The Assembly of Superheroes

Car Chase of Confusion
Sweet cars and a wild ride for justice!

The Assemblymen quickly gave chase as Test Pattern sped off. KAMEN RIDER took Calaveron in the Kamen Cycle (with Calaveron adding a skull sidecar). The Kraken and VictorE followed in the Assembly Van, with Danbow Crash opting to fly. Test Pattern took them on a lengthy chase, almost playing a vehicular version of keepaway as the heroes kept catching up with him and attacking him at various intervals (though Danbow Crash kept getting mobbed by seagulls). Using an illusion to cause Test Pattern to crash, Calaveron tricked the trickster into turning into oncoming traffic. However, a stone ramp shot up from the asphalt, catching Test Pattern and letting him drive off safely. The heroes were shocked, especially after realizing the most likely culprit: Terra Firma, one of the Suits. The heroes began to wonder if they were involved with Test Pattern somehow, but resolved to figure it out later. With some well-placed shots from VictorE, punches from KAMEN RIDER and another spell from Calaveron, Test Pattern was looking much worse for wear now, his moped starting to wear out.

Giving Calaveron control of the Kamen Cycle, KAMEN RIDER sped up a building to get a better vantage on the chase. He saw Test Pattern leading the heroes towards the industrial district, but something else grabbed his attention: something was tunneling under the city streets, about to meet with the chase at an intersection. Taking a chance, KAMEN RIDER leapt from the building and performed the devastating RIDER METEOR!!, smashing through the street and into the sewer, right on top of Terra Firma. However, the young hero was not alone in the sewers as Holly Grail made her appearance. After a few unsuccessful attack by both sides, Holly expedited the fight by having a wave of sewer water wash the two away further down the pipeline, leaving KAMEN RIDER somewhat adrift from the rest of his team.

As Test Pattern led the heroes into a nearby industrial complex, a final shot from VictorE caused the trickster to crash spectacularly into the wall, followed by the Assembly Van crashing right next to him. The Kraken and VictorE exited the vehicles to restrain Test Pattern, but they were distracted by the arrival of two black towncars. The doors opened to reveal a small cadre of mooks and two of the Suits as well: Fire-Staff and Zirconia. Wasting no time in pursuing vengeance against the Assembly, the fight began, with Zirconia firing a deadly diamond spike-shooting gun at Danbow Crash, but his amazing pecs kept the spikes from piercing him. A single light blast and the mad scientist was put down for the count. Fire-Staff was more of a challenge with his minions alongside him, as fire and bullets rained upon the Assemblymen. Fortunately, our heroes were more than capable of putting them down (notably in VictorE’s case, after pulling the Assembly Van back from the wall and knocking down three henchmen with it, plowing it into on the of the Suits’ towncars).

Suddenly a great jet of water burst up from the ground, bringing Holly Grail and KAMEN RIDER with it (along with a still-unconscious Terra Firma). Exhuasted from the chase and fighting Holly, KAMEN RIDER found that the hydrokinetic gangster was an excellent match for him, thanks in no small part to her deft control over her powers. However, the combined efforts of the Assembly and the quick losses of the Suits’ henchmen left the gangster at a loss as Fire-Staff and Holly Grail were soon defeated. The battle was over and Terra Firma began to stir, waking up in confusion to find his fellows knocked out all around him. Slightly embarassed, Terra split the ground between the two sides, carting away the injured Suits on a large patch of concrete. Exhausted, the Assembly restrained Test Pattern, retrieving the mind control device to ensure its safe return to the CORE.

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Annihilation of the Anti-Assembly Alliance
Behold the power of Nightlight Spackle.

EARLIER
Prior to the brawl outside of the Assembly Hall, Danbow Crash was watching TV in order to educate himself more about Earth culture: in this way, he took “Judge Judy” to be the pinnical of the Earth judicial system. A sudden knock on the door caught the hero’s attention, with someone outside delivering pizza to Danbow’s door. Unfortunately, this was a ruse, with the light warrior barely dodging the deadly lance thrust at his head. Nightlight Spackle stood outside, having finally caught up to Danbow Crash. The gamma soldier prepared an energy blast, but Danbow was much quicker, throwing his foe through the apartment wall and following him outside. The two enemies engaged in a high-speed, mid-air fight, ending with Danbow being haymakered to the ground with Nightlight Spackle close behind.

