Psi-Force Issue Guide #9
With a Grain of Salt
A few days after his final encounter with Keith Remsen, we find Thomas Boyd in a sparring match with the so-called Pitt-Bull, stationed as he is in Fort Benning's Paranormal Platoon. Boyd is winning against the strong but undisciplined boor, at least until he grabs Corporal Richie Anderson, and uses him as a weapon against Thomas. This doesn't last though, for Dave Landers - the Mastodon - puts a stop to Pitt-Bull's rampage.
Just outside the base, Tyrone Jessup has been scoping things out, and returns to his friends waiting nearby in a used pick-up truck. Startling them (as he tends to do), Tyrone let them know that he'd found Boyd, and what the trio were up against. Undeterred, they decided to spring Thomas from the Army that night - no matter how many people are stupid enough to get in their way!
Elsewhere, we find Serge Vladimiroff in the Siberian Project, getting a feel for his team in the wake of their Afghanistan operation. We are then introduced to the Crasniye Solleetsi, the Red Sun! Most are doing well, though the group's pyrokinetic, Dehman Doosha, is still autistic and hard to control. Rodstvow, on the other hand, is quite literally nowhere to be found.
Having traveled to his former home to recover his energies after the fighting in that neighboring country, Rodstvow was convalescing in the Chersky mountains. It didn't take him too long of course, but once he had, he destroyed his log cabin possibly as a means of finally separating himself from his former existence. Or perhaps because the man was a deranged lunatic...
Back in Georgia, just after midnight, the remnants of the Psi-Force make their way into Fort Benning, with Wayne pushing every sentry he finds into a deep slumber. Once Tyrone finds out where Thomas is bunked, the trio make their way to him, and bring him outside. Of course, this intrusion doesn't go unnoticed, and Jeffrey Walters - the Blurr - follows them to investigate what the heck is going on.
He asks Thomas what the deal is, and after Walters sticks his hand through Tyrone (not knowing he was an energy form), Thomas knocked him back into the barracks. This woke up everybody present, including an always-irate Pitt-Bull, who had a bone to pick with Thomas anyway. A brawl quickly broke out between the four members of the Psi-Force and the rest of the Paranormal Platoon as a result.
Panicking in the face of this all-out paranormal mayhem, Lindsey took off - only to find herself in front of the base's administration building. She broke in, only to be followed moments later by Wayne, who was worried about her. She took the opportunity to grab a bunch of items from various offices, in order to overtime on them later - things from folks that seemed like they'd know a lot about happenings there.
Nearby, Thomas and Tyrone are making easy work of their attackers, though they beat feet instead of knocking all of them senseless. They make good progress, but Thomas is then shot by Corporal Anderson, who he'd saved from Pitt-Bull earlier. Thomas takes exception to this and rushes the man, punching him out - only to fall into a beating by Walters, who wants to bring him in for brownie points.
Wayne and Lindsey have caught up with the others by this point, and Wayne warded the speedster off with his powers. They then half drug Thomas to their truck, ready to make their way to safety... only to find that someone had made off with the keys. Dave Landers has taken them, and says he wants to settle up with Boyd. Thomas reluctantly gets ready to fight, only to have Landers throw him the keys.
Of anyone in the base, he knew exactly what it was like to need to escape a bad situation. They offered to bring him along, but he declined, having had enough of a life on the run. He then watched as the Psi-Force drove off to parts unknown, not knowing that they weren't done with the government yet. No, they had two more friends to rescue from their clutches...
The Living Dead
Just two days after they sprang Thomas from the Army's Paranormal Platoon in Fort Benning, the Psi-Force made their way to the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Thanks to information given to them both by the Medusa Web and a mind-zapped Jake Travest, the team knew that their last two members were being held here, and weren't about to let that situation stand any longer.
Sneaking in as best they could, thanks to Wayne's powers, the four paranormals rapidly freed Kathy Ling, and then Anastasia Inyushin as well. While Kathy was in relatively good shape, Stasi wasn't doing so well, living in a state of perpetual exhaustion since she'd arrived at the hospital. She never quite recovered from healing her severed fingers - as well as a dying Ling.
She was then worked constantly by the government, who had her heal up paranormals who were injured while resisting arrest and being Drafted. At first Stasi didn't want to leave, feeling she was helping people, but her friends convinced her that she was being used just like had been all those other times in the past. Agreeing to go with them, Stasi then tried to sneak out with her friends.
They were momentarily waylaid by Doctor Ballad, formerly of the Ballad Dream Clinic. He'd found an inordinate amount of sleeping guards and came to investigate, and discovered the Psi-Force making their getaway. His armed guards stood little chance against a furious Kathy - nor did the window she smashed out to provide an alternate route of escape, now that guards were ready for them.
Meanwhile, in the CIA building, Skipper was on his way to confront Derek Shiningstar, who had been disciplined for the last ten months over his strange work on the Proudhawk files. As soon as he could, that villain grabbed current information on the teens, but the two CIA operatives were interrupted by a strange humming sound. Little did they know that Rodstvow had arrived in Washington DC.
Teleporting in, Rodstvow was immediately attacked by Shiningstar, who said Rodstvow had killed friends of his. The Russian paranormal blew up Shiningstar's hand, gun and all, and then the man himself. Skipper survived the encounter, but was forever wounded in the process, losing the use of his legs - not to mention his sight - as a result of Rodstvow's attack on the CIA.
Having no clue what they were heading into, the Psi-Force stopped for lunch real quick, before making their way to the CIA building themselves. They were intent on erasing whatever information the government had on them, if only to finally get the creeps off their backs for awhile. Wayne couldn't push his way through the entire CIA though, so Kathy merely levitated them up onto the roof.
