Xtreme Factor #1

Story: Steven Scheibal
Written: Steven Scheibal

Dark Intentions: Part 1


Paragon City, 2005, post Rikti War. The US
government forms Hero Corps in order to keep the Rikti
threat under control. There are four Factions:
Supreme, Xtreme, Ultimate, and Maximum. Early on,
each of the Factions was assigned a different sector
of Paragon City to defend from new Rikti threat.
Nowadays, Hero Corps has taken the fight to the other
threats of Paragon. Supreme fights the Rikti, Xtreme
deals with the Vahzilok, Rikti, and Freakshow,
Ultimate faces the Outcasts, Hellions, Trolls, and
Tsoo on a regular basis, and Maximum tends to help
Xtreme with Vahzilok, although they fight most
everything.
As of recently, heroes, mainly from Maximum Faction,
have been disappearing whilst on missions. Later on,
they are found turned into Vahzilok zombies. Hero
Corps believes that Vahzilok is capturing these heroes
and experimenting on them. New heroes are admitted
into Maximum Faction everyday, in order to keep their
ranking up. Xtreme Faction has been assigned to deal
with the Vahzilok threat directly. There have been no
recent killings in past weeks, though Hero Corps
believes Vahzilok is planning something big.


“Training Scenario: Beta-104,” says Aaron Acumen,
better known as X-Ternal. He stood in the middle of
the room, surrounded by the rest of Xtreme Faction and
Ultimate Faction.
“Training Scenario: Beta-104,” repeats the feminine
voice of the Training Room, “Begin.”
The large, steel doors on the walls slammed open.
Several large robots burst from the openings and
charged the heroes. The ground shook as their large
metal feet hit the ground. Suddenly, the room changed
into a city street. This particular scenario was to
simulate a battle in Steel Canyon.
“Ok heroes,” said X-Ternal, “Let’s get ‘em!”
X-Ternal used his telekinesis to levitate him into the
  1. Chillbain, Skyburn, Orbit, and Scorcher follow
him. The remaining six stay on the ground and start
to scatter. Three large robots approach the heroes,
energy cannons blasting. X-Ternal picks up one robot
with his telekinesis and throws it into the side of a
building. However, it is virtually unharmed and
recovers itself. Chillbain sends ice shards at
another robot, but only a few do any real damage.
Darkfire manages to melt one’s foot to the asphalt
ground. Meanwhile, X-Ternal telekinetically picks up
a car and sends it flying into a robot. Scorcher sets
the car ablaze mid-air. The flaming car hits the
robot and explodes. Orbit uses his gravitational
powers to bring the flaming debris in orbit around
him. He then propels the pieces of blazing metal into
the stuck robot. Bullet flies straight through one
robot, ripping out its circuits and pieces of its
armor. Hot Spot sends a beam of kinetic energy at the
exposed wiring of the robot and completely destroys
it.
“Orbit!” yelled X-Ternal.
“What?” replied Orbit.
“When I send this car crashing into the building,”
commands their leader, “catch the debris and use it as
a weapon!”
“Gotcha!”
X-Ternal picks up another car and sends it flying
into a building. As instructed, Orbit keeps the
debris in orbit around him and hurls the large pieces
of cement and metal at the stuck robot. The wreckage
pummels the robot into the ground.
“One left!” yells Hot Spot.
“No kidding!” retaliates Chillbain, sarcastically.
Chillbain flies up to the robot and attempts to
freeze it. The robot, however, is more intelligent
than the mutant and grabs him by the torso. It starts
waving the frosty teenager around like a rag-doll and
eventually flings him at a building. Luckily,
X-Ternal catches him with his telekinesis.
“Nice one buddy,” laughs X-Ternal.
Chillbain grumbles and flies back at the robot, this
time with an ice-sword in hand. He finds an exposed
area and throws his sword into it. The ice quickly
melts and starts to corrupt the robot’s circuitry.
Agent Snake uses this opportunity to blast the robot
in the head with his pistol. Its head explodes and
sends shrapnel everywhere. X-Ternal and Orbit are
able to keep the metal pieces from hitting anyone.
“Training Scenario: Beta-104, Complete.”
“Oh yeah!” yelled Chillbain victoriously as he did a
loop-da-loop in the air.
“We’re gonna show those Vahz who’s boss!” Bullet
exclaimed.
“Yeah yeah yeah,” sighed X-Ternal, “just don’t get
too cocky. Nate, you need to stop being so reckless.”
“Aw come on du-” Chillbain was cut-off by X-Ternal.
“We’re the best of the best. No mistakes.”
The rest of the team just let the argument carry on.
Of course they all knew that Chillbain was far too
reckless in his ways, but they just let it happen.
After all, he always came through.