NOW
The sudden appearance of the two shocked all the attended fighters, none of whom had ever seen Nightlight Spackle before. Convinced that Nightlight was a demon (based on the clearly evil purple color he was wearing), the Reliquary began attacking Nightlight Spackle, knocking him down with a holy beam. Meanwhile, M. Malediction had recovered from his previous wounds, taking another book from his coat and wreathing his hands and staff in flames, attacking VictorE. This failed, as VictorE’s reflexes outmatched the wizard’s magic; VictorE used his new healing gun to bring Danbow Crash back to full health, bringing the tool back around to pistol-whip M. Malediction. Black Star summoned more shadow minions, but all of them failed to do any damage, with the Kraken disintegrating one in a single punch after it appeared. KAMEN RIDER, stuck in Ranged Mode and still suffering from the Automaton’s computer virus, summoned his Kamen Cycle, breaking from his frozen bonds and leaping down from the tree onto the cycle. He sped around behind the Automaton and fired at him, barely inflicting any damage but taunting him on his lack of transportation. The Automaton responded by switching his armor’s setting, teleporting in a flash of electricity to KAMEN RIDER, showing off his lightning powers by paralyzing him with an electric shock. Calaveron recovered as well, using his force control to attack M. Malediction, but failing to break the other wizard’s defenses.

With the Reliquary still attacking Nightlight Spackle, Danbow Crash used the chance to pile on the damage on his enemy, with Nightlight barely able to recover from a direct light beam to the face. Surrounded by enemies, VictorE fired his electric guns at both Black Star and M. Malediction, damaging both but shocking the magician. The Kraken, tired of his foe’s antics, ran up to Black Star, knocking her down with a powerful punch, causing her to flee, cursing her alliance with M. Malediction. Meanwhile, the Automaton began attacking the Kraken, knowing the bond of friendship between him and KAMEN RIDER. Enraged by the Automaton’s threats, KAMEN RIDER made a daring attack: using his armor’s random switch to power mode, KAMEN RIDER directed his cycle towards his foe, leaping over the Automaton and knocking him down at the same time the bike hit him. Calaveron used his force control once again, picking up Nightlight Spackle and slamming him into M. Malediction, crushing the wizard and knocking him out. Nightlight Spackle recovered and began a devastating series of attacks, his armor opening up to allow powerful bursts of radiation to wash over the heroes. VictorE acted quickly, shooting Nightlight in the face, taking him out instantly. The Reliquary resumed attacking Calaveron, but was distracted by the skeleton’s taunts, allowing Danbow Crash to attack him. Danbow fired a light blast at the Reliquary, but missed, hitting the tree behind him; said tree was felled by the blast, falling right on top of the priest.

The battle had ended, the villains soundly defeated. Nightlight Spackle began to laugh quietly, taunting the heroes as he said how blinded they were by their daily peacekeeping and villain-fighting; he warned them of terrible things to come, seeing the Anti-Assembly Alliance as a useful tool when the time came. He disappeared, taking M. Malediction and the Reliquary with him; the Automaton teleported away, finding it to be the best time to leave. The heroes barely had time to meditate on Nightlight Spackle’s ominous words before an annoying horn was heard, grabbing their attention. Astride an ostentatious moped was Test Pattern, who had been watching the fight from afar. He was pleased to see all the heroes assembled, having recently broken out of jail and stolen the mind control device back from the CORE. The heroes, severely irritated by the trickster’s return, attacked him but to no avail, the moped’s force field shielding Test Pattern from attack. He gave the Assemblymen the chance to get the device back if they managed to catch him, speeding away on the moped.

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Attack of the Anti-Assembly Alliance
Nemeses galore for an all-out battle.

THE NEXT DAY
The day after the gang war was a moderately quiet one, with our heroes taking some well-earned time to themselves. KAMEN RIDER finally got a chance to hang out with his younger brother, watching anime and playing video games. The Kraken went to the reunion of his college graduation class at UC San Fernando. A reporter asked for an interview and the two began speaking, creating a faint connection between them. At the break room in the House of Marvels, Calaveron saw his old band Los Avispiones releasing a new album “World’s Best Roadie”, lamenting over the band’s loss of the skeleton. Meanwhile at the CORE, VictorE found he had a new ability: he could completely suppress his breathing, increasing his stealth while still surviving for a time without oxygen; he also received his freeze gun, repaired like new. Dr. Kliener also promised him a new piece of equipment the next day.

