Squadron: Birmingham 2019 "Getting On"

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"Getting on"

At the appointed time Magnetron, Electro and Deacon arrived at the Rotunda and were escorted - for the last time - through the lifts down to the secret levels of Squadron: Birmingham's base. They were met by Miasma who, again, thanked them for their help in defeating the plans of the evil Cyberlord. She explained that all three of them were already probationary members of Sq:B and that today's exercise was to allow the extant team to assess their abilities and how they could best be deployed. It was not a pass or fail exam.

In addition she explained that she would be passively monitoring the exercise and, at the first sign of stress, to either side, she would halt proceedings. She wouldn't use her mental abilities to directly intervene at any time. "The mind is powerful but fragile thing", she repeated. She wouldn't risk any mental harm for a mere training session.

The exercise would be overseen by Warrior.

Steel Reign, Agony Aunt and, if deemed worthy, Steel would be assessed at another time. A smaller group was easier to assess.

As the three probationary Heroes had no further questions they were let into the huge training hall - with its plain white walls decorated with the the occasional cross and chevron.

"Is that your starting formation?" Warrior's voice boomed out as the three clustered at one end of the room. They began to spread out.

From the other end of the room there was a burst of electricity and Techknight and an - apparently fully recovered - Dynamo burst into view. As the trainees responded, a hooded figure carrying a bow appeared behind them and struck some telling blows with a series of unexpected concussive arrow shots. Enigma - returned from his sabbatical especially to test the newcomers!

Deacon, Magnetron and Electro recovered from the unexpected assault and began to strike back. Deacon slipped invisibly from view and began a series of guerilla strikes. Electro set herself to trading blows with Dynamo - who she saw as having taken her place within the team.

However, despite their best efforts, things did not go the newcomers' way. Enigma clearly used his Elven senses to track Deacon and directed Techknight to strike him with energy bolts, whilst he struck the flying Magnetron with more concussive arrows. And despite giving better than she got, Electro's electrical bolts seemed to have little effect upon Dynamo.

Annoyed, she reached out with her electrical senses and discovered only electrical energy coursing through his frame. No sense of humanity at all.

"They're robots!" she called out.

As his magical energies reached their limit and he began to fade into view, Deacon drew a huge axe through the portal in his dimensional cloak and - with a scream of frustration decapitated the teenage hero with a devastating blow from behind. Rather than a burst of gore, all that was revealed was wires and circuitry as the robot head bounced across the floor.

None too soon as Magnetron, facing combined attacks from Techknight and Enigma fell to the floor, Techknight flying down to place his foot upon his chest.

Before he deliver the coup de gras, however, Deacon distracted him. Electro concentrated upon the Enigma figure. "Hello Elf" she said - striking unrestrained with her full force, shattering the robot figure into a million pieces.

Even so, the Techknight robot seemed capable of defeating both the wounded Electro and, now visible, Deacon. But their distractions had bought enough time for Magnetron to gain a second wind and summon enough magnetic energy to crush it. (Actually surprisingly easily.)

Looking at the carnage, Deacon drew breath and said "Well, they were getting on."

As she recovered, Electro's electrically enhanced hearing picked up the sounds of an argument from the control booth above. It seemed the real Techknight had witnessed the assessment session. He took exception to Miasma and Warrior using images of Enigma and - the still critically injured - Dynamo in the event. Miasma explained that neither Warrior or herself would have been appropriate due to the potential damage their great powers could do the the probationers. And their opponents had to be people they would logically accept could be there. Techknight seemed to accept the argument.

Warrior congratulated the trio on their success saying it was nice to see them finally let rip with their full force.

The three were given full access to the Headquarters to come and go as they wished and to make full use of its resources.

As their first mission they were informed that the villain Firefly had released his cohort Frostorm - and a flexible criminal their known as Slink - from captivity during a prisoner transfer. With Techknight along as observer and adviser, they set out to track and capture the villains.

Magnetron's computer skills were soon able to identify that some of the British-International Security Force and United Intelligence Taskforce (BISCUIT) guards accompanying the transfer convoy had not accessed their personal bank accounts recently - indicating they'd come into additional funds. (Incidentally, he reset the team's computer security passwords, which Techknight seemed to have forgotten to do - again).

Paying them each a visit, and with Deacon seeming to wish paranormal vengeance upon them, they questioned the suspects and found how they'd been suborned - garnering additional clues allowing them to track the villains.

Squadron Birmingham were on the case!

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