It had been two months since the events on Carrion Isle. Since then, mutant and metahuman crime had been running rampant in Sapphire City. The Ne'er-Do-Wells had split up, taking one sector of the city each and keeping crime as much in check as they individually could. Angus had been up to his regular shenanigans, lumberjacking, sleeping around, drinking and axing criminals- sometimes all at the same time. Blank Page had her library job to keep up with in addition to her superheroism, so sleep was a rare thing for her during this time. Carrion had been punching villains by day and caring for Constanza's children by night, since she was still missing without a trace. Boanna had been conducting her own business of justice, killing most of the villains she encountered, but sparing those she deemed useful in exchange for any information they might have on Barrow Si or any of the other demons.
Something pulled them all back together after those two months. They had each received a note, left in secret places in their own living areas, telling them to meet at the Mutants United headquarters at midnight. They all gathered there, confused. At the same time, Evine- who had been dealing with her own business back in the Fey city of Avalon- came back to Sapphire City just in time to catch them all there. They caught her up on recent events and made their way into the sewers. There, they met an old enemy: Shade. They were perturbed to see him- especially Page, who wondered how he knew her secret identity and workplace. Being able to move through shadows helped, he said, and he got to the point.
According to him, something was up. Valkyrie had been in captivity since her failed assassination of President Liam Hovert-Dore, but all of his attempts to contact her revealed that she was very much not herself. She was being held in a military base in Washington, DC, and he wanted the Ne'er-Do-Wells to help him break in so he could find her, and the truth. They were skeptical; why help these people who once tried to commit an act of mass terrorism, and had literally killed Angus and Carrion? But they had the feeling that something was up too, or at least Lily's behavior at the castle implied. So they agreed to help him. Using the portal on Carrion Isle they quickly made their way to DC. There they had a quick and adorable interaction with Lucy, Barnie and Gregor. They decided they had to disguise themselves tonight- it was past 3 AM in DC, but they were not known here, so their presence might disturb people. Boanna took her human disguise, Page relied on her invisibility, used her illusion magic on Carrion, and Evine took one of Lucy's headbands and wrapped her pointy ears in it. Angus was just Angus. They left the sleepy children and took Constanza's car- which only Shade was able to drive- to Fort McAndrew.
Once there, Shade slipped into the darkness and entered the fort. Our heroes' first challenge was finding a parking spot. Carrion picked up the car, moved it to a local outdoor parking garage and accosted the attendant. They offered him a pint of Angus's money in exchange for parking and left. They wanted to enter the fort with as little bloodshed as possible, since they were still in the dark as to Shade's plans. So Evine found a guard and told her that she and her companions were part of a tour group from England hoping to see the fort before it became too crowded in the morning. The guard reluctantly took them inside, where Boanna attempted to bribe him with one of Constanza's portrait-gold-coins. The guard saw through their ridiculous act- and saw that Angus had an axe- and called his company in. The Ne'er-Do-Wells incapacitated all but one of them, whom Boanna mercilessly killed. When attempting to interrogate one of the living guards they only got the response that he 'lived to serve,' and could not betray his orders- a very non-human response to seeing a comrade die. Boanna held his face up to his fallen brother's and he seemed to change completely, snapping out of whatever hold was on his mind and facing the reality of his situation. He said he didn't know what year it was, that he had no memories of anything, and that he was sorry. Now convinced that they were dealing with a widespread conspiracy, The 'Tour Group' made their way further into Fort McAndrew.
In the basement level they were confronted with three more guards, all as drone-like as the last. Angus performed some sick acrobatics and leaped to the ceiling, bounced back down and appeared behind them to knock them out. It was a very cool fight. Next to them was a vault, which they lacked access to. Page tried to teleport into it, but she landed herself leg-first in a spear that was stored in the dark room and immediately left to be healed by Boanna. They'd come back later. In the next room down the hall- labeled 'hot labs-' they found an assembly line much like the one they saw at Dr. Nezhizen's graveyard lab. They were producing some sort of serum, but they couldn't tell what. In the lab a row of scientists was working at computers. Angus axed the conveyor belt and they all began screaming in unison. They incapacitated the scientists too, except for one. They recognized the grizzled face of Dr. Nezhizen himself, obviously under the same influence as the soldiers. They knocked him out from mercy when intimidating him failed to break the control. In the back of the room was a canister of whatever liquid was being manufactured. Carrion, believing he'd be immune to the bio-hazardous qualities of it, opened one up and sniffed it. It was exactly like the mind-control serum that Nezhizen was producing in his lab.