THE DAY AFTER NEXT
The next day, our heroes were at the Assembly Hall when Dr. Kliener called, summoning them to the CORE. Upon arrival, the Assemblymen were greeted by Dr. Kliener and the young scientist (called Lee) who they met before the gang fight. Lee handed VictorE a case containing his new equipment: a paintball gun filled with special paintballs. Lee demonstrated, cutting KAMEN RIDER’s hand and smearing the painball gel over the wound, which healed instantly. Dr. Kleiner also informed the heroes of the progress made with the mind control device. He had found a way of blocking the effects, but efforts were slow in developing them. Thanking the scientist, the heroes returned to the Assembly Hall. Outside the Assembly Hall was an oddly dressed man. He wore a crushed velvet suit with a wide-brimmed hat, carrying a staff. He turned and smiled at the group, asking after Calaveron. Calaveron stepped forward and the man introduced himself as Jean-Michel, holding a survey from the Canadian Association of Wizards for American mages. Calaveron accepted and answered all the questions, which Jean-Michel found satisfactory. One final question was rather perplexing: Jean-Michel asked what was Calaveron’s favorite kind of pizza, to which the skeleton answered Hawaiian. A low voice nearby stated that he hated Hawaiian pizza.

At that moment, a powerful energy beam hit KAMEN RIDER square in the back, knocking him to the steps leading to the Assemblyhall. A man in a brown cloak over black clothes revealed himself, his eyes and arms mismatched: despite being a native Mexican, his left eye was blue and his right arm was white with tattoos. Calaveron recognized the man as the Reliquary, the holy man devoted to destroying him. Immediately after, a motorcyclist dressed in black arrived and greeted KAMEN RIDER sinisterly before flipping up the helmet’s visor: it was Sergio D’Agosta. His motorcycle transformed into a suit of power armor as he called himself the Automaton, eager to crush KAMEN RIDER. A rustling in a nearby tree alrerted the Kraken to another presence, dodging as a black whip snapped inches from his head. A woman dressed in black appeared, sneering at the Kraken, who immediately recognized her as Black Star. Finally, Jean-Michel revealed himself to be the grandson of Madame Malediction, calling himself Monsieur Malediction. Before the fight began, Malediction warned the Reliquary to leave Calaveron’s spell book for him.

KAMEN RIDER immediately recovered from the Reliquary’s sneak attack, switching to speed mode and rushing towards the Automaton with a powerful punch. The armored foe caught the punch easily, taunting the young hero. He fiddled with his armor before starting a virus download into KAMEN RIDER’s TRI armor, causing it to malfunction, swapping between modes at random. The Automaton then showed off one of his armor’s abilities, punching the young hero with fists encase in flame. Calaveron cast a spell, granting him force control, forming energy hands to grab at the Reliquary, who rebuffed the attack and fired another holy beam at the skeleton, knocking him to the ground. Rushing to his friend’s defense, the Kraken threw a powerful punch at the Reliquary, who caught the fist in his sainted hand. Black Star summoned darkness creatures, who attacked various heroes, two knocking down the Kraken and KAMEN RIDER, and a third failing to hit VictorE. VictorE took the opportunity to fire point blank at both the shadow creature and M. Malediction, destroying the minion, but failing to hit the magician, even as he ran past him to face Calaveron. M. Malediction showed off more of his magical skills, firing a blast of lightning at Calaveron, wounding him more.

