Chicago 250

Note of Dr. Accum sent to B.

Dear B.,

I feel like I am standing on the edge of a knife. So much has gone wrong, and the mysteries deepen – expand. I feel as if I’m about to fall off into a realm of darkness where my only hope is to become the darkest being there…not the light I hoped to be when the Exodus happened.

There is something about this new mayor and the IHA. The Hunter (that is what Yeoman is going by now) and I went to a rally thrown by the IHA. They took interest in us. The next thing you know, I am drugged, kidnapped, “forced” to do some analysis of some different compounds, and then having my escort killing herself rather than being captured by the Hunter.

I wanted to go back to figure out what else was going on there, but the Hunter didn’t want to until he found out his cyberneticsist project head had been taken. This was even after we had captured someone tailing me. Long story short, we actually ended up going back…when money was involved.

It was a disaster inside for me. It started out okay, but getting hit by three assault rifles at the same time tends to ruin your evening…even with a working force field. Luckily, the Hunter took out a lot of the competition. I was able to make the chemical stash blow, and we got his guy out. It was only on our way out I figured out there were more holding cells. Who knows what is in there.

It’s not right, B. The pills have been working, the gas has been working, but not as well as it should. I think I have subconsciously been holding back. I’m afraid of what might happen. Will I make the same mistake as Jekyll?

If something goes wrong, B., let them know I had good intentions.

Robert Accum

Prelude to War
"Mage War" "Hyde Park" "Silver Arrow"

The gang stumbled into a nest of shadows and were quickly over their head. The Hunter quickly realizing what was happening ordered the team out and covered their trail with flashbangs hoping that the bright light would hold the creatures at bay. Upon reaching the roof they were spotted by elements of Chicago’s special police force who were in a military style helicopter. The heroes quickly scattered off of the roof; Mentalis going invisible and The Hunter swinglining to realitive safety. It was Crimson Crusader and Truamann who were targeted and shot at. Crimson Crusader was hit with multiple rounds from a large caliber machine gun and quickly went down.

Excerpt from Dr. Accum's Journal

Exodus – Day 210
I hate magic. If you would have told me it existed before I started to try and do this job, I would have laughed in your face. I’m a scientist. I believe in what I can touch, see, smell, or hear. I believe in what can be explained with natural law. I’m not sure I can explain what happened today in that way.

I’m getting ahead of myself, though. I have put together a couple of new things since the last time I teamed up with the Chicago 250. I have been working very hard at analyzing the compound that was used in the mist and pretty much everything else we have been trying to stop. There is something missing. I get to a certain point, and then…nothing. If it is beyond me, then I need some sort of super-genius to get on this. I’ll keep plugging away on it though.

Anyway, I found I needed a little bit more defense the last time I went out. I have worked on a small force field that is built in my belt. It is still a bit experimental…as is everything in my arsenal at this point. It should provide even a little mental defense. I really need to work on something more permanent for that.

Offensively, I have worked on a new explosive pellet. In the middle of the warehouse incident, I realized I did not have anything to use against robots or anything else that way. I also add a “bang” factor to my flash pellets. Finally, I add a pellet that should drain some willpower. I thought this might work against magic users. Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to try that out tonight.

We went on patrol tonight. Slamma Jamma and Mentalis took the low road, Yeoman (or Black Arrow, Black Bow, or whatever else Slamma calls him) and I took the high road. We heard a scream, and I swung down to investigate. It was a scene right out of a bad B-movie. A horde of zombies were making their way toward a corner where a lady was standing. Around the outside of them were a couple of figures dressed in red robes (which, by the way, were the same style as Mentalis’ robe. I’m just saying…) I grabbed the lady and swung up to another building to get her out of the way. (And now I get all the wisecracks about picking up a woman on the street corner. Methinks they doth protest too much.) I started to lob some of the pellets down at the zombies…but they did not seem to do much. I may have to increase their output a bit.

