From the Annals of the Paragon Society

The Starkweather Incident: Chapter Three

To End All Wars: Acts III & IV

Charlie drives the group to Starkweather’s mansion. After a brief reconnaissance, they knock and the door is answered by Miss Claudia Knight. The Red Fedora says, “Miss Knight, we need to speak to Dr. Starkweather immediately.” She leads the group to the dinning room and sits at the right of the head of the table (which has no chair). After a moment, a man in a wheelchair rolls in and is introduced as Dr. Henry Starkweather. He apologizes for not standing, citing an industrial accident that some years ago left him without use of his legs.

Miss Knight sprays herself with perfume and winks at Dr. Meriwether. Red Fedora notices there is a complete lack of scent. Dr. Meriwether does a “cold read” to get a handle on Starkweather, but something is off. Dr. Starkweather starts ranting about how the government ignored his efforts to share his weapon to end all wars. But they will all see what his is doing when he releases the gas over the capitol.

The team realizes they are feeling woozy and can no longer move. The servants strip them of their gear, drag them to the basement and tie them to chairs. Miss Knight walks up to Dr. Meriwether and strokes his face with her leather gloved hand, saying she wished she could say that the Society had proved worthy opponents, but she could not. Jerome, one of the servants carries a covered dish in. Miss Knight dramatically opens the dish, showing a large bomb, with a timer ticking down to zero! Then after the revelation that Dr. Starkweather can, in fact, walk, the fiends depart, locking the door behind them.

The Red Fedora, Verity, and Sabrina quickly free themselves. Sabrina frees Charlie, The Red Fedora frees Meriweather, while Verity studies the bomb and realizes outer casing of the bomb is rigged with a booby-trap. While Sabrina picks the lock on the door, the rest of the group works to disable the bomb. After several very tense seconds, they stop it with 12 seconds left!

They rush outside and see the tires are deflated. While Sabrina inflates them, The Red Fedora goes back in to the house, and calls the FBI to warn them, and tell them to evacuate the president. Charlie radios to tell the airstrip at Lakehurst to have a plane waiting for us. Lz 127 graf zeppelin1 540x370 Verity flies ahead and questions the ground crew to discover the airship took off over an hour ago. She waits until the car arrives with the rest of the group and they take off.

Unfortunately the group does not catch up until the airship is flying low over Washington. Charlie flies the plane low over the airship and the group leaps out The Red Fedora and Sabrina slide off, but Verity flies down and pushes both into ropes on the outside the the blimp. They both pull themselves up, as Charlie leaps out, leaving Jake to fly the plane. The team regroups and goes down the inside of the zeppelin through an access hatch on the roof.

In the gondola are three thugs with guns, Adler, Starkweather with a gas mask on, and Valerie Bloom with her hands tied behind her back! They all have their guns pointed at the stairs (having been alerted by an alarm on the access hatch…)

Starkweather sneers “Well, well, it seems your rescuers have returned, Miss Bloom. Let’s see how heroic they are.” He then shoves her out the open door! Her scream momentarily drowning out the engine noise. 805977

Meriwether pauses on the stairs and notices Starkweather has a small aerosol can in his hand, and standing next to the control to release the bomb bay doors. Charlie shoots a thug, and runs up to Adler. The Red Fedora shoots Adler. Sabrina wraps Starkweather’s arms in a band of mystic force. Verity flies out the door after Bloom. A thug shoots at The Red Fedora, but he dodges out of the way.

The pilot misjudges the altitude and scrapes across the top of the Lincoln Monument. Everyone staggers and the pilot falls out the open door! Charlie runs forward to steer the ship. As she grabs the controls she realizes the ship is leaking gas, and the steering controls are damaged. She quickly tries to land in the Potomac River, but Starkweather breaks free of his bonds and sprays her with stun gas.

Meanwhile, Verity catches Bloom and flies her to the ground. Verity tells her to call the police and stay safe, then turns and flies back to the airship.

The Red Fedora shoots Adler, who is stunned. Meriwether shoots the control panel, causing sparks to fly. Sabrina shoots a bolt at Starkweather, throwing him out the door. As he flies he shouts “You fools, you will never stop me!” He pulls something from his coat as he goes flying, and squeezes the trigger, shooting the flare gun into the hydrogen leaking from the balloon. A wave of heat hits everyone in the gondola and they all hear a series of explosions. As Charlie struggles to avoid the Washington Monument, Adler draws a knife and attacks her. The Red Fedora runs up and stabs Adler, catching the knife in the canvas of his flight-suit.

Hydrogen vehicle danger 3 Sabrina calls a waterspout from the Potomac, intending to flood the fire. Meriweather talks to the last goon, convincing him to surrender.

The Red Fedora stabs Adler twice, wounding him. Sabrina yells out “Charlie get a hold of yourself!” as Charlie struggles with the controls. Verity flies in the door and shoots Adler, throwing him into the wall. She then flies in, grabs Meriweather and The Red Fedora, flying back out trying for a controlled crash.

Charlie aims for the Potomac, and she and Sabrina leap out.

The airship bursts in to a white hot ball, hopefully vaporizing all the nerve gas.




The Paragon Society will return in Web of the Spider Cult

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JMazur

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