KAMEN RIDER recovered from his attack, his armor swapping to ranged mode. He took refuge in a tree as he fired at the Automaton, damaging him. The Reliquary kept on fighting the Kraken, throwing a devastating punch that knocked the hero back into a nearby tree. Black Star fired a darkness beam at Calaveron, but only fazed him as M. Malediction tried a different tactic: mind-controlling Calaveron to personally hand over his spell book. The spell was cast, but failed to take effect as VictorE fired off another round at the magician, wounding him. This allowed Calaveron to violently shake M. Malediction with force control, relieving him of his spell book. THe Automaton switched his armor’s setting to a freeze power, firing ice beams at KAMEN RIDER freezing him to the tree he was perched in. Suddenly a figure came hurtling out of the sky, crashing into the middle of the fight: it was Danbow Crash, badly hurt from some unknown battle. Then a second arrived on the scene: he was huge, clad in deep purple armor with a visored helmet, carrying a lance. On the armor’s shoulder was a starburst adorned with the letter γ. He addressed Danbow Crash directly, sneering at the light warrior’s allies as he opened his visor to reveal a scarred face worn from past battles. Nightlight Spackle had finally found his foe.

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Scourge of the Suits and the Slavs, Part II
More bad guys! More fighting! More mystery!

The fight stopped as several newcomers made their way onto the scene; the man stabbing Danbow Crash was only the first. From behind Calaveron came three more. Two came flying in on huge metal discs, designed to look like huge silver dollars. One was well-dressed, with perfectly-styled hair and an expensive suit; the other was dressed in an manner reminescent of a pirate with a simple mask tied across her eyes. They were the Mint and Cut-Lass respectively, come to play the cavalry for the Suits. Appearing out of an alleyway was another man, wearing a pair of metal gaunlets connected to a backpack by cords. Danbow Crash managed to escape from the man with the knife, with KAMEN RIDER coming up to help him. Calaveron sent the huge chronokinetic after the man with the gauntlets, but a revealed camraderie between the two broke Calaveron’s control. Eager to join the fray, the Mint began shooting flechette storms of coins at any nearby enemy as Cut-Lass challenged Calaveron to a duel. Connecting to her enthusiam, the skeletal sorceror agreed.

Meanwhile, the Kraken and VictorE kept hammering away at the wounded Suits. THey ravaged the Suits’ minions, but Love Potion summoned enough strength to mind-control the Kraken, forcing him to attack VictorE. The woman in white made a feeble last attempt to attack KAMEN RIDER, but she was knocked aside, straight into a nearby wall. The scarred man began attacking KAMEN RIDER, but was unprepared for the young hero’s advanced armor. Danbow Crash flew over to where the new Suits were, firing light blasts at the Mint, who deftly deflected them with a shield of loose change. Angry at being mind-controlled, the huge mercenary rushed at Calaveron and Cut-Lass, interrupting their swordfight and beating on the skeleton. In all of this, the gauntleted man shot powerful heat rays at any possible target.

The fighting continued in this manner, a whole melee of heroes and villains. KAMEN RIDER kept fighting the scarred man, who unsuccessfully kept trying to pierce his armor. The Kraken finally broke free of Love Potion’s control, allowing him and VictorE to take down her and the Cudgel. Calaveron and Danbow Crash faced their own Suits and Slavs enemies. Finally, help arrived for the Assembly in the form of police choppers, firing riot rounds into the fray. Some of the gang members left, others stayed to fight, being cut down by the helicopters. After another couple rounds, the fight had been dispersed, with the Assembly showing significant damage. Chief Shepard stepped out of one of the helicopters, congratulating the heroes. He handed them four files, saying he found them left nearby the Assemblymobile. A small note was with the files, with the files containing information on the four mercenaries the Assembly faced. It was signed with the Roman numeral for 23, mystifying the heroes.

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Scourge of the Suits and the Slavs
Here I am/Stuck in the middle with you

Racing to the scene of the gang fight, KAMEN RIDER made it to location first on his motorcycle, the rest following behind in the Assemblymobile. The young hero met Chief Shepard at the police cordon, Shepard having retreated after suffering a head injury. KAMEN RIDER heard Shepard as he told him how the fight between the Suits and the Slavs had escalated since he called the Assembly. When the team’s van arrived, Shepard sent the heroes down the street, warning them of the strength of the mercenaries hired by the Slavs. Shepard made a point to tell that one of the superpowered mercs was faster than KAMEN RIDER, which worried the young hero. Suddenly, a young CORE scientist on a mo-ped handed VictorE a new weapon: a pair of nunchucks with ranged energy capabilities. With that, the Assemblymen sped off to meet the fight head-on.

