Previously on Blessed Inversion Golden Age…
Hal Sharp, the hero known as Black Ice, has left his roommate in the care of the vigilante SWAT-Spider for training. At the same time, he’s finally contacted for the first time in months by Rowena Gunma, his former boss, and college friend. He’s offered a job by two members of her board of directors but the looming shadow of affirmative action made him resistant to the proposition. To make matters worse, he just found out that Darcy has been missing for over a month. Now he searches for any signs of his lost friend…
Henry “Hal” Sharp/Black Ice
-Smoke Skeleton Security Guard
Doctor Khonshu/Kreon Galanis
-Genius Inversion. RajTEK R&D
Black Ice hated that he went so long without realizing his friend had gone missing. Granted, the last time they met she called security on him, he didn’t want to see her hurt or at risk of being hurt. Unfortunately, he wasn’t a detective and it’s been so long he wouldn’t even know where to begin. But he had an idea where he could start. Unlike Rowena, he wouldn’t try to avoid asking for help and made his way to SPPD. He was by no means a detective so why not go straight to one himself? Rowena had asked the police before but as a superhero, they might be more willing to share information. There was no time for a dramatic entrance, Black Ice just skates up to the front door of the precinct and enters. The front lobby was oddly quiet and devoid of criminals. Like everyone suddenly decided to go clean overnight. Not that it mattered to him, he had a job to do.
“Hey, could you help me out?” he asks an officer that passes him by. “I’m looking for a missing person.”
“Oh my gosh, you’re that hero Black Ice aren’t you?!” she says overly enthusiastically.
“Yeah, so would you mind helping me out?”
“I’d love to but I’m not part of MPS.”
“MPS?” Black Ice asks confused.
“Missing Person Squad. You could ask them but we’re technically not supposed to be sharing anything with you” she whispers lowly.
“What? But I’m a good guy.” Black Ice whines insulted by their unwillingness to work with him.
“I’m sorry but you’re a vigilante. Fire Fighters might be okay with you helping them save lives but we can’t just give you a pass to do what you want.”
“Oh…thanks anyway, I guess.” Without waiting for a response, Black Ice leaves once more and heads for his second best guess. SWAT-Spider was going to be busy with Jey all day but that didn’t mean he couldn’t ask Doctor Khonshu for help instead. But without his phone number, he was forced to make the trip to RajTEK in hopes of finding him there. When he arrives, Carol is sitting at the front desk as she always has. Her whistling sounding through the smoke that covered her head. “Hey Skelegirl.” he greets Carol upon his arrival.
“You aren’t calling me that.” she sighs.
“Not really in the mood to say why that’s wrong.
“What’s wrong?” She could sense the fear coming off of him.
“I’m trying to find a missing person and was hoping Dr. Khonshu could help me out.”
“Did you try the police already?” she asks the obvious.
“Yeah, they won’t work with me cause I’m a vigilante.” Black Ice fumes. His poorly contained frustration freezing the desk slowly.
“I hate to say it but they’re right.”
“If they’re right then why did I even get the IRC?”
“I don’t know what that is. I also don’t know where Doctor Khonshu is but I can call him for you if that’ll help.”
“Thanks.” Black Ice takes a breath and calms down. The ice that formed around him beginning to melt.
“Hi, it’s Carol from the front desk.” Carol says across the phone. “My name isn’t…Okay, I know you’re not in today, but Black Ice needed your help. He’s still standing right here. Okay, thank you so much.” Carol hands the phone to Black Ice.
“Hello?” Black Ice greets awkwardly.
“I take it that you didn’t go straight to Kessler because you either fucked something up, he’s gone missing again, or you’re desperate.” Doctor Khonshu wastes no time building up to snarking.
“It’s the last one. My friend went missing and I needed some help. Police won’t help me and I already know SWAT is busy.* So I figured maybe you could help me out.”
There’s a brief silence before Doctor Khonshu speaks again. “Tell Skelegirl to give you my address. I expect to see you within the hour.”
“Couldn’t you just-”
“Can’t talk, busy sciencing.” Doctor Khonshu hangs up in a rush.
“Um…He said you’d give me his home address.” Black Ice hands the phone back to Carol.
“Oh wow, he must really like you.” Carol pulls out a piece of paper and pencil from her desk. The smoke around her hands takes a moment to retract and reveal the bones hidden beneath. Allowing her to write down Doctor Khonshu’s home address. Once finished, the smoke returns and she hands the paper to Black Ice.
With his new destination, Black Ice skates off once more. He was growing tired from all the skating but this was too important to worry about himself. He had no idea what happened to Darcy or if she was alive. Every second he wasted could be fatal. Not even the surprise of having to travel to Gold Plains could slow him down. Nor passing the Team Moon Fox house as he traveled deeper into Gold Plains to find Dr. Khonshu’s house.
“Hello?” Black Ice knocks on the door which opens on its own shortly after. He entered the massive lobby with a mixture of emotions. Part of him was unsettled by the automatically opening door, another thought it was cool, and one final part amazed at the mansion. The marble walls, floors, and ceilings shone majestically like the diamond chandelier that hung overhead.
“If you’re done gawking take the hall to the left, first door on the right, and then head down the stairs.” Doctor Khonshu’s voice echoes from an intercom system.
