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Red Hot Science (IC) (OPEN)

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Professor Quill had finished teaching the undergraduates for the morning. A rather dreary lot for a rather dreary class, he concluded. In an effort to try and stimulate himself, he wandered off to the Super High Impact Particle Collision (SHIP Collision) facility of the university. They were doing some very interesting stuff.

Professor Leibniz was working away, surrounded by three sycophantic post graduates all eager to praise his genius in order to garner his favour. Hmph. He didn't much approved of Leibniz. And he didn't much like the way he was leering at the two females of his trio of cronies.

"Ah. Quill. So sorry to hear your paper on observer entanglement was rejected by the Royal Society. Again. " Leibniz sneered.

Quill merely bristled. He allowed himself the fantasy of disintegrating the atoms of Leibniz' glasses. That really was below the belt. In barely contained rage, Quill muttered a brief "Leibniz. " and wandered off.

As Liebniz laughed and his trio of syncophantic worshippers quickly forced a laugh to follow, none of them noticed a massive fluctuation of energy that appeared on the computer screen behind them, just as Quill had received his dressing down.

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Quentin strolled down to another part of the building, and popped into another laboratory. A promising and attractive young student, Haley Hearts, was running some data through an mess of cables that passed as a computer.

Quentin chatted some time with the young lady, bordering on flirting with her, although she was ten years his junior and he tended to prefer older ladies. No harm in a little banter, he mused to himself. And fascinating as maths was, a little light hearted conversation was sometimes more fascinating.

Five minutes into the conversation, Quentin offered to get coffee, to which Haley gladly agreed. He had not taken ten paces outside the lab, when the building was rocked by an explosion.

Quentin didn't just hear it, he felt it. Large cosmic flux, located 90 metres from here, contained burst with fractal dispersion.... it's where Liebniz was.

He stood there stunned. Something must have happened at the Particle accelerator. Acrid fumes started belching down the corridor as Haley ran out to Join him.

"Get help. Fire. Police. Ambulance. Hell, get everybody" he motioned to her.

Pulling out a handkerchief and placing it over his mouth, Quentin started to drive through the smoke, waving his hand in front of him. The smoke made it hard to see more than a few feet, but he had his eyes clamped shut. Instead, he extended his consciousness and was directly aware of the mass off the walls and objects around him, interlaced with the pulsing lattice of electrical cables.

Overhead, the sprinkler system activated, drenching him.

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Guardian was flying around Midtown, enjoying the weather as much as he was patrolling, looking at the skies above and the people below, the sun's rays gently falling onto the city and it's inhabitants, when suddenly static crackled through his head. "AH! What on earth? Is someone playing STATIC? It seems to be coming from... the university? Either something serious is going down, or I'm going to want a word with them." Turning to see the source, Guardian found a large pillar of smoke, instead. "Whelp, it looks like one of those two possibilities is out. Better go lend a hand." And with that, Guardian was off like a shot, arriving at the university in just a few seconds.

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Sparksmith left Master Lee's school earlier than normal today. Master Lee, yet again, wanted Kurt to run some errands for him. The errands, like always, brought him all over Freedom City. When he had first moved in, Kurt enjoyed the sights. It was a quick way to get to know the new city, but now it's almost been three months. The sights of the city weren't as impressive anymore. Then again, nothing was as impressive to him as New York City.

Today, Master Lee had a small package to send to Freedom City University. As he flew over the Wading River, Kurt saw the plumes of smoke floating up into the sky. Worried, he flew straight over to it, forgetting about his destination. Luckily for him...or rather, very unluckily, his new and old destinations were one in the same. He flew toward the source of the smoke, but tried to stay relatively far, looking for civilians in trouble.

He shouted, "Hello?! Anyone here? I'm here to help!"

His head darted back and fourth as he looked for anyone who could have been injured.

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Haley Heart ran into the courtyard just outside the SHIP collision building from which a plume of smoke was still bellowing. She had bedraggled hair, glasses askew, and was missing one heel. Seeing the two flying heroes, she screamed out "Help, help, they have gone insane!!!"