Yeoman was great. He took out what seemed to be the main guy from what seemed like a mile away. Slamma waded in and kicked some major zombie butt. Even Mentalis put up an ice shield (which is something new for him.) Me…still lobbing pellets. I was about ready to switch tactics and pop a Hulkinium pill when I saw something out of the corner of my eye. A hooded figure sneaked into the building Yeoman was raining destruction down upon. His robe looked familiar. It looked like the very robe Malsvari (one of the Misfits) wore. I figured we could use his help…or that he was already onto something, so I swung down to investigate. After nimbly dodging a drunk that had tried to smash a bottle on my head, (the force field works, buy the way), I made my way inside.

My father use to tell me, “Son, never assume. It will make an @$$ out of you and me.” I wish I had followed that advice. Thinking it was Malsvari, I walked right in and said, “Stop..what are you doing?” in my best “hero” voice.

It wasn’t Malvari.

It was darkness…with a skeletal face, and he unleashed Hell upon me. A swirling, inky darkness flowed from him and over me. I felt it eat through my skin…even with the force-field on. That means it wasn’t mental, physical, or energy based….there must be something else out there. I found myself on the ground, writhing in pain, when a pharaoh-type guy came in and started to attack the darkness. I took a regenorist pill, which definitely helped, and started to try and help the pharaoh…even though I know I had seen him fight against the Midwest Guardians. Right now, it was a case of the enemy of my enemy is an ally. I used one of my acid pills on the skeletal figure. It did some damage, but, once again, did not seem to be powerful enough. I was about to try a tangle pellet on him when he threw up a bone wall in front of us. This made the Pharaoh mad as he yelled that the shard would be his. I knew we had to get through the wall quickly, so this time I did take the Hulkinium and tore down the wall. Boy, did that feel great. The only thing is, Skeletor was gone…and he left a big hole in the floor. That made the Pharaoh mad, and he left the building…disappearing and leaving his henchmen behind. Interestingly enough, when Skeletor left, the zombies collapsed. Obviously it was his power that kept them going.

I knew there was something that had gone on in that basement, so I went down and took a Pastatrin…even though I knew I was pushing my body’s limits at this time. I have to be careful…I don’t want to become addicted to the pills. The pill worked even better than I though it might. It took me back to the golden-age of heroes where people like the Silver Arrow and Crimson Crusader were guarding the city. In fact, it took me to the time when there group had their last battle together. The sorcerer I had seen had been normal then, and was in the midst of a ritual. The Crimson Crusader’s team broke in, and tore through the ritual…which caused a loud bang. The sorcerer turned into what he is today, and everyone but the Silver Arrow and Crimson Crusader were killed in the explosion. I can see why Crimson Crusader was driven to drink…and it also means the Silver Arrow is around somewhere. We are going to have to talk to both of them about the incident. I have a feeling there is something huge afoot.

I have to write down a couple of things to remember for tomorrow before I go to bed:

1. I have to come up with something more powerful to use against magic users. I need to find Malsvari. He may be able to help me with some defenses.

2. I need to find Silver Arrow. We have to find out more about this “shard.”

3. I need to go through my pill inventory, to see if there is something I can switch out that may help more in this case.

4. I wonder why the robes of Skeletor looked so much like Malsvari’s…and why did Mentalis’ robes look so much like those guys’ with the zombies.

Festivities Thwarted Chicago Terrorized
Superhero Team Averts Mayhem

Daily Star
by Jimmy Dugan

Taste of Chicago, Grant Park, Chicago. The entertainment festivities for the Taste of Chicago ended in tragedy yesterday as the Black Harlequin struck yet again terrorizing the citizens of the windy city, killing several people in his mad wake of mayhem. The Taste was winding down in usual fashion, complete with Music and dancing from the Chicago Interpretive Dance Troupe when Mayor Jayne came to center stage to speak. One eyewitness reported that police in the area began to collapse then transform into some grotesque lizard creatures whose bite would infect victims turning them into lizard creatures as well. Luckily Black Arrow and Mentalis were on hand to dispatch the lizard creatures before more in the crowd were infected.

Mr. Jayne was also attacked by Black Harlequin’s minions, Stars and Stripes but were thwarted by yet another figure. One onlooker overheard the “hero” speaking in third person, apparently referring to himself as “Slamma”. This Slamma averted the attacks on Mayor Jayne from Stars and Stripes and bounded away with the mayor, who later reportedly issued arrest warrants for his rescuers. Slamma then returned to the chaos of the Taste left by Black Harlequin.

