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SCC & Star Island

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Start Date: January 29th, 2009 (Thursday)

The SCC and the various buildings were abuzz with activity, pretty standard activity for the place. The military had security well in hand, also pretty standard. Inside the various hangers and labs, numerous research and experiments were underway. The facility was state of the art by anyone’s standards.

From one of the administration buildings, a mostly bald man exited. He nodded to a few military men who accompanied him before striking up a conversation with some individuals in labs coats. The men in uniforms depart and after a few moments, various military vehicles pull away from the building and head down the tarmac.

Meanwhile, the balding man continues to talk with various individuals in lab coats who almost seem to continually approach him. The man, obviously a figure of prominence, checks his watch occasionally, and seeming satisfied he has enough time, moves on to the next individual seeking his attention.

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Dr. Archeville flew from his home in Hanover to the Star Island Space Control Center (SCC) for an appointment with Dr. Arthur Andel, the Director of Star Island.

Tell me, again, why are we coming here?

Because Dr. Andel is a top-notch astrophysicist and astronomer, and if anyone in Freedom City -- aside from Daedalus -- could help us with improving our Gravimetric Belt, it's him.

Pft. We don't need him, or anyone else, we can do this on our own.

Are you so sure? For what we're attempting, a miscalculation could scatter our molecules across the galaxy, or create a black hole that would devour the earth.

Of course I'm sure!

Yes, well, you would say that.

Touching down at the SCC, Archeville was surprised to see so much activity. He dahses this way and that, looking for Andel, but the other scientists there are of no help in giving directions, either rushing off to their own tasks, or being so amazed at seeing Dr. Archeville that they temporarily forgot what they were doing.

At last, though, he did find Andel. For a few moments he studied the scientists circling about the director like worker ants around a queen, and realized that injecting himself into the lines would be the only way to get a word in. So that's exactly what he did.

"Hello, Herr Doktor Andel. Ve had an appointment for dis afternoon. Has something come up?"

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Doctor Andel looked up as a few face approached him, not someone on his staff. Recognizing the newcomer, he smiled and extended his hand in greeting. “Greetings Doctor! Pleasure to see you in person. How are you this fine day? Hmm? Oh, no, no. You’re a little early but our appointment is still scheduled. The hustle and bustle is pretty standard here. Always some new breakthrough to keep someone excited, project underway or crisis to manage. I’m sure you understand. Exciting times and possibilities abound.†He glanced over at the next man in a lab coat with a clip board and after reading it over, signed off on whatever it was.

He adjusted his glasses and pushed absently on his already rolled up sleeves as he turned back to the newly arrived hero. The energetic doctor nodded him. “We might have a slight delay of course. There is always something and science waits for no one. But we received a call from the Lighthouse, scheduling an appointment of all things. A super flying in from deep space requested it apparently. And how often does that happen? Usually guests, the non-violent variety, just show up with no regard for our work. I suppose that applies to the other type as well really.â€Â

He waved his hand vaguely at the minor military deployment happening down the tarmac as he signed off on yet another employee’s work. “You know how those military types are. Always ready to simply blast the unknown. Though in this case, being prepared is standard procedure. I suppose it is good practice for them.†He shrugs he shoulders, smiling but unconcerned.

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Today, Darian is going to refresh his studies on telemetry. His plans for remote controlled city patrolling robots would need it. He is supposed to meet with a team of scientists at Space Control Center to do so. When he gets there, it seems there are more urgent matters at hand. His refresher is officially on hold for the events that will happen today. He sees Doctor Archeville talking to Doctor Andel. Thinking that he needs to be courteous, he goes over to meet with the doctor he knows personally. Maybe he will introduce me to Doctor Andrel, Darian thinks to himself while walking over to the two. He overhears the two talking about something coming in from space. "Good day, Doctor Archeville. Good day, Doctor Andrel," Darian greets the two, "Please forgive if I am interupting anything important."

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A strange visitor from another world?

Exciting, I know!

I wonder if it's a she... and if she's hot?

.... ugh.

"A visitor? How exciting! One of de Star Knights, or somezhing else? Somezhing new, perhaps?!" Archeville frowned a bit at Doctor Andel's last words, "ja, I know qvite vell how de military can get in de vay of science, even when it professes to be progressink it."

His face lit up a bit when he saw Darian arrive, "Ah, Herr Cale, so nice to see you again!" He extended his hand in greeting, then just grabbed on to darian and shook vigorously. "Vere you here to see Doktor Andel, too, or for de new arrival?"