At that moment, a lab technician burst out of the door Haley had come through. Normally he would be classed as your average computer nerd - pale skin and underdeveloped physique. Now, the door nearly flew off the hinges with force he exerted on it. He let out a primeval roar of a man with half his expected wit, and lunged forward after Haley. It was then that the ominous red glow all over his skin could be seen...

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Quill moved into main office of the SHIP collision building. The smoke was getting pretty bad here. Momentarily, he focussed his mind and disintegrated a segment of the ceiling. Then, shutting the door, the smoke started to thin a little. At least he could breathe now.

Unfortunately, it also meant that the room became a little clearer. A large window on the north side joined with another part of the laboratory, the particle gun. And there was Liebniz, all aglow with red radiation, furiously smashing up the equipment.

"Liebniz my dear fellow... are you allright?" Said Quill, without thinking.

Liebniz glanced over and growled, slowly, "QUIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLL". And with a roar, charged the window, smashing it and leaping at Quill.

Instinctively, Quill reached out to the molecules in front of him, and changed them, increasing their bonds and forming an impenetrable crystalline wall that blocked off Liebniz from himself.

And the exit. Great.

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Sparksmith noticed the woman running frantically and acted quickly. He hovered over the campus, shooting a single spark down to the woman. Under her, a large platform extends beneath her, making what appeared to be a magic carpet beneath her. It floated up to Sparksmith, getting the girl out of the raging techie's way.

"Hey, hey, hey, hey! Calm down. Calm down. Calm. You're safe now. I'm Sparksmith. I'm here to help. What is going on? Who attacked you? Why was he attacking you?

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Haley was clearly shaken.

"I... I... don't know. I was with Professor Quill, we heard an explosion and he went to look. I don't know what happened to him. I saw Professor Liebniz, glowing red, attacking the students... they all turned red too! I... I ... think its infectious! You have to stop them!"

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Guardian, overhearing what the woman that Sparksmith rescued, had to say, sighed. "Well, crud. I try not to have to do this, but it seems we'll have to take these guys out of commission before this spreads. Hey, Sparksmith? Glad to see you again. Anyways, I'm going to try knock these people unconscious. I don't like it, but it seems the quickest way to prevent them from attacking others. When I do, do you think you can contain them until we find a way to stop this?"

That being said, Guardian went up to the red glowing man, and tried to make sure it hit. Not hitting as hard as he could have, Guardian landed a punch on the crazed man, yet, to his surprise, the red man was still standing. Turning back towards Sparksmith, Guardian yelled "Yo, Sparks! The glow seems to be making them tougher! Just a heads up."

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The radioactive scientist was standing, but the force of the mighty Guardian's blow had left him seeing stars.

Behind Sparksmith and the Guardian, they could hear the roar of sirens. A fire engine had pulled up, and out came three firemen in full dress.

"Thank's Guardian, but this looks like a job for the fire department. Nasty fire in there, and unless you know handle a hose, this one's a problem for us..."

As he spoke, a window near them smashed, and out leapt two more glowing individuals, a janitor and an middle aged female scientist...

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Kurt yelled back down to the Guardian, speaking rather quickly. "Guard, take care of the glowy guys. Cover the firemen. I'm gonna bring..." He stopped yelling. "I'm sorry, how rude of me. What's your name?"

"H-H-Haley Heart."

"I"m going to bring Ms. Heart somewhere safe."

Kurt flew away from the campus, a few hundred feet, speaking with Ms. Heart along the way. "Haley, do you know where Professor Quill is? Maybe he has an idea why those guys were acting crazy."

"He... he was in the main laboratory. The big smoking one! Please hurry. I don't know what's going on."

"Thank you, Haley. Don't worry, it'll be fine.

Sparksmith dropped her off outside of a Starbase Coffee and gave her some money.

"Here, have yourself a cup of something. I'll come and get you when all of this blows over."

Sparksmith flew back towards Freedom University and, without stopping, flew right to the main laboratory, stopping at a window to see if anyone was inside that he could see.

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Giving a somewhat harder punch to the first crazed glowing man, since the situation got a little more dire and there are uninfected civilians on the scene, Guardian K.O.'ed the first guy, and flew up in front of the three firemen, putting himself between them and the two new full body Rudolphs.

