Avengers Midwest

Issue #3

Jailhouse Rock

The heroes have been asked by Mayor Washington to take a tour of Skraggmore Penitentiary, a maximum security prison opening outside Chicago soon. The prison is unfinished but it still houses a few criminals, as well as three supervillains: Hydro-Man, the Living Laser, and the Mad Thinker. Warden Killbane notes that he doesn’t think much of superheroes, but he rapidly changes his tune when the facility comes under attack right after the heroes have an unpleasant conversation with the Thinker.

Returning to the surface, they find the prison under attack by one of the Mad Thinker’s Awesome Androids. Cadmus is nearly knocked out by it before Render uses his mutant power to disable its adaptive circuitry. Nightshade gets the local staff to safety in time for Cadmus to pick up a nearby helicopter and dice the Android to pieces with its rotors. Fearing that the Thinker might have taken the opportunity to escape, they rush back to his cell—only to find him still safely locked up and smug in that they’ll never figure out his scheme in time to stop it.

Lowrider’s cybernetic senses reveal that the Android’s defeat released a low-grade radiation that is familiar to the Avengers database. It seems to be similar to the energy released by the Evil Eye of Avalon, an artifact encountered by the Black Knight in the distant past and supposedly buried beneath Mount Wundagore. The Avengers briefly consult with Hawkeye and the Black Knight via comm, before deciding to take the Peregrine to the Balkans and see what’s happening at Mount Wundagore.

Upon arriving, they find a camp set up in the shadow of the mountain populated by locals being forced to mine out the mountainside by AIM troopers. Cadmus wants to charge right in and lay waste to the area, but Nightshade notes that a lot of people are likely to be hurt if they do that. Instead, the group splits up; Cadmus goes to act as a distraction while the rest lead the workers to safety. Cadmus devastates several dozen AIM troopers alone before their “specialist,” a cybernetic scientist called the Fixer, shows up to help… rather poorly. Cadmus beats the hell out of him with his own tech-pack before Fixer decides discretion is the better part of valor and flees.

The others begin leading civilians to safety before being jumped by one of AIM’s mercenaries, the assassin called Bullseye. He manages to badly wound Nightshade and strain Walker’s telekinetic shields before Lowrider hits him in the face with a steamshovel. Render uses his power to steal Bullseye’s uncanny sense of aim while Nightshade amps up his fear response, convincing him that the loss is permanent. Bullseye nearly kills Render before Lowrider and Walker take him out with a combination of low-tech assault and telekinetic battery.

With the AIM scientists scattered and the two most powerful foes dealt with, the team reunites and begins to make their way up to the dig site.

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