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Supercape

Killer Frequency (IC) (GM)

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GM

1st June

The kids were not quite kids, not quite adults. Four of them, in the dying heat and light of the day. Out in a small park area, hanging like the final year schoolkids they where.

"Hey wheels" laughed the Jock, a tall muscular man with a crop of brown hair and irritatingly good looks that cushioned his nasty sneer "what you going to do after School, eh? sell pencils?"

He grabbed his girlfriend, a skinny little blonde who dressed a little to little for decorum. She smiled, but in her eyes she was repulsed by his behaviour.

"Hey, Ace, leave Joe alone. He's a good kid..."

The stoner, a whacked out kid who, funnily enough, didn't actually use drugs but still acted like he did, was sitting by a tree listening to his i pod. He was lanky and ruffled, but not unhandsome. His eyes were big and glazed lending him a rudimentary attractiveness.

"Yeah man, chill..." he mumbled.

Ace just laughed "get with it, Stephan" he said to the lanky youth "you gonna go to Art college, least do something, even if its just Art. Wheels here, he got nothin' hahaha!" he laughed.

Wheels, or Joe, was a forlorn kid, in a wheelchair, and clearly suffering from some neurological deficit. His tearful eyes gazed at Ace with pure hatred and frustration at his impotence. He writhed in his high tech chair, resplendid with gadgets, leads, and monitors to maximise Joe's independence.

PING!

Only Joe heard it, resonating through his wheelchair equipment, a pulse of radiowaves that was more powerful than anything he had heard. He actually felt the pulse course through his body...and...

Meanwhile...

PING!

Even a mile away, the pulse created an almight sound, overloading the senses of Voltage and Ironclad with an intensity enough to cause pain for a moment, like a massive boom, or flash light....

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Across the city, Jessica Parker was sitting in on a conference being hosted at the Lab. The massive glass-faced laboratory, much likened to a 1960s-conception of a spacecraft in the media, was a natural meeting point for the brightest minds in the city and this week it was hosting talks centered around the next-generation of medical and biotechnology. It wasn't exactly the young genius' area of interest, but this presentation on artificial blood vessels touched on nanotech a great deal and that was something was was interested in.

So she had snuck into the presentation and sat in the back, making notes, until a pulse of sound ripped through her head, causing her vision to distort briefly and made her feel like someone had just shoved an ice pick in her eye. She cried out and grabbed her face, causing the presentation to come to a screeching halt. After a moment the sensation passed and she looked up to saw everyone watching her. She quickly realized that in fact her abhuman brain was the only one that had picked up the disturbance. Jessica made her muttered excuses and fled the conference chamber.

Half an hour later Ironclad was circling the sky over western Freedom. The young genius had tried to zero in on the signal, but it kept eluding her. She had found the best way to find it was to wait for the pulses, and try to determine which part of her head hurt the most afterwards. Navigating by headache hadn't left her in the best of moods, and so the part of her mind not dissecting the problem was coming up with new and inventive torments for whoever was behind it all.

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Thomas was working in the back of the shop. Sam was watching the front, taking care of business. Of course, Thomas was also so far ahead of scheduler he was beginning to grow bored. He could take a four hour break and still come back to find himself ahead of schedule.

PING

He staggered back. Well that was unusual. He walked out front and looked at Sam.

"Did you feel that?" He asked.

"Feel what?"

"Nevermind, probably something to do with my powers. I'm going to go find the source. I'm well ahead of schedule, so you shouldn't need me. I'll be back later."

He dashed to the back and changed into his costume.

Moments later, Voltage appeared in the air, and began searching for the signal...

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GM

The two heroes converged on the signal at almost the same time. It was growing fainter, more ordered, more structured in some way, in comparison to the painful overloading signal that emitted from it first time.

The signal was coming from the park where the four kids hung out.

Stephan pointed at them. "Far out, dudes! its some capes!"

Jill, the suffering girlfriend of Ace, was peeling him back from making another heap of unhappiness for Joe, when she heard the call.

"That's awesome! Real life Superheroes!" she said, clapping her hands.

Ace just shrugged "They aren't nuthin' special" he said, a bit vexed after losing Jill's affections. "They got nuthin' on me, I tell you. Though wheels here, well, he got every right to be in awe, ain't ya wheels? that flyin an' all. Seein as you can't even wa...."