His name was only known to the head of Hero Corps.
Everyone else knew him as Agent Blacksmith. He was a
very mysterious man. No one really knew who he was.
He just…appeared one day. The weird thing was, he was
immediately promoted to Vice-President. No one knew
why. No one questioned it. Until it happened.
Agent Blacksmith was walking down the metallic
hallway, in his clean-cut and black suit. His face
was completely shadowed and smoke was emitting from
his hands. He was walking to a special meeting…one
that would decide the fate of Hero Corps.
The door opened and as Agent Blacksmith walked
through, the smoke he was emitting, stopped at the
doorway. His face was revealed. His hair was dirty
blonde and his eyes were purple. His face was rugged,
but had no facial hair. He had one scar across his
bony cheeks. He titled his head up and his eyes
followed downward, staring at the four gentlemen
before him.
“What’s the situation?” Blacksmith asked.
“We have a decision to make,” said one of the
executives.
“And that would be?” Blacksmith asked, somewhat
annoyed.
“Well, sir…” mumbled another executive, “It involves
you’re special contact. We need to know what
information he’s told you and what to do with that
particular information.”
“Patience.”
“Sir, we don’t have much time. Too many are being
lost. Soon, they will find out.”
“Nonsense,” started Blacksmith, “I have it under
control.”
“We need to be more careful about this!”
“So you lack my trust,” Blacksmith accused, “is that
it?”
“No sir! We just think…”
“You thought wrong. If I hear another word about
this, you’ll all be…”
“We meant no harm!”
“ And that was four.”
The smoke poured in the room from the hallway.
Blacksmith’s hands started to emit smoke again and
instantly the smoke rushed at the executives. Their
screams were not heard through the sound proof doors.


Xtreme Faction was resting in the Rec room. Ultimate
faction had been sent on a mission just after the
training session. X-Ternal sat on his chair, reading
a novel by Mark Twain. Chillbain was sleeping and the
rest were just chatting. Just as X-Ternal was turning
the page he felt something happen. He wasn’t sure
what it was it just felt…wrong. The expression on his
face changed from deep thought to surprise. He looked
to the right, then left. As he got up from his chair…
“Xtreme Faction, Report to the mission briefing
room.”
“Already?” asked the now awake Chillbain.
“Yeah,” said Bullet, “we just got done training.”
“And U-Team just went on a mission!” yelled Hot Spot.
“Just come on guys,” commanded X-Ternal.
They followed X-Ternal down the hallway and into the
mission briefing room. None of them really had any
idea of what their mission was. Usually, they would
have some sort of idea about their task, whether it is
controlling an outbreak of Vahz or Freakshow. They
would normally have an idea of what they were to do.
This time, they were caught completely off guard.
Soon, they reached their destination. X-Ternal
walked in first, followed by Chillbain, Skyburn and
the others. They entered a dark room, a hologram of
the globe in the center. Across the hologram stood
the President and Vice-President of Hero Corps.
Usually, it was just an executive. This time was
different.
“Good day,” said the President.
“Yo,” said Chillbain, “Sup Pres?”
“Chillbain,” X-Ternal started, “not now.”
“Gentlemen,” said Agent Blacksmith, “Let’s not start
fighting amongst ourselves.”