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Doctor Andel looked over at Quark with a raised eyebrow as the young man walked up. He didn’t recognize the young super but Doctor Acheville’s words brought the schedule to mind. “Mr. Cale? Oh yes. The telemetry and broadcast projects, that’s right. Nice to meet you. And no, you’re not interrupting at all. I’m certain your meeting is still verified, though you might wish to stay for this. Your meeting can be pushed back a little if you like.â€Â

He chuckled lightly. “No, not a Star Knight, though that is who sent the message. This is something, though I should say someone, new. From what I was told, he used to be human but now is a gravitic energy form with all the properties of a dark star, theoretically of course.â€Â

A van slowly pulled up and stopped in the parking lot, a short distance away. “The military requested he approach away from the sensitive areas so he’ll be landing on the tarmac shortly. You are more than welcome to accompany me of course,†he gestures towards the van.

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Darian nods as Doctor Andel indirectly tells Doctor Archeville why he is here, "Yes sir, the telemetry projects were set aside because something more urgent was happening today. They are to continue after this event happens." Darian is quiet as he listens to the doctors talk back and forth, observing what writing down what he percieves to be important: everything. When the doctor asks him to get in the van, he eagerly does so. This dark star extraterrestrial will be a very interesting study.

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Gravitic energy form? Dark star? Ooooh.

Indeed! If we could get him to work with us, who knows what improvements we could make to our gravimetric belt!

And think how much more we'd learn if we vivisect him!

NO! e- wait, did Darian say 'telemetry'?

"My, my, dis does sound like a fascinating arrival!" Archeville says as a Cheshire Cat-like smile spreads across his face. "I cannot vait to meet him!"

As Andel gestures towards the van, Archeville 'leaps' up to the top of it, "I'd prefer to ride up here, if you don't mind. Don't vorry, mein belt's contragravitic compensators are better dan any seatbelt." He then strikes a dashing pose, left fist on his hip, right hand out and pointing forward, "For Science!"

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Doctor Andel looked up with a quirky smile and a raised eyebrow at Doctor Archeville’s words and stance on the roof of the van. “Indeed!â€Â. He was used to certain behaviors after all. He got in and once Quark was set, he told the driver to get underway.

There was a black-on-black blur between the Earth and the Moon as Dark Star came out of his hyper speed and slowed to a simple few million miles an hour before easily coming to a stop. Derrick floated far above the blue ball. Looking down, it really did seem to be a blue marble. Of course being a couple hundred thousand miles away, it literally looked like a marble. He floated in space just watching. He’d seen hundred, hundred of thousands of planets over the last two decades or so. Yet something about seeing Earth just tugged at the heartstrings.

He’d actually been back for a couple weeks now. On his first arrival home after so long away, he had been careful to approach unobserved. Quite a lot had changed. He felt that pang of guilt again. He sighed and pushed those thoughts aside. He’d already made his peace with it; now it was simply a matter of being there now. He brought his thoughts back to the matter at hand.

It was time to make his appearance as Dark Star, new superhero from the stars, long absent from home. It was an easy name for him to take considering that’s what he was. Regardless, this was what he’d always wanted. He’d already taken steps to have his private life set up and taken care of. It was time to start his hero life (the last ten to twenty years or so didn’t particularly count in his mind given how little ‘heroing’ he’d done and the mistakes he’d made). He had headed out to Alpha Centauri secretly and then not hid his return.

He’d given this some thought. Someday, he’d like to join the Freedom Force or some other top tier organization. But he was nowhere near good enough for them yet. He needed to learn quite a lot first. So he’d crossed the Lighthouse off of his list. The SCC (Star Island Space Control Center) was a rather good start though. He intended to stay in Freedom City and be a hero there. But his space capabilities could be invaluable to the SCC not to mention his rather extensive knowledge and practical experience from exploring the galaxy. He had a responsibility to use those abilities and his knowledges to help. Hence he made a few calls and arranged a meeting.

He manipulated the gravity around him, causing it to propel himself towards the Earth. Soon, he was sliding down through the atmosphere descending towards Star Island. Once he would have just dropped directly down, practically just appearing there. But he’d learned his lessons. (The hard way of course.) This time, he’d had word sent ahead to expect him. He certainly had no wish to have the entire military down there trying to blast him out of the sky.

He drifted down slowly to ‘land’ on the tarmac far away from any sensitive buildings. His descent wasn’t too hard to miss (which was the point) since he was a black figure on the bright daytime sky and it took almost 5 minutes for him to drift down. He noted the various armaments and the like. They weren’t exactly pointed at him, which was nice, but they were prepared for foul play. He nodded to himself. At least they are cautious and careful. And not shooting at me, he thought to himself as he waited.