Following the trail of bodies and ruined buildings, the Assemblymen made it to the scene of the latest battle ground. Both the Suits and Slavs were fighting across the street from each other, using cars as cover as mooks shot at each other with high-powered guns. The Suits on scene were Love Potion and the Cudgel, while the mercenaries for the Slavs were unknown to the heroes. One was tall and broad, a bronze costume covering his muscled form with a clock face on his chest; the other was a smaller woman, clad in a completely white tailcoat, wearing a matching rabbit mask. Being the sneakiest of the team, Victor targeted Love Potion, viewing her as the supreme marksmen in the opposing forces. He took out one of the henchmen next to her, getting Love Potion’s attention instantly. From then on, the battle was a fray of superpowers and guns as Victor focused on proving his superiority of guns over the woman’s bow.

The two gangs kept firing away at each other, with Love Potion being the only one to notice the heroes’ arrival. Seeing a line of unsuspecting baddies, KAMEN RIDER switched to power mode and sent a huge tremor towards them, splitting a crevace that sent a few tumbling to the ground. Danbow Crash readied a large light blast to follow up KAMEN RIDER’s attack, but they had gained the attention of the Slavs’ new tank. The huge man disappeared and reappeared in front of the alien in the blink of an eye, knocking him into an upturned car before returning to the fight. KAMEN RIDER was stunned at this. The woman in white saw KAMEN RIDER and tossed a glass bottle in his direction, the liquid inside instantly turning to gas, causing KAMEN RIDER no immediate problems. The Kraken took the opportunity to ensnare the woman in his mind tendrils, keeping her in place. Meanwhile, Calaveron was building up some powerful juju to unleash an unknown magical attack on the Slavs.

VictorE continuing aggrieving Love Potion, taking out the majority of her henchmen with the ink grenade launcher (and staining her fine clothes). The Suit fired her bow back, but to no avail. The Cudgel finally got in on the action as he sent a powerful shockwave towards KAMEN RIDER, the Kraken and Danbow Crash, though the three heroes deftly dodged the attack. However, the Slavs’ large mercenary instantly appeared before KAMEN RIDER, delivering a terrifying beating, his speed outmatching the young hero’s. But even then, KAMEN RIDER’s spirit was stronger than the villain’s punches. Finally, Calaveron unleashed his powerful attack, creating a giant whirlwind over the Slavs’ side of the battlefield. Henchmen were tossed away as the woman in white was slammed into the side of the car. Only the chronokinetic was sturdy enough to withstand the powerful winds.

The Kraken and Danbow Crash kept taking out mooks on either side as VictorE kept the heat up on Love Potion. Then the time controller sped over to Calaveron, starting to fight him too—up to the point where Calaveron overwhelmed his mind with fear. With that, Calaveron took control of the massive man, sending him over to fight the Suits, doing massive damage against the Cudgel. Love Potion tried to wrest control from Calaveron, but failed. Just as the two Suits began to retreat, VictorE fired his cold-powered handgun at Love Potion, but the experimental weapon exploded, mangling his hand. He still fired his electric gun at her, only winging her. Finally, as Danbow Crash began charging up another light attack, out of the shadows came a new assailant, covered in scars with mismatched eyes as he plunged a knife into the alien warrior’s side. The fight was far from over.

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Trouble Clef's Terrible Tunes
A new ally is gained as our heroes give Trouble Clef musical criticism.

THE ASSEMBLY HALL
Confused as to the nature and origin of the message, the Assemblymen did some digging as they returned to the Assembly Hall. KAMEN RIDER sent a picture of the spider symbol to his brother, who did his best to dig up some information on the internet. The Kraken asked Capt. Shepard, who became very coy when the Kraken told him of the symbol, saying he’d let him figure it out for himself. Even VictorE and Danbow Crash tried to help as they Googled the symbol and asked random people on the street for help. Only the younger Halm found classified files on the symbol, which hadn’t been seen for at least 10 years. Confused, the team decided to follow the note’s instructions, getting into civilian identities thanks to Calaveron’s illusion magic and heading to the address.

