After school, the skaters that they'd told were allowed to still skate on their base came by, and got to try out the new ramps and stuff they'd built. They weren't *especially* impressed, but only the rudest complained. A couple kids from the HAZARD apartment block across the way came out to give it a try, and after a while Pocket Fluff and Morph recognized one really clumsy kid as PsychoHound wearing different clothing and glasses.
They were okay with him being there as long as he was only there to skate, but eventually the conversation drifted to Tenebra. He was angry that CONTROL was keeping her locked up -- yeah, she'd broken the rules, but it wasn't like she'd meant any *harm*. Besides, they'd left a note (for the heroes to find *afterwards* instead of *before*) so they'd followed the spirit of the rules (they hadn't really). He didn't convince the party to ask CONTROL to let her go, and they didn't convince him that she deserved to be there. They did ask CONTROL what was happening to her, and it insisted that she was merely being deprogrammed of HAZARD brainwashing. "We rarely get the chance to rehabilitate a supervillain, so this is an unusual opportunity."
The 'deprogramming' procedure (which of course was written down) was a lot like brainwashing, but if she *was* brainwashed, that was really the only way to break it. Not that HAZARD would admit to brainwashing people.
Psychohound also invited them to a 'real' party since they'd been cool with him showing up at their skate park. There would be all kinds of attractions -- dancing! Fighting! Drugs! Prostites! Yay! The heroes weren't very tempted, it didn't sound like their kind of party, but Pocket Fluff kind of wanted to go ruin the party by teleporting away all the drugs and then healing people's intoxication, and enough other people were curious about it that they decided to check it out.
Before that, a couple things happened -- Pocket Fluff made an offhand remark that implied Psychohound was reading everyone's mind all the time, so he did read surface thoughts, and discovered that this was the SAME Pocket Fluff as was in the old teenage superhero team. Later on, his gandma ('Tiny Jester', a former member of the team who'd gone over to HAZARD to do comedic terrorism, ruining solemn events by forcing people to laugh) called him up to check up and threaten to reveal his secret to the public if he hurt her grandson.
But eventually, around midnight, they headed to the address they'd been given for the party. Of course, it was a trap. As it turned out, it wasn't a trap for THEM.
The warehouse seemed dark (and empty, to x-ray vision), but they circled around it for a bit just in case... and saw a suspicious looking black van parked nearby. Fractal also saw a shadowy figure shadowing them, and quietly informed the team. Liquid wasn't quite subtle about glancing back to look for their shadow, though, and the criminals sent out a man to tell them to 'shove off'. "No party here!"
When they didn't leave immediately, he drew a gun and repeated his threat. There was a staredown of readied actions for a while, until Pocket Fluff decided to set them all off by teleporting into the warehouse. From inside (and more to the point, from closer to the center) he could see that there was some sort of cloaking tarp obscuring the middle of the warehouse, making it look empty from outside, even to special vision. He teleported back out into the gunfight to tell the others that.
It wasn't much of a fight -- the enemies were highly trained and using potentially lethal plasma pistols, but the party were *superheroes*. LiquidFist wrapped one up in his arms and punched him unconscious, Morph as Wolverine did the same to the other, although he had to peel him out of his armor first -- even though they were criminals, he didn't want to risk killing them by using his claws, and it was hard to punch face through a rigid helmet.
The plasma flash alerted the driver (that PocketFluff took out by teleporting into the van and dumping him into the sewer) and the other mercenaries in the warehouse, who activated a giant drilling machine that had been hidden under the tarp. The machine wasn't meant to leave a permanent tunnel, but it didn't collapse instantly, and Morph as Iceman was able to brace the tunnel so that they could follow safely. Fractal tried to EMP the drilling machine, but it was shielded and only took minor damage, so instead she formed her light powers into a giant spectral hand and started dragging it back up its own tunnel.
The Pocket Fluff teleported inside, set off a gas grenade (which did nothing because they were all wearing environmentally sealed armor), and then used an unheal burst to knock most of them out. The last one tried to set off a self destruct, but Fractal hacked it so that it wouldn't go off -- it would have released diassembler nanites to devour all the evidence. It wouldn't have killed anyone, but it might have annoyed Morph by eating her super-suit and Pocket Fluff by eating his costume (revealing that his superpowers really weren't generated by the suit).
The machine, heavy as a tank, was dragged back up the tunnel and flown slowly through HAZARD airspace while the interceptors buzzed around but were bluffed out of attacking for long enough for them to get into TREASURE territory, where CONTROL was willing to send a team to arrest the mercs.
Morph as Batman tried to interrogate the one conscious prisoner, but all he'd say in the few minutes before the paddy-wagon arrived was that they were mercs hired to do a job. Investigating the machine itself was more fruitful -- in addition to the nanites, there was deadly nerve gas in cannisters, and the route programmed into the autopilot would have taken it directly to the CONTROL HQ, specifically the detention level. It looked like their mission had been to kill all the prisoners.
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