Dark Star waited patiently on the tarmac, well away from anything, as the small jeep drove up to him. A mostly bald man in his mid-forties exited the jeep and walked up to him, smiling in greetings. “Greetings. You are right on time. I’m Doctor Arthur Andel, the direct of the SCC.†He turned slightly to let Doctor Archeville and Quark introduce themselves.

Dark Star nodded in return once the others had introduced themselves. “Please to meet all of you.†He nodded to them. “I’m called Dark Star. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t shake hands. The downside of being having a graviton energy form. I’m glad to see you got my message and arranged this particular meeting. I would have hated to show up under fire. It would definitely not help set a good tone,†he added, his tone light. Not having noticeable facial features could be annoying at times.

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It is not everyday you get to see this, Darian thinks to himself as he watches with awe at the man from space making entry through Earth's atmosphere with ease, Sure falling rocks and gas passes through the atmosphere, but this is a real live extraterrestrial! The things that this being knows could be the next step in a movement that could change the world! Darian exits the vehicle as soon as Doctor Andel does so. Maybe a little too eagerly, though he hides his glee with professionalism. The being is vaguely humanoid and speaks perfect English, not uncommon for extraterrestrials that visit Earth. "I am Darian Cale, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." He reaches out his hand to greet the being but retracts it once he is told it would not be necessary.

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Hunh, so that's what a human transmogrified into a gravitic energy form looks like.

Apparently. Fascinating!

Not what we expected.

True, but that just make it all the more interesting!

Dr. Andel and Darian, as well as the other men in the distance, all looked fairly normal to Dark Star. The other man accompanying Andel, though, set Dark Star's gravitic senses on alert. The man had his own intense, fluctuating gravitic field around him!

"Good day, Herr Dark Star. I am Herr Doktor Viktor Archeville," he said in a heavy German accent, "und it is a distinct pleasure to meet you!"

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Dark Star looked at and nodded to the others as they introduced themselves. His gaze rested longer on Doctor Archeville. “You have a rather interesting graviton signature. We should talk at some point, yes?â€Â

Doctor Andel chuckled lightly and returned to the matter at hand. “Well, when the Lighthouse calls and makes the appointment, we do tend to pay attention. So, what can we at the SCC do for you?â€Â

Dark Star nodded and responded to the man. “Honestly, I was thinking of something mutually beneficial Doctor. While I intend to spend most of my time in Freedom City training as and being a hero, I have knowledge and abilities that I’m sure you could find invaluable. And honestly, I need a job. I was thinking something minor, part-time if you will. I’m not looking to get rich, just basic salary for living expenses and such. I don’t always look like this of course and really don’t wish to deal with the pressure all the time,†he added with a chuckle.

Dark Star continued on. “Now, I happen to know a rather great deal about the galaxy at large. I already shared much of it with Daedalus and Star Knight of course. I’ve traveled extensively, all over the galaxy. I can travel the galaxy faster than anyone or anything I’ve ever heard of. And I can do it carrying a large volume of equipment. But before you ask, no, I haven’t tried bringing people with me yet but with a little work on my part, I’m sure it would be possible.â€Â

Dark Star nodded towards the director of the SCC. “I’ll freely share the information of course. Knowledge like this isn’t the type to be hoarded. But I figure I could do a little work for your agency now and again, moving things into orbit or dropping sensors around the galaxy. The cost of basic living expenses for me is a good deal cheaper than trying to do some of this the hard way by millions, if not billions of dollars.â€Â

Arthur’s smile became a little wider. “Well, that’s a fascinating offer. You know, I’m certain we could work something out.â€Â

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If by 'talk' you mean 'vivisect,' then sure!

Like you even could do that. He's a field of energy!

Ha! A challenge! And you know how I love a challenge!

... damnit!

"I should like dat very much, Herr Star," he replied with a grin. "I should very much like to talk mit you about your travels, all you haff seen und heard und felt. Und, also, about how you came to exist in your current form. Are you able to shift back into your original flesh-und-blood form?"

The last question was quite blunt.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Darian is still taking notes on everything that is said. He wonders exactly how fast the Dark Star could move through space unaided, remembering the how far Earth's galaxial neighbors are. Smiling at the fact that knowledge shouldn't be hoarded and the possibility of travelling the whole universe within his lifetime, Darian grins at the thought of knowing and catagorizing everything. Just like Dewey had his Decimal System, they would have a Univeral Knowledge System. Darian prepares a question or two of his own as Dark Star and Doctor Archeville have their conversation.

