New Guardians

Issue 15 - Nano He Didn't

Stop bugging me

Guardians_Number_15.jpg

Alyssia (Fortress) is preparing for a presentation to the medical community announcing that the new drug she’s developed for Eli Lilly, a serum that will accelerate bone healing.

Jack (Baron Mind) is asked out for a rendezvous with his part-time girlfriend, Sally Jones.

Dallas (Bantam) is questioned by Detective Frank Davis, who’s investigating Dr. Liefeldt’s ‘accident’. He’s also the one who found Dallas’ clothes (see last issue). Liefeldt, still in a medically-induced coma, has been moved by an anonymous benefactor to a burn unit in Chicago. Detective Davis seems to agree to keep quiet about Dallas’ hero ID.

Amy Matsuzaka appears in Jake’s (Kid Green’s) lab this same evening. She’s worried about her father, Harry. She hasn’t heard from him for over a week and, while he’s a bit of an eccentric, he’s never gone this long without calling. She explains that he’s working on a top-secret project for the DoD and thus she doesn’t want to draw attention. She convinces Jake not to call the Guardians, but to accompany her alone.

They drive a couple of miles east of Guardians HQ, still on land formerly designated as part of Fort Benjamin Harrison. She stops at a service road and they follow it into the woods until they come to a small tool shed, sitting alone amidst the trees. Amy uses a device to hack the security panel on the door and they enter.

Down a flight of stairs they find the elder Matsuzaka’s lab: a huge room dominated by computer stations and several large vats of a grey, iridescent goo. Amy is relieved to see her father emerge from behind one of the vats. He explains that he’s been so focused on the project that he simply lost track of time.

He’s glad to meet Jake, he’s heard Amy speak of him. He’s also quite happy to demonstrate the ‘goo’: nano technology that can be programmed to form itself into a myriad of objects, from simple knives to complex machinery such as tanks, but it must also consume raw material in the process. He demonstrated by covering a metal clipboard with some of the nano, and in seconds it formed a loaded, fully functional pistol.

Harry began walking back toward Amy when he stumbled and dropped the flask holding some of the nano. It spilled at Jake’s feet and immediately began congealing on his body. In a split second he was completely covered with nano.

Moments later the team’s signal devices activate, indicating that Kid Green is sending an alert. Fortress, in the middle of her presentation, rushes out, which doesn’t make the Lilly board members happy. Heading back to her place after dinner, Sally wants to drive Jack to his sudden emergency, but he demurs, instead asking her to drop him off at Fort Ben. She’s puzzled, but she complies.

Following the GPS in Kid Green’s signal device, the heroes arrive at Jake’s truck, parked just off of the service road. The follow the road into the woods and soon come upon the tool shed. Outside of the tool shed are two Abrams tanks and an APC (featuring a 50-cal machine gun). Standing in front of the tanks is a huge metallic-looking humanoid. Its only features are two glowing eyes.

One of the tanks fires at the group and the battle is on.

Fortress moves to deal with the machine gun, which is manned by a smaller version of the metallic humanoid on the ground. An electrical blast from Bantam strikes the chest of the large humanoid, causing its metal surface to spray apart and then almost instantly flow back together. In that brief moment, the team notices that beneath the metallic sheen is green skin.

Fortress encounters the same thing with the humanoid manning the machine gun: her punch causes the metallic coating to spray off of his face momentarily. The man benath begs for help before the nano reassembles over his face.

During the fight, both Graviton and Fortress are targets of nano attacks: Kid Green and the machine gunner caused some of their nano armor to shoot from their hands and engulf the heroes. They are momentarily slowed by the nano but easily shake it off and resume the battle. Fortress delivers another reluctant blow and the nano-covered soldier falls unconscious. When he does, the nano sluices off of his body and lies in clumps, its iridescence now an inert gray.

The team takes out a tank and the machine gunner. Kid Green picks up the other tank (just as Baron Mind has climbed atop it to deal with the nano-covered people inside) and flings it at Graviton. Baron falls to the ground and the tank smashes into Grav. He is as surprised as anyone when it buckles around his gravity field and while he feels it, he isn’t budged.

Fortress has made her way to the tool shed by this time and just as she’s about to investigate it, the door flies open. There stands Dr. Harry Matsuzaka with what looks like a remote control device in his hand. Behind him is his daughter Amy. Harry furiously mashes buttons on his device and the nano armor slides from Kid Green’s body.

Mr. Matsuzaka explains what he can to the team. The soldiers who were covered with the nano had been selected to work with the doctor to test his creations. They had never experienced anything like what had happened tonight. The doctor is very apologetic and distraught that his project has been set back. Fortress requests samples of the inert nano to study, but he refuses, citing his DoD contract and national security.

It was then that Baron Mind wondered aloud if the whole thing had been some sort of trap, and that Kid Green had been lured into it by Amy. This infuriates both her and her father. Even moreso when Kid doesn’t dismiss the accusation.

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