He paused, jolted into immobility, every muscle going tense, before collapsing to the ground, frothing at the mouth.

"Ace! What is it?" scremead Jill as she knelt by the young man's side...

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Ironclad cut through the sky, her circle over the city gradually pulling in on itself. She was nearing what she thought was the epicenter of the pulse when she noticed a black figure with silver or gray highlights on it. She zoomed in for a closer look and was surprised to recognize Voltage! She was about to open a line of communication with the other technopathic hero when her sensorium drew her attention to a knot of young people on the ground far below. They were standing there, watching the pair of heroes; then one screamed and fell to the ground, apparently in the grip of a seizure.

Ironclad landed and gestured for the young people to stand back. "Please, give him some air. Do you know if this young man has a history of epilepsy?" Even as she talked she knelt down next to him; she didn't know much about medicine, but she knew some first aid and had to determine if it was better to treat him here and wait the fit out or risk taking him to a hospital.

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GM

The kids were quite shocked and excited about Voltage and Ironclad in their midst. Relieved to.

"Oh help help!" screamed Jill to Ironclad. "He...he never had any epilespy. Never told me, anyway. He plays football, he is fit, whats happening to him? Whats happening to him?" she blabbered, trying to rouse a convulsing Ace.

Stephan just looked on it awe, shuffling from one foot to another, not sure what to do.

Joe just looked on with glazed eyes.

"Don't think he has epilepsy. Serves him right if he does..." he whispered under his breath, although he looked quite shocked.

With that, Joe convulsed one or two more times, violently.

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Ironclad ran her hands over the recumbent, shaking boy, her own sensorium probing him and bringing up all the information she could desire -- but she just didn't know what to make of it. She was so used to knowing everything about a situation, but here all her technical know-how was worthless. She could rebuild a servo motor in her head, but she couldn't decipher what was going on with this poor boy.

Ironclad shook herself out of the self-indulgent funk. There was no time to feel sorry about herself, she had to save this boy! She considered picking him up, but usually with seizure victims that could lead to bad things. The only other option was the bring the medical personnel to the boy! She stood up and nodded to the teens, then to Voltage. "I'm going to get help. Stay here and... keep control of the situation, Voltage." With that she blasted into the sky, arcing towards the Freedom Medical Center.

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GM

"Duh...Duh...Duhn't go....." spluttered Ace, convulsing, as Ironclad sped off into the Sky.

"He's going to get help, Ace..." said Jill, biting her tounge with anxiety and patting her 'boyfriend' gently. As she did so, a spark of electricity flashed between the two, throwing her several feet away, where she started frothing and convulsing in the same manner as Ace.

"Sweet potatoes!" said Stephan, dropping his cigarette, and gawping at the sight, slowly backing away. He looked at Voltage. "You...you're a Superhero...do something...do something!!!"

Joe, in his wheelchair, looked on in concern but without fear.

"Jill, not you! not you!" he moaned helplessly.

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Voltage didn't know a thing about medical treatment, but, if he could only...

There! His mind scanned the internet, looking for what to do during a seizure. After only a split second, he discovered exactly what he needed to do.

"Okay, Make sure nothing is near them that they can hurt themselves on. Watch them carefully. Do not try to stop them, and do not put anything in their mouths."

He was trying to keep calm, but it was hard. He fired off an email to the local emergency services, detailing exactly where they were and what was going on. He hoped an ambulance would be along shortly.

"I am detecting an unusual signal with my powers. I believe it is responsible for these unexplained seizures." He looked to his fellow hero, hoping that she, too, had detected the strange signal. Maybe the two of them could find a way to triangulate it's location.

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GM

As Ironclad returned, carrying a fully loaded Ambulance, another PING! hit the airwaves.

It was more subtle this time, less in intensity, greater in complexity.

Both Jill and Ace shook again as the frequency emitted, and arc's sparked across Joe's chair.

"What the hell is happening? What the hell?" mumbled Stephan "I'm not dying today, sorry dudes!" he said, shrugging with genuine apology, his face shining with fear, before tuning heel and sprinting off with a surprising turn of pace.

"Quick get them on to the Ambulance? What happened?" said the head paramedic, a man called Silverfield if his name tag had anything to with the matter.

"Looks like a seizure! get the midazolam, i'll set up an I.V...Ironclad, we need transport to Hospital, can you lift us?"

