Synapsis/Ayumi didn’t hesitate. She went at Brian Jackson, Supervillain with a fury. Unfortunately, Synapsis isn’t much of a fighter, but luckily for her, neither is Brian. Synapsis did think to enclose Brian’s gun in a forcefield, and he was eventually forced to flee.
Ayumi and her parents fled back to the University, where they contacted the campus police. The campus police asked why they didn’t contact the real police. Good question. They did so, and Ayumi also signaled the rest of the Silent Guardians, Jaguar/Mez, who was with his girlfriend Heather, and Dr. Decibel/Prof. Hughes, who was looking for crime to fight with Princess Python.
This innocent-seeming little act had a couple of unfortunate consequences for the Guardians. First, Mez rushed out on his girlfriend at the call of another woman. She was naturally not too pleased by this, and has broken up with him (and Mez seems strangely not to care that his hot woman wants nothing to do with him anymore…). Second, Princess Python managed to figure out who the Silent Guardians are in real life (they were the only ones, besides the police and Ayumi’s parents who showed up, and Princess Python isn’t as dumb as one might assume). The Guardians found out about this little development later on.
Ayumi’s father was furious and demanded once again that Ayumi return home to Japan with them the next day. But Ayumi finally stood up to the old man, telling him that she had responsibilities here in America, and that she refused to abandon them and her education. Mr. Hirugashi didn’t want to hear it, forbade her to stay, told her to have her bags packed in the morning, and stormed out. Mrs. Hirugashi told Ayumi not to worry. Her father is very proud of her, he just doesn’t know how to show it. He’s also worried about her safety, which is why he demands that she return with them (although the family is apparently in some kind of trouble with the Yakuza back in Japan, so Ayumi might actually be safer in the States…). She told Ayumi that she would talk to her husband, and that Ayumi would be able to stay. She would get her way with this.
The attempted kidnapping of Mrs. Hirugashi was an insult that couldn’t be ignored. The Silent Guardians talked to Princess Python, who informed them that the Mad Thinker had a hideout in St. Louis—an old warehouse. She didn’t know if he’d be there, but she knew that that’s where the Serpent Society was to assemble after the raid on Guthrie Mansion. The Guardians, Princess Python in tow, headed to St. Louis in Mez’s bitchin’ Camaro.
Indeed, the rest of the Serpent Society was lurking within the warehouse. The Guardians got the jump on Boomslang while he was microwaving a burrito in the cafeteria. But when they went into the warehouse area, steel doors dropped to close off all the exits, and a great big robot attacked! The Guardians had had trouble with this breed of robot before (see The Silent Guardians!), so they knew they were in trouble with this one. But there was a computer terminal in the area, and they rightly figured that there might be a code of some kind to shut the robot down. While Jaguar and Synapsis kept the robot busy, Dr. Decibel and Princess Python rushed to the computer and began feverishly working to decipher the code. They managed to shut the thing down, but not before Jaguar took a significant beating from it.
After beating the great big robot, the Silent Guardians returned to the office area, where they were attacked by another three robots – a Puncherbot, a Sawbot, and a Spiderbot. The Guardians took them down easily, but did a lot of damage to the building and set off the fire alarms. Oops.
They found Slither and Puff Adder waiting for them in one of the offices, and Coachwhip, Sidewinder, and Black Mamba jumped them from behind. Sidewinder and Black Mamba managed to escape, but the other Snakes were apprehended.
The Guardians found the real Brian Jackson tied to a chair in another office. But by the time they got out of the building, the fire department and the police had arrived. The police wanted to take them in, but the Guardians skedaddled.
The next day, Dr. Decibel and Princess Python went to Red Lobster together (in costume, and they remembered a doggy bag for Pythagoras – er, that would be a snakey bag, I guess). Ayumi talked to her parents again, telepathically showed them the Silent Guardians (the previously mentioned responsibilities), and convinced her father that she needs to stay here. He wasn’t happy about it, but he did give in. Mez learned that Cody Howard got beat up at a party Saturday night. He went to visit him, and asked about who it was that did it, but nobody seemed to have any idea.
On Monday, Mez talked with Brian, who confessed to him that he told the Serpent Society who the Silent Guardians are. Mez was like, “huh?”
“Look, Mez,” Brian said. “I’m the smartest person you know. I’m most likely the smartest person you’ll ever meet. And it honestly wasn’t very hard to figure out who the Jaguar is. Or the rest of you. I’m sorry I told them, but I’m no superhero. And I want to make it up to you. I want to be a part of the team.”