Just as the lizard creatures were finally subdued, Harlequin reared up and in his diabolical fashion, found new ways to victimize the innocent citizens of Chicago. Disguising citizens as himself, Harlequin baited the super trio to attack, critically wounding one and killing another before the villain could be located. Thanks to quick work by Mentalis, the clown was finally located in the largest of several robotic contraptions which began to attack shortly after the lizard creatures were put down. With deft arrow work from Black Arrow and righteous acrobatic rage by Slamma, the clown barely escaped the onslaught of what seems to be in this reporter’s opinion, the newest heroic team-up in Chicago. Are there others or are these three heroes facing the ire of city hall and the evil supers of the city on their own?

Official reports are yet to be published but at least seven police and six citizens were transformed by Harlequin’s concoction. Two of the creatures were killed in the fight and the others were caged in hopes of finding an antidote to Harlequin’s evil cocktail. As noted previously in this report, of the innocents who were disguised by Harlequin one perished and one remains in critical care, both were shot by arrows.

The Chicago Interpretive Dance Troupe announced that they would be unable to continue business as all senior dancers were transformed into lizard creatures. Pending an antidote the Troupe has suspended operations.

Three heroes to face the ire of city hall and the evil of supers who threaten this great Midwestern metropolis. With the anti mask campaign keeping would be heroes at bay, could this band of morally ambiguous friends be this city’s salvation? Let us hope so and let us hope that here are others who may join them, despite what city hall might do.

A Hot Time In Old Town
The Beginning

A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight

It was a hot day in the city of Chicago. The kind of hot that makes you feel as you’re strolling thru the world’s largest toaster, and brings kind of a wistful nostalgia for the 3 feet of snow and icy sub-zero winds we had earlier this year.
It was the kind of day that made me glad I was 3 floors up from that baking hot pavement enjoying the cool breeze of central air-conditioning, and not feeling too much sympathy for the people down below not wise enough to stay inside on a day like today.
As I gazed at the sweaty tourists trudging up and down the Magnificent Mile hauling their bags of over-priced swag, Mandi called in from the outer office, “Hey, Mike, you might want to check out channel 7.”
Mandi, (yes, that’s Mandi with an “I” not a “Y”), has been my secretary ever since I opened Smith Enterprises. She’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but she mostly shows up when she’s supposed to and has legs about a mile long. She does have a real knack for screening the real weirdoes that call here, and I can’t complain too much.
Picking up the remote, I turned on the 60” plasma screen in my office (kept mainly for Cubs games), and switched to channel 7. An Eyewitness News 7 helicopter shot showed a car driving erratically down the roadway and crashing. “Looks like a job for the fire department”, I called out to Mandi. Must be a slow news day if this is breaking news, I thought to myself.
The next news shot shows a man collapsing to the sidewalk, “Looks like the heat is going to keep the paramedics busy today,” I called out again to Mandi.
I looked away from the TV to see Mandi entering my office carrying a letter opener and wearing a malicious look on her doll face. “Why don’t you take an early lunch?” I suggested to her as she lunged across the office hoping to impale me.
I sprang to my feet and using a Judo maneuver I had learned in a previous life, I deftly disarmed her, leaving her thrashing madly on my desk. She suddenly leapt to her feet and attempted to throw herself thru my window. Grabbing her, she struggled in my grasp as I calmly put on my gas mask and ignited a sleep gas arrow, which quickly put Mandi down.
Did I mention that I’m a superhero?