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Ironclad landed in front of the FMU as the ambulance was preparing to pull out. She stopped it with one hand and walked up the driver's window. "Are you headed to the park in Greenvale?"

The passenger's jaw hung open for a moment before he exclaimed, "How in the world do yo--" He was cut off by his older partner, though. "Kid, better not the question good luck." The older paramedic, with a tag reading Silverfield on his chest, nodded to Ironclad. "That's the route, yeah."

Ironclad nodded. "Hold on tight," she said and lifted the ambulance above her head, and into the air.

A few minutes later she stood aside as the EMTs went to work on the young man. She nodded at Silverfield's question. "Voltage," she said, eying the electronics-laden wheelchair, "See if you can't find this kid's parents." With that she lifted the ambulance into the air once again and took off, arcing across the sky towards the premier medical facility in Freedom City.

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GM

In the air...

Ironclad had barely taken off, Ambulence firmly in her grip, when it all went wrong.

PING!!!!

The Ambulance fizzed and sparked, its Siren's wailing as a massive electrical discharge swept through the ambulance and straight through into Ironclad's armour. Smoke belched powerfully from the Ambulances Engines, surely it would not be able to power itself...yet the Siren kept wailing...

This time, Ironclad could tell: the Radiowave signal was timed perfectly with the jolt.

There was a yell or two of pain from inside the Ambulance, as the paramedics and driver were knocked out. What on earth it had done to the already fragile Jill and Ace....?

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Ironclad felt the ping rip through her systems, felt the static energy crawling up and down her arms. Her suit never dealt with electricity well; for some reason it overloaded all the safeties she had in place, cut right through all of her carefully layered defenses and got to the heart of her without slowing. Her vision dimmed for a moment as she felt her heart stop for an agonizing second. Then it slammed back into motion and the rush of blood to her brain made her dizzy for a moment. The ambulance wavered as she recovered, reaching out with her abhuman mind to the ambulance's radio. "Hey there. Apologies for the turbulence. Are we still all in one piece inside?"

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GM

There was no immediate response from the Ambulance, although the Siren kept wailing and smoke kept belching. Ironclad was aware of a low level electrical field - enough to cause some stress and tingling in her suit, but not enough to damage it.

A crackling voice could be heard from the speakers of the Ambulance...

"This...is....what....it....feels....like....body....all.....working....power....power!!!"

Ironclad couldn't be sure, but it sounded, vaguely, like...Ace?

The electric field around around the ambulance started arcing and sparking again, building up in strength. Ironclad's sensors detected a powerful surge in static radio waves around her, a white noise that would be blocking out all radio signals in the immediate area...

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Ironclad felt her heart sink at the words coming out of the ambulance. Normal, well-adjusted people usually didn't start ranting about the incredible power they had, certainly not when they were lying on a gurney. She considered dropping the van on the street, but there were still at least three innocents in there, and besides if a fight spilled out here the kid in the wheelchair could get hurt. So she flew the ambulance down to the foot of the hill and set it down carefully on the grass. She hesitated, before opening the back door to the vehicle and looking inside.

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GM

As Ironclad opened the door to the Ambulance, she could see the paramedics had been knocked out stone cold, electrocuted by the look of it.

And the cause was not hard to see. Ace, standing bolt upright, sheathed in electrical arcs and sparks, his eyes glowing, staring at his body in amazement.

"Organic....synapse...ha ha....Ace" he mumbled, looking at himself in the mirror. His words were clumsy, his motor control poor.

"Out of the way...." he barked at Ironclad, making moves to march out of the Ambulance.

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Voltage's eyes narrowed. This was not good, this was far from good. He didn't know what this thing was, but it had taken over the body of someone, and it didn't seem nice.

"I don't know who you are." He said, walking over to the ambulance.

"But I have no intention of letting you hurt anyone, if that's your plan."

He readied himself, his mind going over all the various ways he could approach the situation offensively. Thousands of minor calculations surged through his mind, thoughts on trajectory, how much electricity the human body can take, paralysis, stuns, blinding the target. How to avoid hurting Ace while dealing with the thing inside him.

Of course, with a mind like Voltage's, all of those thoughts took place in less than a second.

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Ironclad stared at the electrified jock for a moment, but her mind recovered and reconsidered fast enough that there wasn't a noticeable lag in her actions. She eyeballed the difference, took a step back, and activated the suit's servo muscles. One mighty kick connected with the ambulance's rear platform, and the suited heroine backed up smartly. "Only gonna say this once," she called out. "Put down the charge and come out with your hands up!"

