Zero Hour

Issue 2: Nancy's Motel

"Robot zombies?! RUN!"

Hazard’s superior, Captain Simms, assigned Hazard to his own elite task force to combat the growing threat of street crime in Chicago. Hazard assembled his team - heroic Horizon and the erratic Daniel Heinz - when a nightclub argument erupted into a hostage situation and a deadly crossfire between rival Italian and Cuban gangs.

Daniel Heinz zeroed in on the Cubans, terrifying them with hit-and-run tactics. Horizon and Hazard tackled the nightclub where a large group of thugs held hostages and kept the police at bay. The pair secretly freed the hostages, then the bullet-immune Horizon led a frontal assault while Hazard used some chicken batter and mind control to fool the thugs into believing they were under fire from zombies.

Captain Simms praised the team’s work, but was called out of the room so that the trio could be interviewed by NSA agent Yolanda Martin. The no-nonsense agent asked the team to combine forces with the federal government to uncover the truth behind the Group’s destruction (last issue) and find the location of the missing Group employee Nancy Wells. She provided Nancy’s last known location when the team agreed.

The team made their way to St. Louis, Missouri and the slummy Belvedere Motel, where Nancy had been seen within the last two days. A team stakeout didn’t find Nancy, but Hazard did spot some unusual activity. The motel’s clients seemed to be stuck on some kind of loop, presenting a charade of normal activity to a casual observer.

The team investigated the bizarre motel guests and discovered they were surprisingly lifelike robots, and that the motel was a front for an underground robotics lab. The team descended into the workshop and immediately entered into battle against a wave of security robots. Heinz tore through the robots while Hazard dismantled a series of assembler arms hastily attempting to build more enemies from the scrap. Horizon, meanwhile, located the central computer for the facility and shut down the reinforcements.

Once the robots were destroyed, the team found Nancy Wells standing next to a lookalike robot and impatiently waiting on an escape craft to finish fueling and take her away from the facility. She warned Hazard not to say a word, because the robot Nancy (whichever that was) had a fail safe built in and any attempt at mind control would detonate a bomb. Both Nancys spoke in unison, but Hazard listened carefully and determined one of the Nancys was speaking just a split second before the other. He locked her down with a simple command and Heinz took out the doppelganger, which turned out not to be rigged with a bomb. The group followed the escape craft’s tunnel from the facility and called Yolanda Martin in to clean up the mess.

Hazard took the time to question Nancy, learning that she had hired Charge and his team to take out the Group’s facility, but did not know that the mercs would be carrying lethal poison as ammunition. The team also discovered that both Nancy and the Nancy-Bot were carrying information cores, with each carrying half of one large data batch. It is not yet known what the cores contained.

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