Black Ice follows his instructions and eventually arrives at Doctor Khonshu’s personal lab. There he sat working on a helmet emulating a dragonflies head with massive black circular spheres covering the eyes. As well as two small antennae extending from the inner point of where it’s eyebrows would be. But the good Doctor isn’t alone, sitting next to him half asleep is a man about the same age as Steven. He wore a simple white muscle shirt over black sweatpants. His right arm from the shoulder down was entirely artificial and almost identical to the Khonshu Drives. Although it’s design was sleeker and lacked the neon glow on its palms. He had a muscular frame and his straight brown hair was tied back in a short ponytail. A few stray strands laying across his face near his light brown eyes.
“So you can help me?” he asks getting straight to the point.
“Tell me all you know so far.” Doctor Khonshu requests while maintaining his focus. The Khonshu Drives manipulating the inner workings of the helmet with a simple thought and twitch of his fingers.
“Her name is Darcy Zayn. She’s 25, a little taller than I am, has long black hair, and looks like a supermodel. We used to work at Gunma Inc. together but I just found out today she’s been missing for about a month.”
“Why’d it take so long?” the man with the mechanical arm asks no longer half-asleep.
“They said they called the police but nothings come up. They only came to me cause they were desperate.”
“I see.” Doctor Khonshu replies, letting out a breath of cold air. “I won’t lie, this is pretty bad. Do you have any clues or leads?”
“If I did I wouldn’t be here right now.”
“What do you think Detective?” his eyes dart to the man briefly.
“I think we can handle it. Won’t be easy though.”
“Who are you?” Black Ice finally decides to ask.
“Eddie Vasquez, I used to work with Steve before he jumped teams. Thanks for helping him out.” he stands and extends his right hand.
“Black Ice.” he prepares to shake Eddie’s hand but he pulls back instantly.
“I’ll help ya out just keep your hands to yourself.” he crosses his arms and sits back down. His face suddenly turning dour.
“O…kay…” Black Ice lowers his hand confused. “So where do we begin?”
“Is this your first time searching for a missing person?” Eddie asks with a slightly calmer demeanor.
“Yeah, but what does it matter?”
“You’re a superhero right? Why is this your first missing person case?”
“Well…I mean I’ve been helping with fires and fighting some gangs. Even helped keep the world from ending two days ago*.”
“So you’ve only gone for the stuff you can easily see? No wonder Steve’s been so busy.”
“You gonna help or keep shit-talking me?” Black Ice defends himself. Unknowingly dropping the room temperature further.
“He’s not shit-talking you, he’s being direct.” Doctor Khonshu stands and examines the helmet. “You’re new at this, I get that. You want to save your friend, I get that too. Unfortunately, if you want to get in this business you can’t pick and choose who you want to help. You have no clues and she’s been gone a month. We need more to work with that the police already hasn’t tried before we can help with that.”
“So that’s a no. Thanks anyway.” Black Ice prepares to leave when he’s trapped in a gravity well form-fitting to his body by Doctor Khonshu.
“She must be really important for you to be this wound up.” Doctor Khonshu notes to himself. “Being too emotional will get people around you hurt or even killed. Right now you’re turning my lab into an icebox just from being mad. If you can’t get that in check I can imagine a number of ways that could go wrong.” he waits for a response that doesn’t come.
“I think you should be the one to say it K.” Eddie says from the sidelines.
“I get it, I’m a fuck-up of a friend and hero who’s all around incompetent. I don’t need you guys to tell me that.” Black Ice self-depreciates to the surprise of Doctor Khonshu.
“You’re temporarily joining the Khonshu Squadron.” Doctor Khonshu responds.
“If you need to fit a quota, I’ll pass.”
“I don’t give a shit if you’re black, pink or made of stars. Right now, you’d do more harm than good if we left you on your own. At least now I can make sure you don’t do anything reckless. Maybe we can even teach you a thing or two.” Doctor Khonshu frees Black Ice from his gravity well. “Are you going to listen this time without tearing yourself down needlessly?”
“Okay.” Black Ice sighs and sits down. “I’m sorry. It’s just…”
“Doing what we do when someone you know is involved is an entirely different feeling.” Doctor Khonshu resumes examining the dragonfly helmet. “But we can’t lose ourselves in emotion, trust me. I’m sorry to say we really can’t help you find Ms. Zayn. Right now there’s a more pressing matter on my mind.” he floats the helmet down to a work table off to the side. There sat a similarly styled breastplate, gauntlets, and grieves. He extends his hands towards them and begins to manipulate a nearby can of dark green spray paint and begins coloring the armor. “I’ll let the Detective elaborate.”
“Haze & Cinder are still at large and people have been going missing way faster than normal the last two weeks.” Eddie begins his breakdown of their current situation. “I’ve been investigating a few leads but till Doc K got me this new arm earlier, I haven’t been able to do any follow up. Before you ask, I’m not an Inversion like you guys.”
“I wasn’t going to ask that.” Black Ice defends.
“Uh-huh.” he replies unconvinced. “Far as I can tell from Doc K, the mafia and big gangs have been busy dealing with Steve and…well…you.” he motions to Black Ice. “So it could be the work of just a few members or someone else entirely. All I know is that one name has been coming up a lot recently. White Shadow, he’s a new player apparently. We find them, we might find out who’s been responsible for all the kidnappings, and we may just find your friend.”