Psi-Force Issue Guide #5
For a few moments at least, Anastasia is lost in the veiled happiness of her past. As she sits in the rustic movie theater, she watches 'Ivan the Terrible' on the screen, and feels the comforts of home - however fleeting. She's then offered a candy bar by a youth who introduces himself as Stefan Grigorenko, and the two get to talking... slowly wandering outside instead of finishing the movie.
Stefan eventually offers to bring Anastasia to the Haven House, a place where he's currently living, for dinner. Accepting, she meets the head of the Haven House, a Dr. Sumiyoshi, who in turn introduces her to his House Master. He explains what the Haven House is all about, and how he gave up his practice as a child psychologist to help others, and implores her to watch his television interview later that night.
Doing so while the others are goofing off at Sanctuary, Anastasia is inspired by Dr. Sumiyoshi's speech, and resolves to meet with him again. Doing so the next day after school, Anastasia talks with the Doctor some more, though he implores her to call him 'father', as he apparently believes he's now some kind of universal father to the world... or something. He then invites her to meditate with the House.
She does so, and while she does so, Dr. Sumiyoshi hypnotizes the girl. Interrogating her, he learns that she and her friends have bizarre, paranormal powers - or that she's crazy and believes so. Thinking to test this out, Dr. Sumiyoshi takes Stasi to a homeless shelter that he pretends he manages, and shows her all the sick and wounded people. Unable to help herself, Anastasia starts healing people there.
Thinking he can use someone with her amazing talents, Dr. Sumiyoshi convinces Anastasia to stay at Haven House for a few days. She agrees, though she doesn't 'get' a lot of his talk about light and such, and calls Colby Shaw on his car phone to tell her so. This naturally arouses the suspicions of her firends, but not knowing just where Anastasia is staying, they can't really do much.
The next day, Dr. Sumiyoshi starts to put Stasi to work, driving her out to the residence of one Mrs. Kallus. She's one of the wealthy people Dr. Sumiyoshi lends his youths out to in exchange for 'donations', having them do odd jobs around their clients' homes. Seeing that Mrs. Kallus is ailing and frail, Stasi uses her powers on the old lady, and sure enough she makes a huge donation to the Haven House right afterward.
This, and several other encounters with rich 'donors' sets up a massive gathering at the Haven House a few days later, during which Anastasia heals a very large number of 'father' Sumiyoshi's supporters. Though she does so to the point of exhaustion, Anastasia heals every one of the doctor's guests, making him a whole lot of money in the process - of course, he doesn't tell Stasi about all the cash.
Things start to get creepy, however, when Stasi tries to call home and let people know she's okay - and is abruptly cut off by the so-called House Master. Michael tries to get Colby to do something, but when she says she'll just call the cops, he goes to Wayne for help. He then collects the others, who make for the address that Wayne saw at the forefront of Colby's mind - she apparently knew where Stasi was by now.
Heading to the Haven House, the teens have Tyrone go inside in his astral form, and he speaks with Stasi. She is dead set on staying, not knowing what the 'good' doctor is up to, but he convinces her to come back to Sanctuary for a few days - just to prove if Sumiyoshi is on the level or not. Ultimately pulling a gun on Stasi when she tries to leave, the doctor causes the others come running to save her.
They rough Sumiyoshi and his House Master up some, and those criminals are ultimately dragged in by the police - due to several tips provided to them by Stefan, who was feeling guilty about mixing Stasi up in all this mess. The sad part was that she just wanted to help people, and once again she had been taken advantage of by incredibly unscrupulous people. Saddened, she went back to Sanctuary with her fellow paranormals...
The day begins with Michael enjoying a trip to the Museum where he works part-time, along with Anastasia and Tyrone. He's getting all jazzed up by the biology exhibits, and though his friends aren't quite so enthusiastic about it, they're happy to see that Michael is happy. He tries to treat his buddies to snacks out of his book money but inadvertently trips, dropping everything. He sulks for a bit, but the others cheer him up.
Elsewhere, Thomas Boyd is on the run, the men working for his former boss slowly closing in on him. A goon pulls a gun on him in a trolley, and Thomas dodges him, only to get shot in a Chinatown restaurant. The man almost beats him, but Thomas literally pulls the rug out from under him, and zaps him with his adrenaline vampirism before ducking out in a nearby alley to bind up the gunshot in his leg.
Having nowhere else to go, Thomas decides to go to his former enemies, the five paranormals formerly under Proudhawk's care, for help. By now, those five teenagers are working in the garden at Sanctuary, goofing off a little as they whip the place back into shape. Before she had to chase off several repo men, Colby Shaw hopped outside to give Tyrone a letter left under the Sanctuary door - from Boyd!
