Changing the Rules
slow down. You need to tell me what’s going on if I am going to be
able help you. Lindsay’s voice betrayed little of the concern she
felt; she had seen this man impaled and surrounded by men who wanted
to kill him and he barely broke a sweat, what could get him so riled
“The Portal Corporation Lindsay, what can you tell me about it?
Who runs it?” Fixit stalked down the street while talking to his reporter.
He made no attempt to hide or mask the urgency in his voice.
Corp.? It’s run by a panel of investors; there isn’t one single controlling
“Ok,” he paused, “who made the portals? Where is he?” Fixit
decided to try another avenue of questions. “Answer this riddle for
me, ‘He made the portals’.”
“You really don’t know?” Lindsay asked.
“Look it’s been a long time since I was in a history class, and I
don’t think this would have been in it even if I had been awake. The
portals haven’t been around long enough. Indulge me.
Lindsay drew a deep breath, “The actual idea of the portals was dreamed
up by a team of unethical scientists experimenting on superadine addicts
back in the seventies. When they were discovered, by Freedom Phalanx,
one technician for the team, Brian Webb took particular interest in
their research. You with me so far?” Lindsay paused for another breath.
“Keep goin’.” Fixit replied; Lindsay could hear him lighting a cigar
on the other end.
“Statesman, you know him right?” She teased, “Statesman
deemed the scientific evidence of a small percent of addicts being
able to break through a dimensional barrier, off limits, due to its
unethical nature of discovery. This didn’t sit well with Mr. Webb.
He believed that though the methods were unethical and the scientific
theory was poor, it was possible to glean great good from this discovery.
An argument broke out between hero and technician and Webb left the
Phalanx. He was already crafting teleporting technology that he sold
patents on in order to fund the construction of a dimensional gate.
It took him about four years, but he got it right.
Once his technology
was perfected, he proved his science to the world, taking reporters,
and dignitaries on a trip into a parallel Paragon.” Lindsay’s voice
became wistful at this point in her narrative.
“What a trip that would’a
been huh?” Fixit let her know he was still listening.
Well, in eighty-eight, Brian Webb made a trip to a parallel universe
where the Axis had conquered the States. In fact, our boy Statesman,
in this reality was known as Reichsman. This super Nazi took Webb
prisoner and tortured him to death. The Phalanx was close on his heels,
but came too late and the battle with Reichsman and his cadre spilled
into our Paragon. Eventually, the good guys won and Reichsman is still
being kept in some undisclosed location.” Lindsay finished her history
lesson with a pronounced sigh.
“So he’s dead.” Fixit said, stunned.
“I’m pretty sure I didn’t leave that part out.” Came Lindsay’s exasperated
reply. “What’s this all about anyway? You think Portal Corporation
is behind the gamester?”
“Well, for a minute there, I thought it was
the Gamester. Evidently I was acting on false information. I’ll call
you back.” Without waiting for a reply, Fixit hung up the phone, and
stormed back towards the hospital.
Medik and Red Sniper arrived at
Sussex Academy to find quite a scene. It seemed the children here
were not only hero stock, but sons and daughters of senators, CEO’s
and America’s elite. There were police, heroes, S.W.A.T., private
investigators and any other expensive means of finding missing children
belonging to the upper two percent of the country’s income bracket.
“What does Fixit possibly think we can do here?” Medik mused out loud.
His thoughts were interrupted however by the sight of a beautiful,
tall redhead; wearing a superhero getup none the less. She was arguing
with a man in a suit as Medik and Red Sniper approached her.
I’m saying is that it’s you superheroes that put my Dana in this situation
to begin with.” The man spoke in accusatory tones toward the beautiful
heroine. “If you capes weren’t around, how much trouble would there
possibly be? You ever hear of escalation? You get super powers, they
find a way to top it. I’ve even heard rumors that there are children
of superheroes here at the Academy! No wonder my Dana is in danger!”
As the man’s excitement escalated, so too did the gorgeous heroine’s.
When the man finished this last sentence, large, sharp claws erupted
from her gloved hands and she practically roared at the man. Medik
jumped in before things got ugly.
“Ah, Clawful, there you are. I’ve
been looking all over for you.” Both the man and the woman turned
to him with a questioning glare. Medik grabbed her by the arm and
whispered as he pulled her away, “Come with me.” Red Sniper stepped
in close to the angry business man and looked him up and down.
out for your own?” the man dragged up enough courage to taunt the
mysterious man with the large rifle. Red Sniper simply got closer
to the man. Not tall, but well muscled and broad shouldered, the Red
Sniper was a man few would antagonize. So close he got the man that
his cycloptic visor nearly brushed the man’s face.
“Watch it.” Came
a muffled voice from behind the mask and hypermesh. The man stopped
in his tracks, seeming to consider if he wanted to push a man with
a large gun any further. The decision was taken out of his hands when
the red hero turned and left, following his friend.
“I think you have
me mistaken for someone else, I’m not Clawful.” Shaking her arm free
of the tall lean man guiding her around the outer wall of the academy,
the red haired heroine turned on Medik.
“I guessed as much, but I
had to call you something; it looked like things were about to get
bad, and it would look better for you if someone you knew broke it
“I hate people like that.” She pouted beautifully. “I’m Solanum
by the way.” She extended a hand, claws sheathed.
“Medik.” He took
her slender, but unbelievably strong hand in his. “This is Red Sniper,”
he said, pointing to the man with the firearm coming around the corner
after them. She looked at the two, much the same way Fixit had earlier
that day, noting a sense of disorganization about the pair. Medik
could tell she was thinking much the same thing that Fixit had been
talking about recently. Maybe they should consider team colors at
the very least. “Look, I’ll be honest. The two of us are pretty much
part time here. We heard about the students going missing and came
to help, but we’re way out of our league information wise. Can you
fill us in on what’s happening?”