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Unknown to the heroes, nefarious forces had been planning something for quite some time. Having a large portion of the military assets conveniently heading away from the base and sitting on the tarmac was just too good to pass up. The moved and put their plan into motion.

Paul Merceier was just a security guard, albeit one that worked at the SCC so he was a cut above standard security. He was doing his rounds when he decided to take a short detour and check out this cute little lab assistant over in building three. In some ways, it was a fortunate event. Not for him of course, but for the SCC it helped alert them.

Paul turned a corner and walked down the side of one hanger. He noticed the three figures in custodial uniforms crouched over someone…crouched over the regular security patrol for the area. Paul wasted no time as this was obviously wrong. Drawing his sidearm, he yelled, “Freeze! Nobody move! Let me see those hands!â€Â

The intruders wasted no time either. Without pause or words, they snapped their own weapons out now that their secrecy had been compromised. Two of them and Paul all fired at the same time. Paul was rather unlucky and the two energy beam struck him solidly in the chest However, his single shot clipped a short tube object held in of the intruder’s hands causing it to explode. None of them survived the explosion, but it did make one heck of an alarm. Paul’s life had been the cost which alerted the SCC to the dangers already inside.

Dark Star smiled, not that his featureless face showed much. Instead he simply nodded as he replied. “I’d be happy to share it with you. The stuff from before 6 or 8 years ago might not be exciting from a heroic point of view. But from an exploration and scientific view, it was fascinating.â€Â

He paused and then shrugged, figuring it would be alright. “Actually, yes I can. I figured it out a few years ago. It takes some effort and time but it is possible.â€Â

He finally turned to Doctor Andel and nodded. “Excellent. Why don’t we head back to the facilities so you’re not just standing out here? Anyone need a lift?â€Â

Doctor Andel chuckled but shook his head and moved back to his jeep, he could make a few calls on the short drive if nothing else.

However, even as he reached his ride, all those couldn’t help but miss the small flash of a grenade exploding in the shadows, and sudden smoke outside, of a large hangar-type building. The Doctor’s head snapped around, eyes’ wide.

“The hangar! We have one of Daedalus’ space planes in there for study!†He turned to the driver, yelling for the man to get it moving while activating his own phone and getting security moving…

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He can shift back to a flesh-and-blood form? Innnteresting.

Yes but not as- whoah, what was that?

Sounded like a grenade going off. An F-1 anti-personnel model, I believe, based on the sound of the- wait, did he say Daedalus' space plane?!

At least that's got you motivated!

Archeville leaped into action, flying towards the hangar, his force field already springing up around him. "C'mon, men, get de lead out!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Dark Star blinked at the sudden noise and turned to look. It quickly became apparent from the smoke, noise and his companions reactions that something was very wrong. He nodded at the doctor as the man shot off through the air. As an afterthought, DS reached out and grabbed the jeep, towing it behind him through the air as he mimicked the doctor’s route. “Hold on everyone, we’ll be there in a moment!â€Â

The heroes crossed the distance in no time at all. Outside the hanger, the smoke could be seen rising from the detonation spot. There were several figures laying about, all unmoving. However the main action seemed to be inside the hangar itself.

Before them lay the large hangar doors. They stood open, providing 4 or 5 feet of space between them. Inside, various figures in custodial or workers coveralls could occasionally be seen moving quickly. But unlike most of those staffers, these seemed to be carrying some weaponry in the form energy weapons, both in pistol and rifle form…

The jeep lightly landed as soon as Dark Star put it down. The doctor, hussled by his guard, wisely choose discretion and ran off to one side wisely seeking safety. It seemed the heroes were alone with the scurrying figures inside.

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Reaching inside his messenger bag, Darian pull out a metal box. When he opens the metal box, a sphere about the size of a baseball made of a quicksilver-like substance drops into his hand.the substance slowly wraps around his body. When it is done, there is none of Darian's feature left, only a silver reflective humanoid.

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Shields up! Cloaking field up!

Now to get a closer look at what's going on.

"Cale, see vhat you can pick up from Dark Star! I don't know vhat powers he has, but surely two are better dan von!" Archeville said as he flew past Darian. The Doktor then faded from sight, like a picture going so badly out of focus that it simply ceased to be. Dark Star's senses were still able to accurately perceive the Doktor's gravity field, though.

Archeville flies into the hangar, high up to get a bird's-eye-view of the assailants.

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Dark Star didn't understand the Doctor's comments, not knowing what Cale could do. He gave a mental shrug before turning to the hangar and problem at hand. An unknown number of individuals, likely reeking havoc with some delicate technologies, were obviously supposed to be here. Therefore it was obvious what they had to do.