While trying to decide what to do, the teens get onto the subject of Thomas being on the same files that Proudhawk kept about them - and wonder just what was on them. Curious, they ask Colby if Proudhawk left anything at the Sanctuary at all, at which point she remembers that the man left a duffel bag in the house, which she'd stored in the attic after Proudhawk was found dead (way back when they first started staying there).
Though Colby said she wanted first crack at any files they might find, the kids swipe them before she can even see the discs they do indeed locate, and resolve to read what's on them the next morning - at the San Francisco Museum of Science! Heading there in advance, Michael cleared his use of the place with his boss, and unable to wait until everyone else got there first, he began to read the contents of Proudhawk's floppies.
Putting in the first disc, Michael reads up on the so-called Psi-Force, the name Emmett gave to him and his paranormal outcasts. The first disc repeats the vision Emmett had in the past, of five rabbits protected by a hawk. Of course, wolves tear this hawk out of the sky, but the five rabbits combine to form a new, more powerful hawk - one that in turn chases the wolves away!
The disc shows confusion on the part of Emmett, for his list had the names of eight different ESP candidates, while his dream only featured five rabbits. In time, he found out why: He'd found two kids on that list, Joan Grant and Thomas Boyd, dead - while a third, Edward Finelli, had gone missing. Of course, Michael realizes this is odd, since Boyd was clearly not dead, having fought them twice no less.
Regardless, Proudhawk left notes that he was concerned that were he to only find five of the paranormal teens, the other would have to fend for himself. Michael was worried about this, for if Proudhawk's vision was right, they would either be unable to help Thomas... or one of them would have to go. Before he could think on it further, his friends made their way into the museum's computer rooms.
They then start to go through Proudhawk's other discs, starting with Thomas. 'Syphon', as the disc labels him, was shuffled off into boarding schools as early as the first grade, his parents wanting nothing to do with him. Something of a bully, Thomas was an above-average student, who also scored well on ESP tests. Of course, things changed after the so-called White Event.
Thomas was roughing up an underclassman when his power first manifested, and he zapped his victim but good! Running away, Thomas left his school far behind, but before Proudhawk could locate him, he and his partner Derek Shiningstar found the kid dead. The kids all wonder at that as Michael did, since the file was wrong, and they wonder just who faked Thomas' death way back then?
Speaking of Thomas, he found that his would-be saviors were not at Sanctuary, which was sort of bad for him - his former boss' goons were hot on his heels. Learning where they were at through Sanctuary, Thomas made his way to the Museum, though he had to shake his pursuers. While Thomas is pretty good at what he does, he was pretty weak by the time he got to Sanctuary, so he didn't lose those thugs for very long...
Back at the Museum, the 'Psi-Force' moved on to Tyrone's, or Voyager's files, they see he was an athletic youth who was knocked off his bike during the White Event, its energies making him dizzy. He thought nothing of it until his house was broken into that night, and he went downstairs to confront the burglars... without his body accompanying him! He was then compelled to run away - for his own protection - by Proudhawk.
Anastasia's, or Healer's files showed how she always had a 'green thumb' - one which became a full-blown healing talent after the White Event. An immigrant from the USSR, Stasi was brought back there when her aunt and uncle 'mysteriously' died, only to be experimented on incessantly by the KGB and its Siberian Project. At least, until Proudhawk invaded the country intent on bringing her back to America.
Wayne's - or Network's - files detail his youth as a gang leader - an attempt to lash out at his abusive, policeman father. Always 'persuasive', Wayne became a full-blown mind controller in the wake of the White Event. Lashing out at his father with his powers, Wayne realized how much pain the man was in, and was so ashamed of what he'd done that he ran away, never to return... and was steered towards San Francisco by Proudhawk.
Kathy, identified as Shockwave, lived a life of spoiled luxury, until she saw everything fall apart immediately after the White Event. Her powers manifested seconds after its light faded, quickly growing out of her control. She ultimately got a handle on things, after tearing a few rooms of her house up, but Kathy realized her life was over, that she was a freak. She left home (at Proudhawk's urging) days later.
Michael, or Salvo, grew up in orphanages. His father died while he was young, and his mother was institutionalized soon after. His latest foster home in Vermont was with an abusive, religious farm family, one that Michael inadvertently lashed out at with his psychokinetic powers soon after the White Event. When they threw him out, he blew up their house and fled... ultimately to San Francisco.
Angry at what Proudhawk wrote about him, Michael simmered for a bit - until Thomas arrived. Battered and bloody, he asked for their help... only to realize the men following him were already there - and had them surrounded! With orders to kill them all, the men opened fire - though Kathy instinctively protected them with her telekinesis, using objects to absorb the bullets... and then trounce the gunmen with.