"Listen, this isn't a normal fire. There seems to be a radioactive plague of some sorts inside. If you get hit by it, you seem to be infected. I'm fairly strong, which is why I think I'm not being affected, but you'll only compound the problem if you go in there. There's also some serious radio interference coming from inside, so I don't know if there's even more danger in there. I don't mean to be rude, but the best thing you can do is to get back and evacuate the area, and if you see anyone glowing, do NOT touch them."

Sighing, Guardian continued. "Listen, I should be able to stop the fire, somehow. Please, run crowd control."

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The glowing Janitor and female scientist ran at the small group, flailing. They had the amazing strength, but lacked any sort of expertise in fighting - they just threw themselves in a blind rage.

Guardian interposed himself, and met the Janitors flailing fists, which had no perceptible impact on his mighty body, despite their power and radioactive energy.

The female scientist managed to slip past and caught one fireman with a flailing limb, despite his efforts to stay away. He was clonked pretty hard, and sank to one knee, but as far as Guardian could see, the radiation mark on his cheek faded fast. This time.

The two other firemen looked reluctant to leave when there friend had just been attacked. Seeing something red and glowing, they did what years of experience told them to do. Both rushed to the fire engine, and brought out the hose...

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As the enraged and incandescent Liebniz flailed away at the atomic wall between them, Quill looked around the partially wrecked lab. Smoke damage had destroyed quite a bit, but not everything.

He checked the computer logs. Something had gone badly wrong. The main SHIP collider had overloaded whilst Liebniz was using it, releasing huge amounts of exotic radiation. Quite enough to cause the strange effect in Liebniz, and anyone else exposed. The radiation had an almost prion like quality.

"Hellfire!" he cursed, forgetting his avowed atheism. "The thing's contagious".

Peering more closely, the data revealed something else. Something worse. From out of the pulse had stormed something even more powerful. A huge concentration of the energy in a form quite different...

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Sparksmith peered into the window, seeing a glowing red professor attacking one behind a crystalline wall.

"Professor!"Without hesitation, Kurt broke through the window and, simultaneously, grabbing hold of Libniz in a cylindrical casing.

"Professor Quill, what is going on here? Why are people glowing red and attacking other people? What are we dealing with here?"

As Sparky spoke, the casing holding Libniz floated out of the lab and down to the ground, landing relatively close to Guardian, and far from any exit. On the casing, are visible letters popping out of the holding cell, with what appeared to be a bow on top.

Dear Guardian,

I hope you don't mind one more. I wrapped him up nice and tight for you!



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Guardian, feeling a VERY pressing need to get these two "radmen", a simple enough designation for them, out before they hit the fireman again. Only holding enough back to not do any permanent damage, he hit the first one, the one that hit the fireman. He knocked him out cold, and feeling a surge of energy from the KO, hit the other one as well, putting them both out for the count. Only then, did Guardian notice another one, inside a cage, with the little note from Sparksmith, chuckling a bit as he saw the little bow. Finally, he decided to move over to the cage, to get out of the hose's spraying area.

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Quill took a deep breath, and quickly coughed violently. The air was still full of smoke, and he had forgotten its effect on his eyes and lungs.

"Sparksmith, I presume... hehe.. " and another cough.

"Something happened here... the Super High Impact Particle Collider. We call it the SHIP collider. It had a surge of energy. I think poor Liebniz got a dose of something. It should wear off. But we have to watch out. He is practically a plague carrier. And so are several others I imagine."

"If I can get to the Collider, I can probably create a pulse that reverses the local effects. But there is a bigger problem. Something much larger and stronger is out there, feeding off the Collider as we speak..."

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Liebniz struck against the cage with fury. The cage had the strength of welded steel, but the combination of Liebniz' now impressive strength and the radioactive energies causes some impressive buckling. Nonetheless, there was no immediate danger of the radioactive scientist getting out.

"QUUUUUUUIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLL" He roared, his pre-existing fury compounded by the frustration of his captivity.

