shots blew out the rear opening of her staff as she put both feet on the ground again. 


"Now, let's discuss why you threw some so large at us, and I'll consider not blasting you into the Atlantic."

Link to comment

It was instantly obvious that their captive wasn't human; the absent face and the metalllic parts where it should have been clarified exactly what the robot was. This had perhaps been built at one time or another to look like a humanoid, but with its missing face plate and several missing patches of skin, no one would mistake it for anything but a mechanism.


And like a mechanism, it acted. "Let him alone," it declared in mechanical tones before suddenly exploding in a blinding rush of searing white plasma that utterly obliterated it and set the room around them ablaze! The building was burning and they were both in danger, but what had they actually learned? 

Link to comment

"What the hell?"


His arrows bounced harmlessly off it. Alright, fine. That wasn't the first time that had happend, but at least it meant Terrifica had an opening to bring it down. As their attacker fell down, Connor reached for another arrow and moved closer, aiming it at the attacker's face... or lack thereof.


"A robot?" 


Great, robots. Had to have something to do with the thing the Clines were doing.


Aaand... Connor managed to move back seconds before the robot exploded, setting the entire place on fire. Someone really didn't want them looking into this.


Had to get out of there, but... "Terrifica! Did it get you!?"

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Wrapped in ice, the man was well positioned to be questioned. Except the A. the man was a robot and B. it decided to explode. Dodging the explosion was not a problem. Terrifica had just dodged a falling semi-truck. This was nothing. And then a piece of her own ice ricocheted off a wall and hit her right between the eyes. As she blinked away tears behind her cowl (because gods, that hurt), she heard Archer asking if the explosion got her. No pain or stress in his voice, so he was fine and able to escape on his own.


“No. It could be argued that I got me. We shouldn’t linger here unless we want to suffocate or burn to death.” Her staff collapsed and back on her belt, she made her way quickly outside. Archer would follow. She had no doubt. “That…was a remarkable waste of a evening.” Between her eyebrows throbbed. She logged on to the League’s systems via a gadget from her belt and reported the explosion. The fire department could deal with what was left here. “Still, I did learn something. That was a Centuritron. The robot.” She rubbed the injured spot, knowing full well it wouldn’t help at all. “And either whoever modified it has no idea what they’re doing, or that wasn’t meant to kill us. There’s enough power in those things to blow this little town off the map. Or most of it, at least. I don’t want to do math right now.” She sighed. “I need to tell the Clines. Are you coming along? And no, it’s got nothing to do with Talos. He doesn’t sacrifices his robots anymore than we would sacrifice people.”

Link to comment

Making it out was easy enough, especially when Terrifica was at least well enough to move and talk.


"Yeah. Nothing like exploding robots." She was right. All they had done was get into a warehouse and have a robot explode in their face. A great evening. 


He listened and shook his head. "So all we've learned is who didn't do it? And of course there wasn't enough left of that thing to do anything about."


"Yeah, I'll come along. They had me looking into all of this as well."

Link to comment

The Clines didn't meet with Archer and Terrifica at their home, of course; that would have been deeply unwise even if the two detective heroes weren't engaged in dangerous tactical observations with someone who obviously wanted revenge. Instead they set a meeting at a small office park in Riverside that the Discovery Channel rented, a place that let them have meetings and edit without the need to jog back to Los Angeles or bring technical work back home to their daughter and younger son (the older one, of course, wasn't living at home these days). Things had been tough lately. Between one thing and another, they'd both been under a lot of stress between one phase of their life ending and a possible threat (at least if you believed Richard's conspiracy theories) to everyone else's life brewing.


In their younger days, Richard would have been almost triumphant knowing that there was some truth to his suspicions but now he was all business, leaning against an interior office wall as they waited for their contacts to arrive. Another thing that was different from the old days was that it was daylight and they weren't alone. Terrifica and Archer had had time to go home and shower and change their clothes, and a small crew of Discovery Channel staffers was on the scene to make sure they got full recordings of what the investigators had found. (Luckily NDAs covered a multitude of sins, especially since they didn't really have anything yet but suspicion and circumstantial evidence about the presence of secret robots in the heroic community.) 