Wayne took a shot however, and things quickly escalated as everyone started fighting with their powers. With things at their grimmest, they focused to summon forth the Psi-Hawk, who quickly tore Shiningstar's goons apart. Of course, he wasn't done with them yet, using the powers of all six of its component psionic paranormals in a particularly vicious manner - until Michael realized this was due to Proudhawk's vision.
Goading Wayne into knocking him out, Michael quickly dropped under his telepathic assault, which allows the Psi-Hawk to return to normal. When they revive him later - after the Psi-Hawk finally dissipates - Michael explains what he'd learned on that first disc. Also, knowing that Thomas needed a group like them even more than any of them did, he decides to defy Proudhawk's opinion of his maturity, and chose to leave himself.
Before anyone could stop him, he blew up the floor between himself and the others, and made for parts unknown, his remaining 'rainy day' money getting him several hundred miles away. Noting that he didn't feel any compulsion to return to the others as Wayne and Kathy did, Michael assumed that he'd made the right choice that day... and hoped that time would prove him to be correct...!
Grigori Mironenko rushes into the St. Francis Hospital, trying to find his wife, Eugenia. There he is told she has slipped into a coma, and only has days to live. While he cries at her side, Grigori is met by Serge Vladimiroff, who offers Grigori his condolences. Of course, he also lets Grigori know of a girl - a very special girl - he knows of that can heal almost any sickness. And she's here, in San Francisco!
This girl, Anastasia Inyushin, is currently at the Golden Gate Park, hanging out with her four paranormal friends in an effort to relax. While Tyrone and Thomas play basketball, she cheers them on while Kathy and Wayne mostly goof off. Things get a bit heated in the basketball game, and Tyrone accidentally knocks Thomas down hard, scraping up his arm in the process - a wound which Stasi heals up for him.
After the game, the kids talk a bit about practicing with their powers, and Tyrone goads Kathy into blocking his shot with the basketball - which she does by blasting it across the park. Hopping into his astral form, Tyrone tries to track it down, only to see people pointing at the spot in a nearby lake it landed in. Calling it a loss, he returned to his body, and the Psi-Force then makes their way to Sanctuary.
There, they see a limousine parked outside - one with diplomatic plates! Inside, the gang sees Grigori, who has come here to find Stasi. An old friend of the family, she knew Grigori from way back, as she did his wife, Eugenia. Saddened to hear Eugenia was dying, Stasi decided to help her out, though by now Serge had had Eugenia moved from the hospital to the Soviet consulate in San Francisco.
Once she arrived, Stasi immediately tried to use her abilities to help Eugenia, but felt something deeply wrong in the woman's body. An infection, spread so far, one she was intimately familiar with - it was something the Soviets had engineered back in the USSR, and tested her healing powers against. Overwhelmed by the power of the sickness she tried to heal, Stasi almost immediately passed out.
Meanwhile, at Sanctuary, the others were beginning to get antsy - Stasi had been gone for five hours. Wary about breaking into the Soviet consulate, the others were encouraged by Thomas, who said doing so would be easy; he'd been trained in doing shady deals just like that. Putting his plan together, the others gathered outside, and once Tyrone was present in his astral form, the Psi-Force moved out!
As they approached the consulate, Stasi finally awoke from the strain of trying to heal Eugenia's mystery illness, and began to tell Grigori what she'd found. Immediately suspicious, Grigori asked her to tell him everything she knew about Serge Vladimiroff - who himself was watching Stasi's friends deploy around the consulate. Just then, Thomas threw several Frisbees into the compound's rear entrance, setting off its motion detectors.
As guards rushed to the scene, Wayne and Kathy broke in the front gate. Keeping the guards off-balance with their powers, the teens made a royal mess of the place and its staff. Serge tried to get away with Anastasia, though Grigori took the opportunity to look at the consulate's records, only to discover that he'd been placed in charge there six months ago - and his wife sickened - all in a plot to get Stasi there!
When he tried to flee, Serge's car was disabled by Kathy's powers, and though the police had by now made it to the gates of the consulate, they were unable to do anything to help Stasi - since the consulate was out of their jurisdiction. While her friends made their escape, Grigori overrode Serge's wishes and released Stasi, letting her back out into American real estate, despite Serge's raving about disrupting a KGB operation.
Outside, once the police tried to take Stasi in for questioning, Wayne used his abilities to secure her release, at which point she realized that she escaped thanks to them; having been inside the whole time, she had no idea what was going on. Happy to be reunited with her friends, she gladly rejoined them for the walk back to Sanctuary, the group wondering how things could possibly get worse now...
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