The young superheroine and her two teammates are chasing the veteran supervillain Void Knight. One of her teammates, the Iron Protector, flies over Liberty’s head in his set of dull grey power armour.
“I’m going as fast as I can,” retorts Liberty’s other teammate, Noble.
Liberty understands Noble’s feelings on matters like this. Unlike Iron Protector, who has his suit of power armour, and herself, who has her body enhanced to the natural human limit in a state known as Peak Human, Noble lacks any powers as he relies on his own fitness, skills and gadgets.
Void Knight is slowly getting away as only Iron Protector stands a chance of catching the supervillain.
You would think someone clad in a midnight black set of plate armour wouldn’t be so fast, Liberty thinks as she jumps across another rooftop.
She puts it down to his powers as Void Knight has a versatile power set of low level superhuman reflexes, senses, strength, toughness and stamina. Not only does he have all that, but Void Knight also has the ability to drain light and sound around him.Which renders Iron Protector’s main attacks, wrist mounted lasers and sonic projectors, useless against the supervillain.
That means our best chance of stopping Void Knight is with good old fisticuffs, thinks Liberty, which still puts us at the disadvantage. Darn it!
Liberty’s costume is a variant of her grandfather’s, the WWII superhero the Paragon. It consists of a bright blue full body costume with red and white stripes down the sides. On her face is token blue domino mask with a white outline as Liberty not only inherited her grandfather’s powers, but also his publicly known identity. Covering her hands and feet, Liberty has red gloves and boots.
Noble’s costume is also a blue full body costume, but where Liberty’s is a bright blue, Noble’s a dark navy blue. The only part of his body that is showing is the lower part of his face. Even his eyes are covered by eye pieces.
His utility belt around his waist contains his assortments of gadgets while his hands and feet are also covered by gloves and boots, in his case, they are brown rather than red.
Both of their costumes are made of highly versatile material known simply as costume material or cos-mat for short, an invention of the British superhero Sentinel.
“Hurry up Libby,” yells Noble from behind her, using the nickname he insists on giving her.
“I’m also going as fast as I can,” Liberty yells back as her blonde hair flows in the wind.
She could have had it cut short as the most pragmatic choice, but instead Liberty decided to keep her hair at a nice shoulder length. At least she didn’t have her hair long.
Just ahead of her, Liberty spots Iron Protector slam into Void Knight as the villain is leaping to another rooftop. Both of them going crashing into alley below.
“Down here!” Liberty tells Noble as she jumps down into the alley.
This going to be a tough fight, thinks Liberty, Not only does Void Knight have all his powers, he also has that protective set of armour.
Iron Protector and Void Knight are already engaged with the supervillain having the upper hand.
Without a moment of hesitation, Liberty joins the fray. She kicks Void Knight in the knee to little effect. Between his armour and powers, the villain is pretty much unaffected by Liberty’s attack, but he is distracted.
As Void Knight turns his head to face Liberty, Iron Protector swings a fist into Void Knight’s face. With one of the world’s most advanced sets of power armour behind the attack, Void Knight is sent flying into the wall.
Fortunately the wall doesn’t break to Liberty’s relief. They have enough bad press as it is without extra collateral damage mixed in.
Void Knight quickly gets to his feet, but Noble has also joined the fray now. He tosses a pair of explosive spheres at Void Knight. While the explosions do little harm to Void Knight, they do stun him.
Iron Protector swiftly uses the opportunity to engage Void Knight again. As he battle Void Knight again, Liberty takes the chance to grab the armoured jewellery box that Void Knight stole from the armoured truck. She as backs away from it, Noble moves in to assist their teammate.
Within moments, Void Knight has disentangled himself from Iron Protector and Noble and is fleeing into the night.
“Let him go,” says Liberty, “We got what we came for.”
After returning the box to police at the crime scene and beating a hasty retreat, the trio return to their current hideout in this city.
“Any idea what Void Knight was after Libby?” Thomas Anderson aka Noble asks Julie Smith aka Liberty as Brian Morrison aka Iron Protector worked away on his laptop.
“No Tom,” answers Julie as she prepares to change into civvies, “I know as much as you do. That Warden gave us a tip off that Void Knight was going to be there.”
“Speaking of Warden,” Brian cuts in, “I have just been speaking to her about tonight.”
“Got anything new Brain?” inquires Tom, using his nickname for their quite intelligent friend.
“Warden made some inquiries and asked around a bit while we were busy,” says Brian, “That box contained several rare gems by the way, valuable for either selling or using in devices. Which brings us onto whom Void Knight was working for. Turns out tonight he was a mercenary and not for the Consortium as usual.”
“Then who was it?” asks Julie as she puts a jumper on her over costume.
She’s hoping to unwind by spending her night in town. Despite the late hour, the teenager doesn’t have to worry about many bad things happening to her with her powers.
“A mad scientist and self-proclaimed Doctor Sadler,” says Brian, “A few open arrest warrants out for him, but nothing serious. The worst he’s hurt someone is a broken arm. He’s in town awaiting Void Knight’s arrival. Warden recommends we go after him now and I agree with her. If he hasn’t heard about Void Knight’s failure, we can get the drop on him.”
“Great,” says Julie with a sigh.
“Was that sarcasm Libby?” asks Tom, “I honestly couldn’t tell.”
