New Guardians

Issue 18 - Brother Can You Spare a Mind

Possession is nine-tenths of the law

Guardians_Number_18.jpg

The Guardians follow Baron’s signal for miles, to another ruined temple. Kid Green smashes the door down revealing a narrow corridor stretching into darkness. LB sends electricity through his hands to generate enough light to see. They proceed two abreast.

Not far in, LB (in the lead) is snared in a hidden net suspended from the cieling. At the same time, the floor beneath him slides away, revealing a dark pit. LB easily breaks out of the net and instructs Sid to create a cloud of propane around it. Bantam provided an electrical spark and the old, dry rope catches fire. LB tosses the burning rope as far as he can down the corridor. It goes quite aways.

Peering into the pit, the team sees that it’s filled with sharpened wooden spikes and littered with skeletons. The team debates how to proceed when Bantam gets the idea to use static electricity to cling to the walls. It works, and he scampers ahead of the team. Bored with all the talking, Kid Green jumps into the pit and the spikes snap against his body. The rest of the team follows her lead and easily traverses the pit.

Further down the corridor, Bantam (now scouting in the lead, clinging to the wall) finds narrow slits in the walls. Fortress walks through the area (after a couple attempts at tripping the traps unsuccessfully) and is hit with old scythes that smash against her skin.

The heroes keep going and finally come to a room. A ledge rings a pit in the center of the floor, filled with gravel. A single door stands in the opposite wall. As they enter, emerging from the gravel areLodestone and Firestone. Lodestone immediately generates a magnetic field in the room, immobilizing the heroes, while Firestone burps out six flaming Lapilli.

Kid Green does a Whiplash maneuver on Lodestone, sending him flying across the room to embed in the far wall. Vapor gestures at Firestone and turns the oxygen around him into carbon dioxide, dousing its flame.

Fortress retreats back down the hallway; she only has one dose left and she’s saving it to recuse Baron.

The team again coordinates their attacks, with LB and Bantam teaming up to attack Firestone. Marl erupts from the pit, grabs Graviton, and pulls him into the gravel. Seconds later he is flung out of the gravel into the ceiling, then falls back in. Kid Green again whiplashes Lodestone, this time the impact with the far wall breaks Lodestone into pieces.

LB grabs and shocks Firestone while Bantam shoots an explosive charge, damaging both Firestone and LB. Kid Green takes over, whiplashing Firestone and smashing him into the opposite wall to collapse among Lodestone’s debris. Bantam fires an exploding charge into the gravel pit, which scatters Marl all over the room.

The pass through the next door and down another long hallway. Finally it opens into a cavernous room: Lit by wall sconces and fire pits scattered around the room, they see two altars along each side wall. Bodies lay on top of them, one of them glowing, and they’re surrounded by Brotherhood warriors. A huge pit full of what appears to be lava occupies the center of the room, radiating tremendous heat. At the far end of the room is another, larger altar. On this one lies a naked Baron Mind; his turban and the" Mind Gem":https://new-guardians.obsidianportal.com/items/the-mind-gem are missing. Standing at his head, chanting furiously, is Brother Ashari. Next to him is Ganister.

Not wasting a second, LB directs Kid Green to occupy Ganister. The Kid attemps a move-through on the creature but misses, slamming into the ground next to it.

Vapor takes to the air and gets close enough to produce a healing puff of oxygen in the face of Baron Mind.

As Lightning Bolt leaps over the lava pit to stand at the base of the large alter, Brother Ashari cries, “Time was too short, but it must be enough. Arise! Arise and kill!” Baron Mind, now glowing a deep red, rises up on the alter. His eyes are the color of blood and a lascivious smile stretches his face. He laughs with a voice that is not entirely his and attacks LB with a psionic blast, stunning him.

Brother Ashari points his staff at Vapor. A huge gust of wind strikes Sid and knocks him into a wall, stunning him. Bantam rushes over and shocks him back to awareness.

Baron Mind, still cackling, reaches out with telekinesis to grab the nearest person, a Brotherhood warrior, and flings him into the lava pit, where he dies screaming.

Fortress is beseiged by warriors. She grabs the nearest one and flings him toward two others. They dodge their companion and move in with nunchucks. She grabs their heads and knocks them together like coconuts, and the warriors drop to the ground.

Graviton sends three warriors flying into the wall with a gravity pulse.

Kid Green takes face full of tear gas, flung by another warrior. He shakes it off and leaps, doing a footstomp landing next to the Baron Mind’s alter, knocking around Baron, LB, and Ganister. Undeterred, LB slings his shield at Brother Ashari, knocking him to the ground. He screams again, “Kill them!”

The Baron takes to the air, flying up near the ceiling, and hits Kid Green with a psionic attack, reeling him. Bantam runs over to shock him back to his senses. Baron turns his psionic attack on a warrior, driving him to his knees in agony. LB throws his shield, missing Baron by inches. Just as it returns to him, Brother Ashari shoots flame from his staff, which LB is barely able to reflect in time. Ashari next fires an orange beam, which causes the ground beneath LB to liquify, trapping him up to the waste.

Ashari gets up and makes a break for it, running across the room, around the lava pit. Kid Green has other plans; he whiplashes Ashari with a powerful blow, sending the cult leader flying back over the lava pit and against the far wall, in the shadow of a pillar.

Vapor rises into the air and tries to gas the demonic Baron, but misses. The Baron responds with a psionic blast to Graviton, dropping him to his knees.

LB, struggling to free himself from the floor, orders Grav to make Baron Mind too heavy to fly, but Grav can’t get a good shot off. Vapor tries again to gas him, this time Baron turns the ego attack on him which drops him to the ground. Fortress, after dispatching another two warriors, leaps into the air and grabs Baron Mind. Her tremendous weight forces him slowly back to the ground.

Grav recovers enough to pin down Ganister, who had begun to move toward the far corner of the room, towards where Brother Ashari had landed.

The remaining warriors having run away, the team gathered to battle the possessed Baron Mind. They hit him with all they have: Bantam causes a burst of electricity in his face, blinding him, while Kid Green hits him with a stalk. The Baron growls furiously, still smiling. Just as quickly, Lightning Bolt is knocked out and Fortress is stunned by ego attacks.

Graviton moves to where Sid fell and slaps him, desperately trying to rouse him. Sid however is fine, and slaps Graviton back.

Suddenly Baron Mind stops and gasps. Something seems to dawn on him as he looks around. He grabs Fortress, still reeling from his attack, and plaintively wails, “What have I done? Oh no, what have I done?”

Taking no chances, Bantam fires an electrical blast which slams Baron Mind violently into the wall. The impact produces a burst of dark red light and a gutteral scream as the demon is apparently expelled from the Baron’s body. His eyes clear, but his body continues to emit that red glow. Looking around he said, “What have I done? Oh no, what have I done?”

This change seems to be genuine. LB begins to explain that they’d interrupted a demon possession ceremony, when the Baron starts. “The Gem…he’s getting away with it!” The team follows him through the room, back to the corridor. Brother Ashari is feeling toward the temple entrance. Bantam fires an electrical bolt and knocks him flat.

They search him and discover Baron’s turban and the Mind Gem in a satchel. They coerce him into performing an exorcism, to ensure the demon is truly gone from Baron’s mind. Asked of the whereabouts of Mistress of Gaia, he replies that she had to attend to her coup. She has collaborated with the military to seize control of Sri Lanka.

LB is dissuaded from going after her by Fortress, who has used the last of her special serum and is thus powerless. The team calls for another C-jet and returns home.

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