My name is Mike Smith. In that previous life I mentioned earlier, I used to be Mike Burnham. Due to some minor complications involving the CIA, U.S. Army Ranger death squads, Columbian drug lords, and a lost Incan tribe, I go by Smith now and sometimes Yeoman, a.k.a. the Black Archer.
Seeing as my secretary was passed out and my office was filled with sleep gas, I decided to hit the streets and find out what was causing these strange incidents.
First, I made a call to Sheldon Cooper, my sidekick, or as I like to think of him, Geek Boy. Sheldon is a computer genius, and with his AI HAL1, he is a fount of useful information. Sheldon collated the reports of incidents and determined the epicenter to be Michigan Avenue.
After a few minutes indecision, should I wear the custom or not, should I drive or swing? I decided to wear the costume and take the Porsche. It seemed like a good day for a drive in the convertible.
As I pulled onto Michigan Ave., an elderly lady ran out in front of my car and started shouting, “Bad doggie, bad doggie, you won’t pee on my lawn anymore!”
“No, ma’am, I won’t,” I replied.
“You’d better not!” she admonished. “Wait a minute! Did you just talk to me?”
“Woof.” I quipped, and with a satisfied look she moved on.
Deciding it would easier to continue on foot, I parked the Boxster. Suddenly, I heard a man shout, “Look at me, I can fly! I can fly!” Without thought, I snapped off a line arrow, swung up and caught the hapless man as he plummeted to the pavement.
“I can fly,” he exclaimed as we set down, “I can fly! Did you see me? I’m a superhero!”
“That’s great,” I said, binding him with my line. “Guard this lamp post.”
“Okay, yeah, I can do that!”
“Wonderful.” I droned, just a bus started to the street smashing into every car along its’ path.
Dashing forward, I propelled my self upwards thru the bus’s front windshield and found myself dangling half-in and half-out of the bus. Doh! A quick kip-up and I was in the bus.
Needing to stop the rolling behemoth quickly, I grabbed the gearshift and slammed it to Park. A great grinding sounded from beneath, passengers started screaming, and the bus began to slew.
Heaving at the steering wheel, muscles straining, I straightened out the bus, and it rolled to a stop. “Last stop, Michigan Ave.,” I called out to the passengers.
As I helped the shaken passengers from the bus, I asked them not to tell anyone I had been here, and began to scan the area for the source of this chaos all around me. I noticed that a strange blue-green liquid was issuing forth from the new mist-cooling system our new mayor had just installed.
I pulled out my cell phone and called Sheldon. I asked where the central shut-off for the misters was located, and it turned out that the misters were all individually supplied with liquid and had to be shut-off one by one.
Locating a panel on the nearest mister, I opened it and found a note from the Black Harlequin rambling on about this is just the beginning and the Fourth of July weekend, yadda yadda yadda…
Instead of the shut-off switch I was looking for, Black Harlequin had replaced it with a panel bearing four colorful buttons. Which one to press?!? What a dilemma! I stood back and shot it with an arrow. Lots of sparks shot out and the mister shut down. Very satisfying.
About this time, Mister Mental showed up. He’s another costume I’ve met recently. Claims to have amazing mental powers. Something’s mental alright. He covers himself from head-to-toe in heavy black robes in the noonday sun on the hottest day of the year. Mister Mental.
Realizing the scope of the problem, and the number of arrows I was carrying, we located a nearby construction site and purchased a pair of sledgehammers. Soon the problem was in hand and the infected misters were all disabled.
We collected a sample of the blue-green liquid and went to seek out the aid of another costume I had recently met, the Glue-Sniffing Detective, Traumaman, or some such, who happens to be a pharmacologist.

Mayor Jaye and IHA

Institute for Human Advancement to give Chicago Police Department a 10 million dollar grant

by Jimmy Dugan

The IHA announced yesterday that it would donate $10 million dollars to the CPD for help in improving and expanding their MARS units. This gift was an unprecedented amount and came on the heels of Gravitar’s, the gravity manipulating mutant, attack on Chicago’s new banking district.
IHA president Archer Samuels said that good cities like Chicago and its citizens should not be at the whim of every super villain or mutant who decides to visit it. That is why they are starting a pilot program to help fund tech and weaponry improvements to police forces around the country with Chicago being the first.

Mutant activist and headmaster at the Chicago Lab School asked where the organization might have gathered so much money to give away to Police departments around the country.

Police Commissioner Jeffery Andevers brushed aside all of the criticism and comments stating that his department would gladly receive the money and put it towards funding expansion, training, and equipping MARS officers.

Mayor Jaye commented, “The monetary gift by IHA will be just another step in creating a self reliant city that doesn’t need masks to protect it.”


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