His scream of fury was literally drowned out by a stream of water that sizzled as it hit his skin. Not knowing what else to do with a dangerous red glow, the firefighter's had hit him with the hose on the engine.

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"Quill, we've met at the theater, and Ocean Hights. I also met Supercape."

Sparksmith pops up into the air again, flying towards Professor Quill, picking him up off of his feet, and flies out the window and down the hall.

"Now, guide me to the SHIP, and put your cape on. We need heroics.... and don't worry, I won't tell a soul."

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Watching the firemen, Guardian had a thought running through his head: "I wonder if I can blow out the fire, like I've heard some stories about. Maybe if I use the hallways as funnels, I can carry it down to the fire and extinguish it. Well, there's only one way to find out." He flew up to the entrance, took a deep breath, exhaled, and... nothing. "Come on, come on, focus. I can do this, I know it!" Taking another, super deep breath, he exhaled with all his might, and as hoped, wind blew through down the hallways, scattering paper, dust, and bits of debris as it happened.

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The super deep breath of Guardian echoed through the halls of the laboratory, entering the ears of both Professor Quill and Sparksmith.

"Oh no...no... GUARDIAN WAI-" The wind came before he could finish. It hit the energy controller full force, knocking him for a loop. He does a flip in mid-air, getting blown forward, losing his grip on the professor, who flies further.

"Bad day, bad day, bad day, bad day!" Wait, what was Master Lee's last lesson...

Remember, even when the seas are at their roughest, sometimes you must open your sails.

Heh, this is probably going to take it too literal, but it should work.

A layer of Sparksmith's force field unfolded from Kurt as he fumbled through the air and formed into a long flat surfboard beneath his feet. Sparky corrected himself using the board for balance, catching the full gale force, pushing him farther, faster. He catches Quill in mid-air, never letting him even come close to the ground.

He bursts through the doors even sooner than expected. Setting Quill down on the floor, putting his hands on his hips, and striking a pose as his board reshapes from his feet, up his body to his back, creating an energy cape that blows in the remains of Guardian's super-breath.

"You all right, Quill?"

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The main accelerator room is still full of smoke, and its difficult to see. It would have been impossible, had it not been for the gust of wind produced by guardian.

The room was full of trashed and broken equipment. Some of the damage was from smoke and fire, but much from blunt trauma.

In the centre of the room stood the particle accelerator, a giant circular tube, emitting a pulsating white light, brilliant enough to be clearly visible through the remains of the smoke.

The pulsating beam was firing into a huge humanoid figure, about nine, maybe ten feet tall, who could barely be seen in the smoke. He was emitting a red glow.

As Quill and Sparksmith made their entrance, the huge figure turned around. His features could not be made out, but a pair of glowing white eyes could be seen, and a deep bass voice uttered an oddly familiar sound.


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"No need for pretence now", muttered Quill, and in a Flash, his clothes turned into the costume of the mighty Supercape.

Peering into the smoke, he looked shocked.

"No, it cant be. Wrong shape. Wrong energy. Wrong Mass. Wrong everything."

But that voice... it was unmistakable. And he heard it just before.

"Liebniz? Is that you?"

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Sparksmith jumped a bit at the behemoth standing before them. His force field reacted, spreading out from his body, covering him in a tight bubble. He assumed a defensive stance as two energy shields appeared over his forearms.

"Liebniz? A friend of yours? What exactly is going on Cape? Why is everything 'Wrong?'"

Sparksmith watched as it moved, and he braced himself for the worst.

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Through the remains of the smoke, the hulking figure charged. It had the face of Liebniz, but it wasn't him. For one, he was 9 feet tall and nearly as broad, with huge muscles. His skin glowed a bright red.

Most oddly of all was how the light was all wrong. It was like someone had taken a negative picture of Liebniz and it was that negative that was charging right at the two superheroes.

Whilst the brute had the strength of a battering ram, he was not the most agile of creatures. Both heroes stepped aside at the badly aimed charge, and whilst the brutes sheer size means they felt the air rustle as he passed by them, that was all he did.

Anti-Liebniz charged into a brick wall, which promptly collapsed under his weight. It seemed not to phase the creature a bit.

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