They stole the security card Nezhizen had on him and tried to get into the vault. It opened, and there was a huge collection of magical artifacts before them. Nothing they recognized, but Evine found many weapons that were gifted from the Fey to the American government in the past. Boanna crept off to the side when a lock of black hair caught her eye, and she pocketed it furtively. They left the vault in peace. At the end of the hall was a larger room with rows of desks and computers arching up along the walls. At the end of the long structure they saw what they were looking for. Valkyrie was there, in very uncharacteristic armor with a glowing red gem on the breastplate. Patri-bot was there too, and in his bubble-shield he had captured a defeated Shade. Valkyrie raised her sword at the sight of the Ne'er-Do-Wells and told them, once again, that they would not stand in her way.
The group split up, some focused on Patri-bot and others on Valkyrie. Carrion charged Valkyrie and tried to disarm her, but he only found himself solidly impaled on the end of her sword. Page and Boanna focused their magical fire on Patri-Bot's reactor; if they could disable him, they could take down the shield and free Shade. As Valkyrie attempted to fry Carrion's brains with her laser eyes, Angus moved in on her too. Using Carrion as a battering ram of sorts he slammed the two of them against the wall, impaling Carrion further and denting his massive chest with just the tip of the blade. Boanna began to fire at Valkyrie and Valkyrie took off into the air, Carrion still lodged on her blade, and threw him at Boanna in an attempt to take her down. She missed. Meanwhile Evine had wrapped Patri-bot in some of her thorns, immobilizing him so Page could shock him with lightning. It wasn't as glorious a de-activation as he had the last time they faced him, but he was down soon enough. Meanwhile, Carrion had steadied himself and prepared to attack Valkyrie again. She responded by slicing him in half down the middle and, since he was disguised as his living self still, she did not expect him to recover. He crawled away, dragging his legs behind him, so that Page could pull him back together.
Meanwhile, the rest of the team- along with the wounded Shade- worked on taking Valkyrie down. They subdued her at last, but the fight wasn't over then. She knelt on the ground and the gem on her breastplate started to glow. Shade identified it as a magical bomb set in her by her captors, capable of destroying the whole fortress and more if it went off. Boanna and Page set themselves to trying to deactivate it, but all of their ideas and magical investigations turned up blank. Panicking, Page hit the gem with her magical book and it went dull. Apparently, contact with another magical artifact was all it took to deaden the magic contained in the bomb.
Shade told the team to finish investigating the fort while he took care of his girlfriend. He had promised to repay Page for intruding on her privacy, so he used a small magical stone- a 'Forget-Me-Do-' to eliminate the knowledge of her identity from his mind. They ran to the top floor, which they'd neglected to explore before finding Shade. There was an office labeled 'Commander,' and they looked inside. Mounted on the wall was the head of a rare and previously rampant Fey-rhino-crossbreed, a beautiful thing. A laptop was open on the desk, on which was a lot of cat photos and a document reading "blah blah blah I am the Commander." They realized it was a decoy and explored the room for further clues. Page found a book on a shelf that opened a secret door to a further room, where their real goal rested.
Inside were rows and rows of file cabinets, with histories dating back long before The Convergence. All of the sensitive or magic information was labeled 'REDACTED,' and the group learned little from the files. There was a document on Mutants United and their failed assassination plot, however. Even Page's conversations with the books yielded nothing. There was a large computer in the room too which began to speak to them. It told them of a 'Project Overlord,' but when they asked for the identity of the Overlord in question, it only responded, "I AM THE OVERLORD." They learned of a conspiracy to fake the assassination of the President, but they couldn't decipher whether that was Mutants United's plot, or one that was still to come. They asked about the fort- nothing. Next they began to ask about Valkyrie and Shade. The computer seemed to know everything- where they were, their identities, their relationship; and it declared them 'in custody.' They asked about other people they knew. Cerebralsaurus Rex? 'In custody.' Where were they being held? 'REDACTED.' What about Lily? 'In custody.' Constanza? 'In custody.' The only figures from the Ne'er-Do-Wells' past that it was missing were Barrow Si, and the Monkey King, who'd either managed to escape this plot or was considered unhelpful to it.
Frustrated and confused, the Ne'er-Do-Wells began to make their way out of the office when another voice came on the intercom. He taunted them, saying they'd found him out at last. It was none other than President Liam Hovert-Dore- a name that conveniently provided him with fuel for an evil anagram, 'I am the Overlord.' He'd devised this plot to take a massive number of powerful metahumans under his control, and use his new army to kill those who resisted them. What would begin in the American Government would end in nothing short of world-domination.
They had saved him once, but that had just been one phase of his plan. Next, the Ne'er-Do-Wells would have to correct their mistake, and take down this Overlord once and for all.