Richard joked sometimes about the glory days when he and Paige had had nothing together but their passion and a series of hideouts, but with the sun shining outside and their crew ready, he honestly had no regrets about going legit. This wasn't exactly the sort of place a dark mastermind would send his team of assassins, especially with Sasha the social media intern monitoring (and making live comments on) the livestream of Anna Cline's 'interview' with Sebastian Stratos at the asylum over at her brightly-colored computer in one corner of the room, with one of the assistant directors on the phone with LA on the other. 

It looked like it was going to be a normal day. Minus the report from the cowls about the robot attack, anyway. 


Link to comment

Connor stood leaned against a wall, arms crossed as he watched the crew with some suspicion. He really didn't like to be in the spotlight like that.


"So that's it. We went to investigate, someone sent a Centurion bot at us and it blew up. Seems like someone wanted us to stop looking into things."


Terrifica could probably explain everything much better than him, probably had a bunch of theories already. That wasn't Connor's job here, as far as he was concerned. He wasn't some dark night detective or anything like that.


"What's next?"

Link to comment

"You were sent to investigate," Paige Cline remarked, a thoughtful frown creasing her forehead as she reviewed the real-time transcripts of what had been said. "Someone drew both of you to that place, just in time for you to see something strange and then almost get killed. Maybe it was a trap all along, but if so, there wasn't really any reason to show you anything at all. Maybe it was just bad timing. Either way, whoever sent those emails knows something more than we do now. And the robot that was in the warehouse, if there was anything particularly distinguishing about, something that might tie it to a known individual, maybe? Talos' robots are different than ArcheTech's robots are different than HAX's robots, etcetera." She spread her arms in a shrug. "I don't think we have any business directing your investigation when you're both much more experienced in the business than we are, but those are just where my gut is pointing. You must be getting close, if you've got somebody worried." 

Link to comment

“Of course, Mrs. Cline. Someone trying to warn you off with violence is the easiest way to learn you’re on the right track. ” If there was one place Terrifica didn’t like to be, it was on television. Costumed detective work was so much easier when the criminals didn’t know exactly what you looked and sounded like with studio quality light and sound. Made them sloppier. But alas. Well. She was using a scrambler to distort her voice print. Still sounded about the same, but subtly off to anyone who’d hear her speak more than a few times. She was seated, legs crossed and paying perfect attention to the Clines. “I should be able to trace the emails. Please don’t ask how.” The explanation would be quite technical, as it was technically hacking and there were laws to circumvent. “And if the fire department has managed to put the warehouse out, there may be something left of the Centuritron.” Probably not enough to fill a breadbox, but she’d worked miracles with less. “Additionally, it wasn’t Talos. For him, robots are more people than biologicals. He’d never send a suicide bomber.” Hmm. She should be able to get the League to check the Sanctum as well, see if any Centuritrons had gone missing and when. “I don’t believe the attack was meant to kill us, either. Centuritrons did a more than passable job of imitating the real man. The power required to do that, well…I could rig one up to take out most of Freedom City. Granted, I’m better than most, but the point remains. I doubt they were unskilled and made a mistake. They were more likely to blow themselves up instead.” Hmm. Look into that, just in case. Random unexplained explosions or building fires. Probably remote or disused locations to start with. “So if they wanted us dead, we would be. Along with virtually the entire island.” Hmm. Four places to start. Speak, Sam. This isn’t going to be broadcast until this is over. “Four places to start. Tracing the emails. Examining what’s left of the Centuritrons. My League contacts checking on the Sanctum. That’s tracing the Centuritron’s origin, for the record. And just to cover all the bases, looking into any currently unexplained explosions or fires in remote or disused locations in the general area. Just in case we are dealing with a amateur who’s been lucky enough not to kill themselves.” She leaned back in the chair, quite finished speaking. But perhaps someone else had something to say.

Link to comment

Richard carried on a telepathic conversation with Paige while Terrifica talked, that sort of attention-splitting multi-tasking something they both had long experience with. When their two cowls were done talking, Richard took out his phone. This was a recent 'investment in the future' he'd said half-kiddingly, though it had earned him a hug from Holly who had thanked him for 'finally entering the 21st century.' "I'm going to text our son and ask him to stop by," he said out loud for Terrifica and Archer's benefit. "I don't think you've met Will yet," he added for the former, "but he was actually in the Sanctum for...a hero thing a few years ago." It had actually been for a school fieldtrip, but there was no use having that conversation around even the trusted staffers of Supercrime! One thing they'd never done was an episode about Claremont, and for good reason. 