“That’s just the problem, no one
knows yet. The rest of my team, The Nameless, are down at City Hall
speaking with their department heads. You can come in with us, I’ve
got four others somewhere around here, but I don’t know what we’ll
“I’m guessing you know about the diamond heist?” Medik suggested.
“I do.” She nodded.
“We’ll head down that way.” He gestured back toward
the city, “here’s our number, call us if you need help. Give me yours,
when we find something, we’ll call you.”
“We are most likely going
that way anyway once we’re done here.” Solanum stated flatly.
fine, I would too if I were in your situation. But if I find something
before you get there, I’ll let you know.” With that said, Medik began
to turn to leave.
“How do you know what my situation is?” Solanum
“This isn’t on the news yet. Only heroes with an inside lead
are here, and you’re pretty upset to let a guy like that one get to
you. I think you may have a personal stake in this.” Leaving the beautiful
read head behind while what appeared to be her group caught up with
her, Medik and Red Sniper headed back the way they had come.
give you credit, you can still get a good lookin’ girls number.” Red
Sniper joked through his mask as they left.
“I was serious.” Medik
said with no humor in his voice. “We’re heading to Van Briesbock’s.
If we find anything, we may need these guys to help us out.”
charged back into the hospital, his walk was a brisk pace that many
would have to run to keep up with. Nurses, orderlies and doctors all
decided that the health hazard caused by one cigar was far less than
the wrath of this man. He marched straight back to the room with the
two guards and Emplate. When he burst into the room, the two guards
were laughing about some joke or another, their laughter halted abruptly
when they saw the look on Fixit’s face.
Knowing full well that the
guards were no the real enemy, he didn’t mind lashing out at a convenient
one. With lightening speed he threw a forward thrust, catching the
first guard in the chest, knocking him back several feet into a wall,
where he stayed. Without missing a beat, Fixit leapt into the air,
spun around and caught the other guard in the jaw with his right foot.
Landing, he shifted his weight back onto his right foot and sent a
powerful kick from his left leg. The guard flew over Emplate’s bed
and landed at the base of the wall on the opposite end of the room
from his partner.
Fixit turned his attention on the man in the bed.
Emplate was well awake at this point and could tell the hero was in
a foul mood.
“You lied to me.” Fixit stood over Emplate, fuming.
Emplate managed to mutter.
“You told me the Gamester was the Portal
Corporation, or the man who made it.” Fixit caught the villain in
a vicious stare.
“Not the Gamester, but he knows who is.” Emplate
was practically flinching in his gauze prison of casts and bandages.
“Brian Webb is dead, he died in nineteen eighty-eight.” Fixit spat
the information at his foe, taunting him to rebuke it.
Emplate whispered. “But this is the man who invented the portals to
other worlds.” The rasping of Emplate’s voice was never pleasant to
Fixit’s ears, but with the damage done to his body, it had become
even worse and when the man tried to talk rather than whisper; his
vocals screeched like fingers on a chalk board.
Fixit felt foolish
for having not realized this for himself, and could hear this twisted
remnant of a man laughing in his head as he asked one more question.
“Where do I find him?”
“He’s listed.” Emplate chuckled.
the building as quickly as he came. He knew there would be percussions
for attacking the guards, but he would worry about that later; for
now he just needed to get far enough away so he could get a message
to Medik and Red Sniper.
“Medik, I have an address. I need you to
meet me there.” Fixit spoke into the line when he got an answer.
and when,” came the reply, “I have something for you too. The security
footage from the diamond exchange; I don’t doubt that there was mind
control used here.”
“Just meet me in half and hour.” Fixit cut the
communication short. Quickly he dialed his contact at the paragon
“Lindsay, can you send a picture to my phone?” Fixit asked.
“I could that, what do you need?” Lindsay replied.
“I need Brian Webb,
and if possible, a simulation of what he might look like today.” Fixit
felt hurried, things were happening so fast.
“The simulation may take
time, but I can do that. Is that all?” Lindsay was beginning to think
that this might pay off in a wild story, and maybe she was helping
to figure out what was going on.
“Get it to me as soon as possible.”
Fixit closed the line.
The three heroes met outside an average enough
looking home. Inside, supposedly, was the abode of a dimension hopping
inventor; possibly a mad one at that.
“Are you sure we shouldn’t call
first?” Medik offered, “I hear crazy people like to run around in
“Very funny, let’s go.” Red Sniper was chomping at the
bit for some action after spending half the day chasing leads.
three entered the house cautiously. Fixit went in first with Red Sniper
directly behind. Medik was three paces behind him. The men cleared
the rooms of the small house, but could find nothing that would condemn
the man to being an accessory to the crazy acts around the city. The
name, ‘Brian Webb’ did appear on the mail, and he did fit the likeness
of the original scientist from the eighties. There was a rumbling
noise, and Fixit grabbed at his phone to receive a message.
what do ya think?” He held his phone screen next to a picture of the
man owning the house they had entered. It was a near perfect match.
Everyone agreed. Fixit opened his phone.
“Lindsay, it’s me again.
This story is getting weird, and I need you to get word out for me.
If you know anyone who has contacts amongst heroes, or has a way of
getting a mass message out to ‘em. We’ve got a solid lead here.”
Fixit,” Medik asked from the next room, “Who do you think the kid
is?” He held up a picture of a boy that had been in the room he just
“Oh shit, this guy has a son.” Red Sniper spat everyone’s suspicion.