251 MORRISEY ST.
The address led to a brick building, a little outside the center of the city, but just on the cusp of the mean streets. An old-fashioned neon sign outside read “Aunt Nancy’s”. The heroes knocked at the door (with Danbow Crash holding an inert Calaveron in his arms) as the bouncer let them in. VictorE managed to sneak his guns in, but had to leave his new grenade launcher in the van. The heroes were led through the nightclub, marveling at the class and comfort of the location. They were taken to the second floor and into a room that dipped down into the ceiling of the nightclub, ceiling-to-floor windows covering part of the room. The bodyguard left as a woman sitting in a plush, high-backed chair turned to face them. This was Arachne, the secretive information broker of San Fernando, having taken a leave of absence for a few years before. She enticed the heroes with information about what was going on with the modified mind control technology that had recently been removed from the CORE, even saying she knew why it had appeared in the first place; but all of the info would cost them. However, she didn’t get any further, as a massive blast of sound blew out the windows in Arachne’s office, signaling the untimely arrival of Trouble Clef. Arachne offered the heroes a deal: kick out Trouble Clef and she’d give them all the info they’d need.

The Assemblymen rushed down to the first floor, finding the crazed rocker with a new pack of roadie henchmen and a giant amp that boosted the sonic power of his guitar.Taunting the heroes and boasting about his new amp, Trouble Clef blew a sonic burst at KAMEN RIDER, but the young hero was resilient in the face of the attack. Danbow Crash took the offensive, knocking down Trouble Clef and four goons with a ball of colorful light taken from one of the neon lamps. Using the opening, VictorE fired at the super amp, destroying it instantly. The Kraken bound Trouble Clef with one of his mind tentacles, restraining him further, followed by a volley of kicks from KAMEN RIDER. But Trouble Clef wasn’t out yet, breaking free of the Kraken’s grip and siccing his minions on KAMEN RIDER, who was nearly downed by a volley of semiautomatic rounds.Trouble Clef then smacked the injured hero with his guitar, blasting him back to where VictorE was and partially deafening him. The Kraken, who had grown tired of Trouble Clef and his rants threw punches at the villain, but missed as Trouble Clef’s minions fired again. Finally, Calaveron stabbed the rocker with his magic sword, badly wounding Trouble Clef and giving the Kraken the perfect opening to (literally) kick Trouble Clef’s ass out of the club.

Arachne was impressed, applauding the heroes and promising to tell them anything they wished to know about the current events surrounding the mind control device. However, it would have to wait, as Chief Xerxes put out a desperate call on the Assembly’s comlinks: the Suits and the Slavs were having another fight on the streets, but this time the Slavs had hired super-powered mercenaries to turn the tide against the Suits. Not wanting to waste any time (especially after Xerxes link went down), the heroes hurried off with only a single large file given to them by Arachne as they departed.

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The Beekeeper's Belligerent Bidding
The Terror Trio is defeated, but greater perils lie ahead...

THE HOUSE OF MARVELS
The fight between the Assembly of Superheroes and the Terror Trio raged on. Dr. Solar was busy taking a concussion-induced nap as C-4 threw grenades left and right. The fighting rousted Calaveron from a small mental refresher in the modern art gallery as he walked right into the fight, seeing C-4 with some mummies. The Undertaker, still fuming over Dr. Solar’s knockout, turning his terrifying gaze on KAMEN RIDER again. The hero held his ground, filled with fear, but not fleeing. Unimpressed, the Undertaker summoned a hulking behemoth of a mummy called an Ushabti: it was 7 feet tall and carried a massive glaive, and began to advance upon the heroes. However, with Calaveron joining the fight, the Assemblymen gained a definitive advantage over the Terror Trio thanks to the skeleton’s magical abilities. With VictorE firing suppressing fire against C-4 and a few zombies, Calaveron used his spells to animate the bandoliers of grenades strapped to her body. The resulting explosion disintegrated the zombies and knocked C-4 back several feet, knocking her out in the process. KAMEN RIDER faced off against the Undertaker, able to hold his own against the Ushabti before decisively knocking out the necromancer with a swift and powerful RIDER KICK!!! The Terror Trio was finally defeated, leaving SFPD to do clean-up work as the Assemblymen returned to their trip to speak with the Beekeeper.