The Doctor was headed inside towards the ceiling. They were a superheroes, (well, he was just starting, but still) but perhaps the Doctor lacked offense pacification abilities? Dark Star didn't know but he did. To his inexperienced process, it was obvious what he should do. After all, he'd read so many comics when he was young, he practically had the possible scripts memorized. And he wanted to make sure his first super hero outing really went well....

After releasing the van, he moved through the solid hangar to hang suspended a good thirty feet above the floor. If his darkened form didn't catch their attention, then his voice, yelling as it was in the echoy warehouse, certainly got their attention.

"Surrender evil doers! You cannot defeat the righteous forces of Freedom City! Lay down your weapons and come along quietly!" Too much?, he though to himself? Nah! Even as he spoke, he used his senses to reach out and search the facility, checking for any hidden surprises.

What both Dark Star and the concealed Doctor entered the hangar, it became aware that there were not just a handful of the men. There were close to two dozen figures, all in an assortment of clothing; suits, lab coats, mechanic jumpsuits, etc. All part of the various disguises used to get inside. Many, 7 or 8, were gathered around the spaceplane of course. But there were also groups of 3 and 4 working on various things scattered around the immense hangar. Lastly, there were 5 or so just inside the hangar, keeping watch for trouble. Even as the heroes entered, those were raising their weapons at the most obvious threat...

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Quark freezes for a second after hearing the doctor's orders. Quickly thinking he tries to say something along the lines of asking Dark Star for permission, but it only comes out as a mumble. Before he can get a more concise request in, Dark Star disappears though the wall! Looking around for an entrance, he finds one and quickly flies in the building just in time to hear Dark Star's booming intro. Quark meekly speaks up to the gravatic man, "Uh, Dark Star, I have a question: Can I borrow some of you?" Quark facepalms at the absurdity of his words, "I mean can I get some of your," he stops himself and grunts in frustration for not finding the correct words. "We will discuss this later," a white beam shoots out at the space being and misses his mark.

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The various masked figures around the space plane quickly moved down and spread out to take up good firing positions, readying their weapons. The two other groups redoubled their efforts with...whatever they were working on. It was the ones up front that posed something of a problem two Dark Star and the newly arrived Quark. Especially since they were only about 10 feet away from the two heroes.

One of the five turned his pistol and shot at Quark despite the fact that Quark has seemed to attack Dark Star and missed. The rest of the 5 five standing guard immediately turned their weapons on Dark Star and fired. The pistol impacts didn't seem to bother either of the heroes. The larger rifle beam slammed into Dark Star's form but did little but cause the insubstantial hero to blink in surprise.

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Hunh, it appears the kid can mimic things at a distance, though he still has to target them. Interesting, I thought it was a touch-range thing.

Yes, yes, fascinating, but there are a few more pressing issues. Like what those two groups are up to.

Also, his aim sucks.

... hey, what are those guys doing to Daedalus' space-plane? Why, I do believe that's a bomb they're attaching to it!

What?! No, the ship is ours! No one blows it up until we're done with it!

Archeville flies down closer to get a better look at the two groups, trying to see what they're doing. It did indeed look like one of the groups was working on some sort of bomb; they had just finished loading something into it, and were now sealing it up. One of them reached over and activated the device, causing strange symbols (ones not even Archeville recognizes, at least not from his current angle) to appear and lights to light up.


Kill them all.

Useful suggestions?

Well, it'd probably safe for us to swoop in and take it -- it's probably not on a motion-sensitive switch.

The invisible doctor dived down, scooped up the bomb, and bolted outside.

He really, really hoped he was right about the absence of a motion-sensitive trigger.

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Dark Star blinked as Quark seemed to ask him something and then shoot at him. He had no idea what that was about! But since it missed and there were other things to consider, he turned back to those with the guns. And then he blinked again as he was hit multiple times despite his shields. The little energy pistols didn't bother him at all, but that larger rifle actually stung even though he wasn't seriously injured by it. It seemed the seemed the villains had made their choice and it wasn't to come along quietly.

He noted the Doctor's movement and grabbing the device by one of the two groups at the benches before flying out the slightly opened hangar doors. There were more debarking from the spaceplane and heading towards himself and Quark, but those 5 in front were more immediately dangerous. He reached out altered the gravity all around, targeting only the villains. The Gravity went from 1G to many times that, pinning the 5 attackers and any of the others that approached to the ground though he was careful to not crush the life out of them.

The Doctor snatched the bomb up and almost instantly, many of the characters and lights on the device started flashing and an insistent beeping was emitted as well...

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