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GM

"Only gonna say this once. Put down the charge and come out with your hands up!"

Ace was sheathed in electrical sparks. His body lurched clumsily, far from the normal grace of a high school football star.

"Put...down...charge?" he mouthed, slowly, arcs of bright lightning forming between his teeth as his mouth opened.

A slight smell of acrid smoke hit the two heroes. Ace's jacket was smouldering from the electricity coursing through him.

"Who...am...I?...." mouthed Ace, apparently confused by the question.

"I...am...created...by...lights....and...I..am..." he paused.

"I...was?...name...Joe?" said Ace, confused as could be before his gaze shifted from the horizon back to the ambulance and the two heroes.

"Now...I...control! Now...I have power! Now they fear....! Out of my way!" he roared, stumbling towards the back of the ambulance and the two heroes, his voice and body growing in confidence and agility.

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GM

When neither hero appeared to get out of his way, or move (at least not fast enough), Ace looked around the ambulance, with growing anger, a huge charge building inside of him,

"Let...me...out!" he rumbled, before shouting "I'll...show you what I can do!"

He lifted his arms up in the air, where they sparked like a Jacob's ladder, all bright lightning, and then, with a huge pulse, there was an explosion of bright, white hot electricity that lifted the roof clean off the ambulance, its lights sparking, glowing and roaring with a siren's wail from the shock.

The sides of the ambulance buckled, crumpled, and ripped, and the tyres burst from the heat.

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Voltage's mind instantly began determining the best course of action.

"Enemy may exhibit the same kind of immunity I possess. No use wasting an attack on a foe who can't feel it. Plus, Ironclad seems badly damaged, can't let this guy get another chance at hurting her."

He looked around for a moment and spotted a piece of the ambulance. A non-essential piece of the door.

"Sorry about this!" He said as the piece dislodged itself and flew at the back of Ace's head. It was angled in a way so that the broad side of the door hit him. Minimal chance of severe injury.

Ace staggered forward, dazed by the large piece of metal.

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Sometimes Ironclad cursed the heavy, armor-laden design of her suit. In moments like this, when it kept her from getting out of the way of Ace's blast, it seemed the most foolish thing possible. The electricity crawled over her body, cutting through the usual sensory dampners and wrecking havoc with her body. It tried to drag her under, but after a brief battle she surfaced, still standing upright. "I think it's time for you to sit down," she growled, forcing one arm up and in line with Ace. A flat metal disc spun out of it, exploding just short of Ace and engulfing him in sticky foam.

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GM

Ace did indeed sit down, his rear falling on to the broken stretcher of the now wrecked and disintegrating ambulance. He eyes seemed glazed over, stunned by the force of the Ambulance door slamming into him. But they crackled with electric power all the same.

An acrid smoke starting curling from Ironclad's sticky snare, and both heroes were hit with the smell of burning. Electricity coursed and sparked through the snare, blackening it in area's, but it held fast and true.

Ace did not speak, and a few twitches of his charged body were contained completely by the foam.

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He was grateful that Ironclad managed to secure him.

As soon as 'Ace' was down, Voltage's eyes scanned the area for something heavy and metallic. Picking up the same piece he used before, he slammed it into Ace, knocking the wind out of him.

He didn't, of course, want to hurt him. The man was obviously possessed by something. So it was only enough force to knock him out. Luckily, Voltage knew enough about human anatomy to avoid lethal blows.

"That was bad..." He understated. "Whatever that was may be able to find a new victim. We have to be very wary..."

He looked to Ironclad and nodded nervously. It was like playing Whack-a-Mole, except the mole was some sort of incorporeal electrical entity...and the holes were people.

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Ironclad leaned against the car, feeling minor burns and bruises as her system wound down from the high of a fight. "I'm not sure," she said, "but whatever was happening there wasn't fully under Ace's control." She glanced up at the top of the hill, where two more teens were sitting; well, one was sitting, the other was in a wheelchair. She nodded up the hill at them. "Excuse me for a second." She took a running leap and fired her thrusters, the jet-assisted jump taking her to the crest of the hill. She landed and regarded the teens with the blank face of her helmet. "Has anything like this ever happened before," she asked. "Has the big guy -- Ace -- ever exhibited any metahuman powers before today?"

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