SAN FERNANDO FEDERAL CORRECTION COMPLEX
The heroes were welcomed into the prison anxiously, one of the guiding guards mentioning how the Beekeeper had been almost indifferent to their arrival. Everyone was worried about the potential for the Beekeeper to be committing crimes while still inside prison, so the Assemblymen were quickly ferried to one of the interview rooms where the Beekeeper was being held. Surprising no-one, Stresemann was in no mood to be helpful, content to taunt the heroes as they asked for his help. If they wanted his help, the heroes would have to negotiate for his transfer into a prison with lower security, a task that the whole team knew would be next to impossible. They interviewed the warden, who said the Beekeeper had been a model prisoner, if taciturn and sullen. KAMEN RIDER called Chief Shepard, who flat out told the young hero that there was no way the Beekeeper was getting any kind of deal. He suggested to try taking the device to another scientific expert, such as someone from the CORE or Thaumus Technologies. Taking the option, the heroes told the Beekeeper they’d “consider” his offer before they left for the CORE.

AT THE CORE
Dr. Philip Kleiner received the heroes warmly, also instantly recognizing the mind control device. He sent it down to one of the labs for analysis, hoping to find something new out about the machine. A preliminary analysis came back stating that the device would indeed affect humans, but at a significant risk. Due to the incompatibility of the technology’s original use and the modifications made to affect the human brain, prolonged exposure to the device’s effects would result in severe brain damage, ending in either savage rage or violent death. A moment later, Dr. Kleiner looked serious as he told the Assemblymen that the device was being appropriated for further study by an unknown party. Apparently the scientist could say no more, citing the information as classified and showing the heroes out. Confused and irritated, they returned to their vehicles, but stopped as they reached them. They found a large spider’s web spun between KAMEN RIDER’s bike and the Assemblymobile. It read: “If you want to know more, come to 251 Morrisey Street. No powers. No costumes.” It was signed with a strange symbol: a spider with the anarchy “A” on its back.

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The Tribulations of the Terror Trio
Of spiked frozen yogurt, mind control, and magic zombies.

THE NEXT DAY
Our heroes were summoned from their unmasked lives and jobs to the Assembly Hall, each one arriving in their own time. With Calaveron arriving last, the team took the time to introduce themselves to their newest member, telling stories of their past. The Kraken and KAMEN RIDER told how they had teamed up to make the Assembly, saying how badly the city needed a new team of superheroes; Danbow Crash told them of how he defended the Rainbow Kingdom from an army of light-devouring Darkness Dragons; VictorE merely mentioned how he was shocked to know that ice cream had more than three flavors. Calaveron told the others how much he loved modern society, citing that as the reason why he became a super hero: anyone who wished to destroy or exploit it did not deserve the full wonders of today. Suddenly, Chief Shepard came in over the vidcom, telling the heroes that they had to come to SFPD headquarters immediately. Something had come up with Test Pattern and he would only speak to them. Resigned to having to associate with the crazed trickster, the Assemblymen raced over to the police station.

AT SFPD
Chief Shepard met the heroes with a grim look. After searching and booking Test Pattern, a strange device had been found on his person. He showed it to them, with the Kraken and KAMEN RIDER instantly knowing what it was: the Beekeeper’s insect control device. Normally used to control insects through pheromones and electrical impulses, the machine had been modified somehow to work on humans. The trouble was that only Test Pattern knew what was what, leaving the heroes to interrogate them on their own. Calaveron tried reading his mind, but Test Pattern was too resilient. After babbling and annoying the heroes, he demanded a special kind of yogurt from a nearby store before saying anything else. KAMEN RIDER elected to go, but Calaveron pulled him aside, telling him how intoxicants could loosen mental defenses. KAMEN RIDER sped to the yogurt shop and back, doctoring the treat with a hefty dose of alcohol. His mind completely open, Calaveron managed to discover the source of the device: Test Pattern had received it through a PO box with an unsigned note that told him to use the technology however he wanted, with the mysterious benefactor watching and recording the effects. Finished, the heroes went back to the chief; Calaveron left for his museum home, exhausted by being in Test Pattern’s head for even five minutes. Shepard had set up an interview with the Beekeeper at his federal prison. As he was about to send the heroes on their way, he got a phone call which turned him sour once more. He revealed to the Assemblymen that the Terror Trio was attacking the House of Marvels.