“Yes and no,” replies Julie, “I’m glad for the opportunity to catch another bad guy, but I was also hoping to have the rest of the night to relax.”
“I know how you feel Julie,” says Brian, “But you’ll other times to relax, but we won’t get many chances like this.”
“I know, I know,” mutters Julie with another sigh as she takes her jump off.
Julie reaches over for her mask.
“Let’s go,” says Liberty as she puts her mask on.
“Doctor Sadler converted that abandoned warehouse over there into his current hideout,” says Iron Protector, “It’s also where Warden said he was going to meet Void Knight.”
“An abandoned warehouse as his secret lair?” sniggers Noble, “Isn’t that a bit cliché?”
“It’s a good choice,” counters Iron Protector, “An abandon warehouse isn’t being used by anyone else anymore and are generally areas that aren’t really used anymore. Not to mention all the room you have available in one. But yes, it is a rather cliché.”
“Cut the chatter boys,” says Liberty, “We’re going in.”
As the one with the blueprints, Iron Defender leads the way. Which, in the end, mainly involves crashing in through the skylights in the roof.
Both Liberty and Noble land on the ground while Iron Protector lands in the air. Luckily for them, they were able to catch Doctor Sadler by surprise.
“What the?” exclaims the stunned man.
Doctor Sadler isn’t an impressive sight. With no powers to speak of other than his above average intelligence, the self-proclaimed doctor is a thin and fragile man. As befitting his reputation as a mad scientist, Doctor Sadler is wearing a lab coat and some oversized goggles.
Despite having several warrants out for his arrest and being able to hire Void Knight as mercenary, Liberty can’t really take him seriously with his appearance.
“Liberty and the Patriots!” exclaims Doctor Sadler as he recognises them.
Liberty internally winces. This is one of the main sources of their group’s troubles. Their grandparents were part of a group known as the Patriots that worked for the US government and was led by her grandfather, the Paragon. These days, most of their siblings and cousins work for the government and Liberty’s own twin brother, also called the Paragon, leads the current Patriots.
But Liberty, the other potential heir to the mantle of the Paragon, leads her own group of Patriot heirs and they are much closer to the ideals of the original Patriots. As a result, to the eyes of the press and public, there are two groups of Patriots in the world. Liberty’s Patriots and the ‘official’ Patriots lead by the new Paragon.
Some people claim that Liberty’s Patriots are the true Patriots while the official team is just a bunch of government lapdogs. Others say that the official Patriots are doing as they are supposed by serving their country like the original Paragon and Patriots while Liberty’s Patriots are just some kids who don’t want to do as they’re told and think they’re big names like their grandparents.
Despite none of them ever claiming to be the Patriots, the government still comes after them for undermining their authority. This particularly irks Liberty as she’s being punished for something she’s actively trying to prevent. It doesn’t help that the only legal reason they got for going after her is because they added a clause to the law making it illegal for descendants of the original Patriots to commit vigilantism.
The Liberty Clause is what they call it, Liberty grumbles in her head, Totally unfair and completely outrageously.
“We are not the Patriots,” Iron Protector retorts at Doctor Sadler.
“Whatever,” sneers the doctor, “Leave or face my wrath! I have meeting with someone tonight and you don’t want to get in the way!”
“We already stopped Void Knight and returned the gems!” Liberty counters, “Give up now and we won’t have to hurt you. The police are already on their way.”
Doctor Sadler halts at this turn of events before cursing under his breath.
“Damn you Liberty!” screams Doctor Sadler, “You won’t take me in!”
And with that several of the crates around them burst open as several robot come charging out.
Liberty jumps over one as it rushes her. To her, they look like big metal gorillas with armour plating and glowing red eyes.
A laser beam cuts through the robot below her and it collapses in two. Unlike Void Knight, these machines have no immunity to Iron Protector’s lasers.
Noble is also doing well as he rolls out of the way and tosses some of his explosive spheres at the robots.
“I’m going after the doctor!” Liberty tells her teammates as she spots Doctor Sadler running towards one of the side exits.
She chases after him, dodging a swipe from robot and sliding under another as it tries to grab her. By that point, Liberty is clear of the robots as Doctor Sadler struggles with the door.
He manages it to get open and scrambles out of the warehouse. Liberty pursues him, kicking open the door before it slams shut on her.
Liberty tackles the self-proclaimed doctor. With his fragility and Liberty’s enhanced body, she quickly subdues him.
She hauls him against the wall before tying his hands behind his back with a pair of handcuffs.
“Curse you Liberty and your meddling ways!” screeches Doctor Sadler as he slumps against the wall.
“That is so cliché,” replies Liberty as she leans against the wall next to him, “Even for you.”
Doctor Sadler is silent, knowing defeat. As they hear police sirens, Noble and Iron Protector exit the warehouse and approach Liberty and Doctor Sadler.
“Didn’t you think to come back in and help with the robots?” Noble jibs Liberty.
“Somebody need to watch the good doctor,” counters Liberty, “Don’t want him leaving before our friends in blue show up. Besides, it’s not like you need the help.”
“True, true,” says Noble with a smile as a pair of police officers show up.
“Freeze!” yells one of the cops as they aim their guns at the group, “None of you move!”
Liberty smiles as Noble grapples onto the roof and she grabs a hold of Iron Protector’s leg as he flies away.