Little did they know that security guards had seen them flying through the air on remote cameras, and as such sent a guard detail up to meet them. Unaware that they'd been 'made', the paranormals walked right into an armed patrol, and the team had to quickly dispatch the government-issued goons before they could shoot anyone. Feeling bad for them though, Stasi healed several of their more serious injuries.
Heading further into the building, the six teens found a scene of carnage waiting for them, with bodies strewn everywhere. While they tried to figure out what they'd wandered into, more guards showed up; being justifiably antsy after seeing the corpses everywhere, wound up shooting all six of the kids before them. Immune to their bullets, Tyrone freaked out on the guards, zapping them with his electromagnetic powers.
Barely conscious, Stasi healed up the team, though she herself was already severely wounded - on top of her staggering exhaustion. It took everything to patch her friends up, and she died in the process. When Rodstvow showed his face moments later, the teens focused their wills on Emmett's old amulet once more, and manifested the Psi-Hawk before this murderous monster for a little bit of payback...
Issue 24 (Backup Tale):
the President's Face is Missing
In the immediate wake of Harlan Mook's assault on President Ronald Reagan while he was giving a speech on live television, the elderly man shambled around on stage in a daze. While his primary Secret Service agents were downed in the blast, operatives Carter and Strawberry made their way in from their posts outside, and collected the President as he tripped over one of his fallen guards.
Checking to see if he was okay, they were mortified to find his face had been heavily burned, with deep finger grooves pressed in because the President's hands had literally stuck to his face while it was starting to heal. Fast. As the nation watched with rapt attention, his guards ushered Reagan to a nearby ambulance, which then made for Air Force One as fast as it possibly could.
By the time it arrived, Reagan had completely regrown his face and hair, and appeared not a day older than thirty five. Of course, this was sort of odd; you don't expect the President of the United States to be a regenerator! Operatives Strawberry and Carter then escorted Reagan and his paramedics onto Air Force One, all while the President tried to figure out how to tell the people he was a paranormal...
Drowning Under Fire
As the various forces of the government muster their men and equipment, Rodstvow appears in a very conspicuous manner above the streets of Washington DC, with the Psi-Hawk in tow! As the component minds that make up the Psi-Hawk's intelligence bicker and gripe, they begin their assault on the Russian paranormal, and while they manage one or two solid hits, the madman strikes back - and hard!
Blasted into a nearby pool, the Psi-Hawk pulls itself back together and puts some space between itself and its foe. Realizing that some of the boulders in Kathy's initial assault on Rodstvow got through, Boyd tells her to hit the monster with something big - the Washington Monument! Her powers vastly augmented in the Psi-Hawk's body, she manages to lift the entire structure with her telekinesis!
Swinging the whole building at Rodstvow, the Psi-Hawk bats him away like an insect, sending him flying until he ultimately crashes down into the Air and Space Museum. His arrival wounds several people, and Rodstvow blasts several more whilst he's recovering his wits... including the daughter of John Tensen, Angela. While Rodstvow rampaged below, the Psi-Hawk had to face the Army in the sky.
Led by Colonel Browning, this force instructed them to skedaddle, at which point the Psi-Force told him to stuff it. After all, did they really think they had what it took to handle Rodstvow with anything short of a tactical nuke? Reluctantly agreeing to let the Psi-Hawk continue, Browning vowed to blow them both out of the sky if the Hawk crossed them, and they moved on after their foe.
Meanwhile, outside the Air and Space Museum, a reporter and cameraman duo tried to get access inside, but the Army wasn't having any of it. When they tried to charge past the guards, the men shot them down - despite them having a live feed to their network. Thanks to this, they missed the Psi-Hawk arriving at the Museum, as well as the Russian madman throwing a space capsule at them out of rage.
Charging inside, Kathy used her power to surround Rodstvow with junk nearby, while Thomas directly used his powers on the man, draining some of his energies. When the Psi-Hawk touched Rodstvow though, Lindsey began to involuntarily overtime on the mad paranormal's casing - the strange, space-age material that was holding his roiling energies inside his powerful body.
She saw that he was formerly a peaceful man, a sculptor who lived with his family in the Chersky mountain range. He was chopping wood one day when the White Event erupted all around him. His power immediately surfaced, tearing his very eyes out and setting him aflame. When his wife tried to help him, Rodstvow inadvertently set her on fire, along with his two girls... and the grief drove him mad.
Forced to remember this scene he'd been trying to forget, Rodstvow literally exploded in rage, knocking the Psi-Hawk blocks away. When the two resumed their duel, both powerful entities were interrupted by the Air Force this time, who launched a brace of missiles at the both of them. Though Rodstvow weathered this assault, the Psi-Hawk didn't do so well, falling into the American History Museum.
As Browning bemoaned the worsening situation - which wasn't being helped by his own meddling - the Psi-Hawk picked up a fallen video camera. Using it to show the world they meant to help, they then resumed their fight with Rodstvow anew. Thus, the whole country saw them take on the mad Russian paranormal, though weakened as they were from the military and the damage Rodstvow already inflicted, they lost. Bad.
Smashed into a subway tunnel, the Psi-Hawk was utterly defeated by its Russian foe, who flew him up into the air and visibly tore him apart. As the Psi-Hawk seemingly died, Wayne - it's only component mind who was still conscious - felt his mind expanded terribly, forming a link with everyone on earth at once. He was especially linked to old friends and foes, like Michael Crawley and Jake Travest.
Victorious, Rodstvow then completed his mission, burning the Constitution of the United States, before leaving with the bodies of his fallen foes.
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