“I apologize,” said X-Ternal, “Sir.”
Chillbain looked at the new Vice President with
disgust.
“Now,” explained the President, “something most
disturbing has happened today. Four of our most
respected executives have been murdered.”
“Where?!” asked Bullet.
“I will get to that. We believe it had something to
do with Dr. Vahzilok.”
“What would Vahzilok want with our executives?” asked
X-Ternal.
“It seems quite obvious,” said Blacksmith, “that they
were attempting to rid themselves of Xtreme Faction,
seeing as you are the ones who constantly defeat them.
My guess is that they wanted to keep you from getting
to them.”
“Seems plausible,” said X-Ternal.
“What’s our mission sir?” asked Skyburn.
“We want you to enter the sewers in Atlas Park, in
order to find Vahzilok. You need to get any
information you can from him. If he admits to killing
them, destroy him,” said Blacksmith as the hologram of
the globe zoomed in on Paragon City, more
specifically, Atlas Park.
“Sir,” X-Ternal said, “That seems hardly heroic.”
“It is our duty to protect the city, not be weak.”
X-Ternal didn’t say anything afterwards, but had
become suspicious. Everything had changed since
Blacksmith had come into the picture. He was
determined to figure it out. He wanted to know why
this change was so sudden.
“Ok Xtreme Faction,” said X-Ternal, “Let’s move out.”
“Oh,” said the President, “A few members of Maximum
Faction shall be joining you.”
“Sir, I think we can handle it-“
“It has been decided. You may leave now.”
For the first time, X-Ternal was frustrated with Hero
Corps. Never had they acted so strangely. Never had
they acted with such recklessness. Never had X-Ternal
been told to shut up.
X-Ternal stepped into the cold, green fluid of the
sewers. He didn’t want to mess up his uniform this
early, so he levitated himself. Not long after,
Xtreme Faction and three members of Maximum Faction
joined him. One after the other, they walked into the
sewer from the grimy and rusted gate.
“We’ll split up into teams,” said X-Ternal.
“I want first pick,” said Chillbain, jokingly.
“Ha riiiiiiiiiight,” said X-Ternal. “I’m picking
both our teams. Team A will consist of Hot Spot,
Skyburn, Orbit, and myself. Team B is Chillbain,
Bullet, Power-Pac, Ms. Kindle, and Luminary.
Questions?”
“Yeah,” said Chillbain, “is there a rule about dating
co-workers?”
Ms. Kindle blushed and smiled at Chillbain. X-Ternal
sighed and ignored his friend.
“Try not to melt me,” Chillbain laughed as he put his
arm around his female teammate. She laughed and
walked with him.
“Don’t get too comfy,” X-Ternal warned, “Vahz are all
over this place. Keep your eyes open…”
Just as he ended his sentence, three Cadavers and a
Reaper jumped out at them. X-Ternal easily sent the
Reaper into the slime covered, brick walls and knocked
him unconscious. Hot Spot sent a beam of energy at
one of the Cadavers and knocked it backwards into
another. Ms. Kindle scorched the third Cadaver as
Orbit kept it in place. Chillbain formed his
ice-sword and shoved it into a Cadaver’s torso.
Skyburn took out his M4-A1 Assault Rifle and unloaded
a clip into the last Cadaver. X-Ternal sent a
powerful telepathic blast at the Reaper and tore up
his mind.
“Sure,” said Chillbain, “We’ll be on the lookout, but
it’s not like they’re much of a threat. We handle
these guys all the time.”
“Don’t get cocky,” said X-Ternal.


“Operation: Death Wish is at hand,” said Blacksmith.
“No one can stop us now.”
“Good…Hero Corps will be unstoppable…” said the
President of HC.
“There’s only one thing in our way…” muttered
Blacksmith.
“What?” asked the leader.
“You.”
Blacksmith grinned and he encased the President in
smoke. You could not hear the screams of the man, the
smoke was too thick. Blacksmith walked over to the
computer desk and typed in: New Casualty: President,
Carter Hudson.
He then made his way over to the deceased president.
He took his badge and stuck in on his suit. He
grinned and walked out the door.


Chillbain led his team down the maze that is the
Paragon City sewer system. The stench was almost
unbearable this far into the tunnel. He looked over
at Ms. Kindle, his current girlfriend, and saw her
covering her nose. Everyone else was doing the same.
He shrugged and walked on. The noise of their boots
plucking out of the slime was interrupted by a scream.
Without words, all of the heroes instantly ran
towards the location of the scream. Chillbain lost a
boot in the slime and fell face down into it. Ms.
Kindle tripped and fell over into the sludge, but
everyone else stopped in their tracks.
“Ah!” Chillbain exclaimed as he got up out of the
slime. He looked over to see his girlfriend being
sucked into the slime.
“Ashley!” Nathan yelled as he grabbed her forearms.
He yanked as hard as he could, but she was still
submerging under the green sludge. It was as though
some sort of force was pulling her down.
“HELP ME!” Chill yelled at his teammates. Everyone
wrapped their arms around each other’s wastes and
tried to pull their leader up. Soon, Chillbain’s
hands met the sludge and his grip loosened. Ms.
Kindle was completely submerged. The icy hero sent a
beam of frost down at where she was sucked down, but
when the sludge was blasted away, only cement could be
seen. There was no hole; no door; only solid cement.
“NO!!!” screamed Chillbain. She was lost. And she
would not come back.
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