July 31, 1949
The next day, the party finds itself in the San Bernardino copper foundry. They were scoping out the place when suddenly 5 small robots burst out of the crates and a giant robot steps out of a giant pile of copper ingots!
Domino had information that the robots would attack here next; turns out it were right. El Nino races off and finds a big bucket of lube, which he uses to blind the giant robot. Noh and Domino try various things but dealing with robots is difficult for them. Dynamo blasts the smaller robots, and is injured by their guns in return. The giant robot stumbles blindly into a nearby wall.
The giant robot finally succumbs to a combination of Noh’s fearful presence and Dynamo’s attacks. The smaller ones fall as El Nino disarms all but one, Domino turns one into slag with a ball of molten metal from the foundry, and Dynamo fries one. The remaining two are taken out by El Nino throwing bullets at them.
Noh takes some time with the fallen giant robot, seeking… something like what she saw before when she attacked it. Is it something more than just tubes and wires. She feels that whatever was inside this thing is gone, but it is now elsewhere. It was looking through the machine’s eyes and being the machine for a time.
As we’re trying to figure out what to do, a voice calls out “Oh, finally the champions. We meet at last.” Two mysterious figures stand on the walkway above us. “But… how did they get here?” and for that we must go back a day.
Yesterday, after defeating the AIM goons and their “trap” warehouse – we’d sent word to Howard Hughes that we wanted to meet with him, and arranged to be his bodyguard. We learned that there were specialized welders hired at Hughes labs and a German rocket scientist is coming into town to give a talk. The ladies have bought tickets to the conference. Domino and Dynamo went with Mr Hughes to the premier of Tycoon.
At the theater there was indeed an attempt to capture Mr Hughes. The group came through an empty theater (in which Noh was hiding) and tried to organize in the lobby.
In the theater proper, Dynamo was able to calm the crowd and people escaped through the emergency doors as soon as the car was blown out of the way.
Noh and Dynamo were able to force the evil Nazi dominatrix away and captured her minions before anyone was hurt. The police arrived and took them away.
After the cops left, we returned home to Cobb house for some well deserved rest.
The conference was on the 31st.
July 31, 1949
The morning papers are all full of daring-do of the local heroes saving Howard Hughes; including Florabell Muir’s article about the third hero – a mysterious ghost. Is she an ink blot on Domino and Dynamo’s relationship? Will she darken their otherwise bright skies?
The paper also has a picture of Noh – it’s a not-very defined silhouette of a woman with a white mask. Kinda creepy.
Jorge has started drawing with chalk in front of the house. The Montoyas are still in morning. Breakfast is very muted.
Stacey gets a mental ping. “Dominom it’s Agent Corel.” She runs to the bathroom to have the conversation. He confirms that the people captured yesterday were Nazi-sympathizers, a group calling themselves AIM. They had a few allies left and we’ve rounded them up. No trace of that woman though.
Go up, get ready – and go to the lecture with professor Hog. The girls go downtown to the university while Mark goes to interview for that sci-fi welding job.
Jorge’s mural is growing and he’s running out of colored chalk. Emilio does what he can to provide more.
At the university, the conference is surprisingly full. There are very few women. One red head, named Maggie Muse, joins us. Stacey is quickly enraptured, fortunately Rosie is able to keep an eye out.
Meanwhile, Mark goes to an interview. He gets a temp job with Hughes aircraft as a welder.
Maggie gives Stacey a note about the Black Bean – a coffee shop where engineering students meet up.
We go listen to the questions for Mr. Haugh. He seems interested in the fact that we have giant robots in our city.
Mark recognizes a familiar face from the Bride of Babylon set. He’s pretty certain that there’s something fishy going on in one of the back rooms to store tools. After some math he realizes that more people are going into the room than are coming out.
After his shift ends, Mark takes the trolley back home. The girls also return. Jorge’s mural is mostly done. It’s a big factory floor. In this scene is a bunch of robots fighting Dynamo and Noh. There’s a patchy piece and lines going everywhere. There’s a placard reading “California Copper and Brass Factory”.
Jorge’s father cleans the sidewalk. The adults are unnerved by what they see. Madame Cobb tells Jorge that many people can’t see the way he does. The future, for them, only exists when it happens.
There’s a quick supper and most of us go outside to share a beer.
We pool our resources and learn of the upcoming fight.
- – -
And so we find our heroes back in the cool shadow of Noh’s darkness. Looking up at the balcony, are three costumed marvels.
The first is a young woman with red hair tied back. She’s wearing a mini-skirt with thin flat shoes and a bomber’s jacket over her one-piece skirt. Next to her is a tall, muscular barbarian woman. She’s wearing a sword and a spear. She’s glaring down at us. The third is a young black haired man wearing a bright blue leotard with two t’s sewn into his chest. He’s playing with two little balls in one of his hands.
The woman in the bomer jacket names herself “Ms. Mechanic”. The barbarian’s name is “She” and the man is “Tommy Thunder”. They make their announcement and then leave.
The crates the robot seemed to be interested in contain copper – wiring, disks, meshes. Very complex aeronautic parts (capacitors). The workers couldn’t tell us about what these things are – it’s a secret. Dynamo asks the workers to call Agent Corel.
There’s some movement near the copper pellets and smaller crates – like a small cat. Noh follows to the thing that’s moving. It’s a little tiny black man. She thinks she recognizes him from the conference!