Masks: Birth of Heroes

ANNUAL 1: Session 1

Spark is operating as the PR representative of Exemplars. She spends a lot of time in front of the cameras and is full of smiles and positive commentary about what the Exemplars are currently doing. Today, she has a meeting with her mentor Fyrefly, who has gone back to work as a guidance counselor at the school.

Bilcer is back at their ship preparing to hand over the blood sample to their people. They receive a request for a video chat. When they accept it, they learn that the sample of Apollo’s blood was insufficient, and that the Paradox has not been addressed. They urge Bilcer to go back further into the past to find a purer sample — but not too far back, or Bilcer could mess up the entire timeline. They suggest they find a willing donor this time around. They could find people from this timeline to witness the Cataclysm and take them back in time.

In Halycon City (which we’ve never even seen before in this series!), Emmett is training with his mom — Mai McGowan (spelled differently, because they’re from a different dimension). The training room is an echo of what Mai trained in with her own parents. Mai gives him an opening, and then, when he goes for it, she swiftly puts him down and reminds him he’s not ready — and speaking of him not being ready, wasn’t that a costume she saw in his room? She’s already thrown it out, but she lets him fumble around for excuses and try to distract her. She tells him he isn’t a hero yet, and he mouths off, so she declares they’re done for the day and leaves him alone…to check on his REAL costume rather than the decoy he left for her to find!

Back in Continuum City, Fyrefly and Hard Drive are meeting to discuss their recent defeat of the Byzerbot. The bot was holding the stock exchange hostage and had self-repair systems that Hard Drive had to interface with and shut off before they could defeat it. Frank kept the head, but there’s something off about it, like it’s receiving a signal from somewhere. They’re hoping to track the signal back to its lair, but Mai has doubts that this is a good idea. He tells her what’s for, and then he plugs himself in. Immediately, he can tell that there’s something wrong: the signal is working through four dimensions. If she wants, they could jump in the Chariot and check it out.

In Mai’s office (as a grown-up), Spark settles down in a chair to wait for her mentor, phone in hand. The sun begins to darken — but it’s only 3 in the afternoon! A ship darkens the window — Bilcer’s ship! Apparently, one of the most likely candidates for Olympian blood is Mai McGowen. She tells Spark that she needs to come along — apparently, there’s going to be a Cataclysm, and they need to find a younger Mai. Spark is confused — but the sky cracking apart and falling down convinces her they should probably hurry. Her phone, which she accidentally left on the desk, chirps and displays a new text from Cricket.

Emmett has appeared on the ship! He has no idea how or why… The ship has detected a time anomaly…and looking around, Bilcer finds Emmett. There is some general confusion as Spark tries to adult and usher Emmett into a chair. When he introduces himself as Lanternfly, he poses…which prompts Spark to buckle him in. The conversation descends into a brief discussion of time and dimension-hopping and which sitcom they’ve stepped into…but then it’s back on track.

Back on the Chariot, Hard Drive brings up Bash, Frog, and Chance, and the terrible team break-up that just happened a week ago. Mai snaps at him, and he snaps back, as he is the only one following up on the alien threat. Thanks to his technopathy, he can sense a weird sensation — like something has pierced this dimension — quickly followed by a second one. He extends his senses out to the temporal pathway, and he can sense 4 entities approaching. One of these is extremely powerful. Mai asks which direction they’re coming from, and Mai points out that the fourth dimension isn’t a direction. Bilcer’s ship suddenly appears in front of them, and Frank hits the brakes.

The ship’s door opens to reveal…Spark, because she’s an Exemplar and so clearly should be in charge…and nevermind she hasn’t fully grasped the situation at all. There are some hijinks far too wonderful to be summed up here, but it ends with a crack of thunder and light from the end of the tunnel. On the woman’s dress, there are a bunch of eyes, and, as she approaches, they solidify into a peacock pattern. The dress is very Greek-looking. With a sigh, she announces that Bilcer has brought doom to the future, and she begins to approach the group.

Fyrefly recognizes her as Hera, and she feels a particular kinship with her, even though they’ve never met before. She is also here to protect Mai. Fortunately for everyone, Hera notices Emmett, and she asks when Mai procreates. Mai focuses on the important thing and demands to know how everyone knows her name. When Hera says if Mai won’t listen, then she’ll kill Lanternfly…which causes Fyrefly to attack her. After Mai gives an inspirational speech, Hard Drive leaps into the fray. When Bilcer demands an explanation, she tells them that they’ve been lied to — their actions are totally going to lead to the destruction. Sensing that she’s lying, Emmett realizes that the only way to get her to stop is to make her believe Bilcer is dead. He flips over to Bilcer and whispers “Play along!” and then twists Bilcer’s head around. Bilcer does and pretends to die with a sickening crack. Spark grabs him and pins him to the top of the subway car. Hera holds out a hand to Emmett, and Fyrefly answers that he is staying put to be put in prison. Hera turns with a warning not to treat her son harshly, and Fyrefly answers that he’s no son of her’s. This makes Emmett sad.

As soon as Hera is gone, Emmett points out that Bilcer is okay — really! The group wants to know who Emmett’s father is…which abruptly comes to an end when Spark mentions that Diamond thinks Fyrefly is old and fat and irrelevant. That quickly brings pretty much everything to a stand-still while she tries to explain it away.



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