THE HOUSE OF MARVELS
The heroes arrived at the police cordon, seeing the work of C-4’s bombs on the stairs and entrance to the museum. They entered cautiously, but found only a strange laser tripwire set up in the main foyer. Thrown rocks passed through harmlessly, which only worried the heroes. KAMEN RIDER went up to the roof via grappling cable to get a better view. What he found there was Doctor Solar lying in wait, giving him a haymaker down to the middle of the hall. There, he found C-4 and The Undertaker, who had looted the exhibit for the Golden Falcon for a book of Egyptian magic, raising a cadre of mummies to do his bidding. Turning his fearsome gaze on the young hero, KAMEN RIDER flew into a panic and ran straight into the lasers, setting off explosive planted in the walls. Luckily the Kraken pulled him out of the blast with his mind tentacles. The fight between the two groups was furious and prolonged, with KAMEN RIDER punching out Dr. Solar and the mummies using their ancient magic to assault VictorE. It seemed the fight would need a while before either side could gain the advantage.

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The Treacherous Trials of Test Pattern
The Assembly gains a new member and tests him out on an old foe.

ONE YEAR LATER
The city of San Fernando was in mass celebration, marking the day when the newly formed Assembly of Superheroes had defeated the fiendish Beekeeper, putting a stop to his plans to plague California with pestilential insects. As such, a city-wide festival was held, with the Assembly holding auditions for a new member to join group. After emerging from the basement of the House of Marvels, the skeletal sorcerer known as Calaveron emerged into the empty employee lounge, finding a sheet with directions to the Assembly Hall for the auditions. Knowing the poor experiences he had with people knowing he was a magically animated skeleton, Calaveron wisely turned himself invisible with his magic powers, following the directions to a large metal and glass dome. Knowing heroes were expected, Calaveron entered the empty Assemblyhall.

INSIDE THE ASSEMBLYHALL
The Kraken, KAMEN RIDER, and VictorE poured over a long list of applicants, each one less appealing than the last. They grumbled to themselves, feeling jealous of letting Danbow Crash leave to enjoy the festivities and learn more about Earth culture. Suddenly, Calaveron entered their presence. All three of them took notice to the walking, talking skeleton, particularly KAMEN RIDER, having had experience with fighting the undead servants of The Undertaker. The heroes decided to give Calaveron a chance, interviewing him before he demonstrated his remarkable magic skills, using illusions to create a fantastic display. Suitably impressed, the Assembly decided they would give him a try just as the Assembly Alert began to sound. On the main screen, Chief Xerxes Shepard appeared to tell the Assembly that a horrible event had taken place: a live music event at Norton Park was being held hostage by none other than The Beekeeper! But how could this be; he was in federal custody, wasn’t he? The Assembly decided to go rescue the citizen, with KAMEN RIDER changing into his suit and speeding off on his Kamen Cycle, while the rest following in the Assemblymobile.

AT NORTON PARK
The heroes arrived at a large police cordon, cutting off the area where the hostages were held. They crossed into the park and found the Beekeeper atop a bandstand where the members of Tunguska had been playing. Now they and their audience were mesmerized under the influence of the Beekeeper. The Beekeeper taunted the four heroes, claiming his superiority and victory, but there was something off about him. Soon KAMEN RIDER correctly guess that this “Beekeeper” was an impostor; he was none other than Test Pattern in disguise and playing games. Outwitted, Test Pattern dispelled the illusion before setting up a wall of fire in front of the heroes. He was very pleased to see them out, having been VERY bored even with all the festivities. The Kraken was first to attack, binding Test Pattern in his force tentacles, leaving VictorE open to attack the trickster. KAMEN RIDER went into Speed Mode and raced up onto the bandstand as Calaveron fended off minions with his magic, summoning bone spikes and enchanting goats to do his bidding. Soon the enthralled citizens were upon the heroes, breaking the Kraken’s concentration and freeing Test Pattern, who immediately began to flee. However, the eagle-eyed VictorE pulled off two shots with his guns, knocking Test Pattern into one of the park’s info booths and breaking the mind control over the citizens. Chief Shepard came into the park to congratulate the team on a job well done, voicing optimism for the inclusion of Calaveron into the Assembly.

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