The rest of the Silent Guardians took the news well, and have decided that they’ll figure out something for him to do.
Oh, I don’t think I mentioned it, but I’m sure you’ve figured out that it wasn’t the real Brian Jackson who tried to kidnap Mrs. Hirugashi. It was actually one of the Mad Thinker’s robots, Doppelbot!
Okay, moving on.
Mez also checked the Silent Guardians Facebook page. In addition to the usual fanboy posts (and a few from Princess Python), he found one from somebody named Dog Spear. Dog Spear used a lot of colorful language which amounted to, “we’re gonna get ya.”
At football practice, Mez got to work with the 3rd string QB, Stevie Combs. The Dragons’ chances in their upcoming games don’t look good…
Prof. Hughes had received several messages from the new head of the engineering dept, Sally Mae Thurman, saying that she wanted to check out some of his nanotech research. He called her and told her to come by the lab about 7:00 and he’d show her what he’s been working on. She showed up with Chinese takeout, he showed her his little bots, and, well, smart is sexy. One thing led to another, and…
Meanwhile, Ayumi found her roommate, Mary Matthews, in another trance. She couldn’t wake her up from this one. Muttering to herself in Japanese, Ayumi just left her there and went to work at the bookstore.
The next day, Ayumi and Mez both learned that they had a test in American History that they had completely forgotten about. Uh oh. They’d spent so much time over the past few weeks dealing with giant robots, the Serpent Society, Beethoven’s Five, and just being superheroes in general that they’d completely forgotten about this test.
Ain’t neither one of em super smart (Mez is riding a football scholarship and Ayumi is in danger of flunking more than one class), but they did very well on the test.
Later that night, they heard on their police scanners that there was a robbery in progress at Black Jack’s Liquor Store. They rushed there, and found some more 241 Mafia thugs holding the place up. Jaguar didn’t hesitate. He crashed through the plate glass window in the front of the place, jumping up on the counter between two of the thugs and the clerk. They tried to shoot him, but Jags pwned them, grabbed the terrified clerk, and jumped back out the window, just in time to avoid Dr. Decibel’s sound bomb (patent pending) that pretty much destroyed the interior of the place, including the four other thugs that were in there.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the 241 Mafia had arrived – Ice Bloom, Trap Web, and the aforementioned Dog Spear (with his trusty canine companion Dr. Fuzzy Butt). Dog Spear teleported close to Jaguar, and started blipping around him, stabbing with his spear, but not doing much in the way of hitting. Princess Python had meanwhile taken hold of Kim, the hot young clerk, and was keeping her safe and away from the fight. Ice Bloom and Dr. Decibel traded quips, and then decided that talking time was over. They both reached for each other at the same time, but Dr. Decibel was a little faster. He touched the loquacious Ice Bloom and transformed him into a circuitry statue.
“Mmm, mmm, mmm,” said Trap Web to Dr. Decibel. “I think I want me some o’ you, pretty boy.” She charged him, but he managed to duck away as she tried to grab him.
“Hard to get, I like that,” she said. She tried to grab him, but he grabbed her, and she was subsequently circuitry statued.
Dog Spear and Jaguar’s battle was dragging on, and Synapsis finally just mind blasted the villain, knocking him out. El Medico decided that he’d had enough and ran off.
By this time, the police had arrived. The Silent Guardians managed to escape after talking to an officer about the substantial property damage. All of the officers conveniently looked the other way when they went to take care of Kim and the unconscious leaders of the 241 Mafia, and the Silent Guardians took off.
On their way home, Princess Python told the other Guardians that she had seen somebody checking out the battle on a nearby rooftop. It was a blond woman in a blue and gray costume and cape. She watched for a little bit, and then took off. The Guardians were intrigued. Who could this be? Was she another superhero, or a super villain?
A deep fog had settled over Kingdom Falls. A scream was heard in the distance. The Silent Guardians paused on their way, trying to determine the direction the scream had come from. And then they heard a crunch, shuffle, crunch, shuffle. They stopped in their tracks, the fog deepening. And then emerging from fog came a, well, a thing.
The demon had glistening black skin stretched tight over its bony frame. It was tall and thin with a long torso and short hind legs. It had one long, clawed foreleg protruding from its chest. Its head was vaguely canine with a long snout and a grinning, fang filled mouth. It had no eyes, but it seemed to look at each of them in turn. And then it hissed….