"I guess we could go out to Robotland and tell Talos somebody is trying to frame him," he hazarded at the same time, "but that sort of thing is just a little above our paygrade." What would have been an exciting adventure when they were younger now sounded dangerous, especially when you considered their worries about the robot infiltration of the superheroic community. Geez, he thought to Paige, I am getting old. 


Link to comment

Don't you know that it's worth every treasure on earth, Paige's mental "voice" sang back to Richard silently, to be young at heart? For as rich as you are, it's much better by far-


Her song cut off abruptly as Paige's mental shields went up, her body stiffening and her eyes rolling back into her head. Richard, of course, was at her side long before she could begin to crumple, but the spasm lasted only a moment. Paige caught herself, took one wild look around, then spat out a obscenity that would've gotten her a rather nasty letter from the FCC. "Everybody out!" she shouted, "right now! Leave the gear!" Running to the nearest wall, she pulled the fire alarm and then ran for the doors herself, trusting Richard and the crew to be right behind her. The two investigators were unknown quantities but they seemed smart enough to heed a psychic's warning. She hoped so at least; there was no time to argue. 

Link to comment

Connor stayed silent. He didn't like the cameras and Terrifica was better at this than him, anyway. He really wasn't any kind of hotshot detective, and he didn't have all the contacts that she did. He just went looking for trouble most of the time. 


"Doubt knocking on Talos' door would do us any good, anyway." Yeah, and going all the way to Rurland would be just great, especially if Talos decided they were in the wrong for bringing the news to his door.


He was about to suggest that they wait until Terrifica's contacts had checked the Sanctum when Hologram called out for them to get out of there and pulled the fire alarm. 


Right. Don't question the psychic. Grabbing on to his bow, he followed as closely behind as he could. "What's going on?"

Link to comment



Terrifica was many things, but slow and stupid were not among them. Paige Cline was a psychic. Terrifica purposefully did not know her exact power set, but when someone with superhuman senses panicked and said to run, you ran. The old army proverb. A sergeant running away outranked an officer. A demoman running away outranked the sergeant. A signalman outranked the demoman. And in, Terrifica’s view, a psychic outranked the signalman. So the first reason she wasn’t the first one out the door was because she was seated with crossed legs. The second being that she wanted to be the last. To make sure no civilians were left behind, and to take a mental snapshot of the room. Perfect memory. If there was anything in this room that could be relevant later, she would know. And then she was outside with everyone else.

Link to comment

The Supercrime! crew moved fast; of course it helped that Richard could lend his speed to the others as they bolted out for freedom, the alarm ringing lustily as the rest of the building began to evacuate too. And just in time. Outside, there was a supersonic crack in the sky as something appeared above them so fast it had broken the sound barrier arriving. 


Hovering above the parking lot of the small office park was a giant figure cast in copper, a man-shaped machine as large as a small car, his eyes glowing a brilliant red. And indeed he was a he, an instantly-recognizable figure to heroes and civilians alike as people ran for cover. TALOS - the metal master of Rurland - had broken his long exile to his own nation, but for what purpose? 


"FOOLISH FLESHLINGS!" Talos declared, laughing wickedly as power crackled around his hands, black energy terribly dark against a brilliant red around his gigantic hands. "YOU THINK YOU CAN STOP ME? MY SECRETS ARE NOT FOR THE MINDS OF PUNY FLESHY ONES! ALL WILL DIE - IN THE NAME OF TALOS!" And then he fired a blast of energy over their heads, directly at the office building they'd all just recently abandoned. There was the noise of impact, and suddenly the building erupted in a nearly silent, glowing fireball that transformed it in an instant into a blazing inferno! 


The battle, it seemed, was on. 


"Oh for $(($'s sake," Richard was heard to distinctly say out loud. "I _hate crazy robots_." 

Link to comment



"I HAVE SATISFIED YOUR CURIOSITY." The lord of Rurland said with a cold fury, there was anger in his robotic voice.. "SOON YOU WILL DESPAIR AT THE COST YOU PAID FOR THIS KNOWLEDGE."

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...