Two narratives unfold. Together, they tell the story of a planet split by tribal ideologies which ultimately led to atomic war. Escaping, a tribe of scholars took off in a spacecraft... which crashed on Earth in 1908, at Tunguska in Russia. There in lay for almost two decades, until a secret Red Arm
- Have you seen the press we're getting? Solid. Gold.
Appearing in the 1st Story
Synopsis for the 1st Story
Two narratives unfold. Together, they tell the story of a planet split by tribal ideologies which ultimately led to atomic war. Escaping, a tribe of scholars took off in a spacecraft... which crashed on Earth in 1908, at Tunguska in Russia. There in lay for almost two decades, until a secret Red Army mission came to the crashsite to loot it of all valuable materiel. One single alien tried to accost them, but he was shot and dragged away. And as a result of this shot being fired, a host of betentacled aliens are soon to descend upon Earth in search of their hidden foes...
At the Capitol Building, July 4, the American president unveils the Mighty Crusaders. After the questionable tactics of Project 7734, a new team has been formed, under the management of FEMA and answerable to the American people. The press conference is suddenly attacked by a group in Black Seven walkers, calling themselves the Mechanistas. The team responds, protecting the President and defeating the Mechanistas. However, Shield and Jack Latham are very suspicious about the events.
The next day, at Liberty Station, the team's new headquarters, they decide to begin an investigation. Scott Spencer confesses that he hired the men, talked the Department of Defense into lending him the tech, and ordered the "attack", on the assurance that the team would be able to handle such a puny assault. Enraged, the Shield immediately orders his arrest. However the team needs a press liaison.
Later that week, the Hangman has moved south from his San Francisco stomping ground, to Los Angeles, drawn by a mysterious calling to a rally for Senator Mortenson. Hangman muses on the events that brought the Mighty Crusaders together. He notices an assassin in a nearby window, but is assailed by a psychic attack. As he stumbles, the shot is fired, and Mortenson is hit. The Hangman rushes to save him, planning to teleport through his cloak, thus healing him. However, when he emerges on the other side, Mortenson is dead - and has turned into a tentacled creature.
Seeking answers, the Hangman brings the body to Liberty Station. Latham calls in the Crusaders. Despite Mortenson's impeccable cover, the assassin knew what he was, since the bullet was engineered to penetrate body armor, and to induce a vibratory field to make teleporting difficult. However, it was manufactured on Earth, by Halliday Worldwide. The Mighty Crusaders are sent to get answers from the CEO, Arvin Halliday.
At Halliday Worldwide's HQ in Denver, the Crusaders talk their way past the guards and fight their way through the Neutralizers. However, they are not fast enough to catch Halliday, who turns into a red-skinned shapeshifter and escapes through an indestructible door.
The next morning, Latham gives a briefing to the Mighty Crusaders based on the info they recovered from Halliday's computers - there is a Durlan civil war being fought on Earth, between the Purist Durlans like Mortenson, who have fought Earth's heroes before, and the Futurist Durlans, of whom Halliday was a member.
At this, Latham drags Inferno aside. When he started working for Latham, Latham promised to find out exactly who and what Inferno was. Latham is going to tell him everything.
Meanwhile, at Raymond Industries HQ in New York, a group of Futurist Durlans have been told to send a message. So they infiltrate the building and blow it up...
- This book was first published on July 14, 2010.
- At one point, Comet starts singing the theme tune to a children's television program which seems to be an echo of Jimmy Olsen's adventures as Turtle Boy.
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Links and References
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