Rise of the PhoenixHawk
By D. Heikes

The security guard sat at the front desk of Temprodyne labs, keeping an eye on the front doors, occasionally glancing at the rows of video monitors behind the desk. The air in the lobby of the office building was steril, had a slight chemical smell, like a cleaning solution. It always got a little cold, too, thought the guard. He kept a mug of coffee on the desk and drank from it most of the day.
The lobby was tiled in glossy pseudo-marble. The front doors to the building were a double set of two large, sliding glass panes; the first led into a small area, and wouldn’t open until the outside ones had closed. This served to keep the cold or heat of the seasons out, as well as keep anyone from rushing into the building.
All in all, the guard thought this duty was fairly easy. Aside from the tedious hours of checking I.D. badges, nothing bad really happened.
That thought died in his mind as a large, outdoor trash bin came sailing through both sets of glass doors in a shower of jagged particles. After a brief moment of shock, the guard drew his side arm, and dropped to his knees behind the desk, sighting through the large opening. He grabbed the microphone at his shoulder and screamed for backup, as well as hitting the silent alarm button under the desk.
Within seconds, a strangely clad figure strode through the opening. His hair stood straight up in a bright green Mohawk. He wore leather pants and boots, his arms and neck adorned with tattoos. On his back was a huge pair of tesla coils, electricity arcing between the points rapidly.
“You have some things we want,” the Freakshow Juicer said. His eyes burned with a drug-induced fire. A smile flickered on and off his face, as though he were barely keeping from giggling to himself.
“Stop right there!” the guard shouted.
“Or what?” the Freak asked.
“Or I’ll have to shoot you.”
The Freak let himself give into his internal laughter. “Go ahead,” he said, and raised both arms in front of him, pointing his fists at the guard desk. Electricity balled up brightly around the Freaks hands.
The guard fired five shots in rapid succession. All hit their target. The Freak’s body took the impacts with slight jerks each time, but he remained on his feet. He looked down and the small blood stains around the wounds in his abdomen.
“Ow,” the Freak said, more annoyed than anything else. The coil on his back flared brightly, and six spent and crushed bullets dropped to the ground at the Freak’s feet.
The Freak’s fists came back up, and the power coiling around the fists lashed out brutally at the large wooden reception desk. It exploded in a hail of splinters and shards.
The guard was hurled backwards by the blast. He lay unmoving as five other guards stormed into the lobby, weapons drawn. Seeing their fallen comrade, they all dove for cover, but there wasn’t much behind where the desk had been, only the four elevators and a stairwell.
Behind the Juicer came several other Freakshow members. Two carried sawed off shotguns. One had a wicked looking hooked blade in place of his right hand. Another had a three-bladed claw terminating his left arm.
“Dreck wants the Rikti devices you have in your labs,” the Juicer told the guards.
One of the guards responded by opening fire on the incoming gang members. All of the other security team members joined in. A hail of bullets flew through the lobby, hitting the gangmembers repeatedly.
The two Freaks with shotguns returned fire, while the two blade-weilders rushed the guards. The clothing the Freaks wore tore and shredded under the storm, and the flesh underneath was damaged, but the Freaks didn’t seem to notice. None of the bullets did much more than inflict superficial wounds.
“Stupid humans,” one of the Freaks said, as they laid the guards out effortlessly.
The group stormed into the elevators, and within minutes returned carrying two large lock-boxes.
Police cars were arriving outside of the office building, but just as the guards inside had done, they posed little threat to the drug-and-technologically enhanced Freakshow. The three squad cars were reduced to rubble, the officers sent fleeing for cover.

Tina Chung looked over the reports just handed to her. Her desk was covered in an orderly fashion with reports on Freakshow activity. The last few days had seen a huge leap in their actions. They had stormed five different labs, all of which were contracted by the government to study recovered Rikti technology. They had taken those samples, and three scientists with them. The police had been powerless to stop them, their guns having little affect on the super-villians.
After studying the reports, she thought she found a pattern. With the thefts all taking place within a few days, it was easy to assume they were being stored somewhere, most likely a central location. Finding that could be tough. She knew it was time to bring in the big guns.
She speed dialed a number on her cell-phone.
“Hello, PhoenixHawk,” she said into the phone. “It’s Tina. I have some work for you.”
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