Roger’s Company, the leading company in scientific research and weapons development. The company is owned by the Rogers and was first established back in the late 1800’s by Charles Rogers, Christopher Rogers’s great-grandfather. It was first a science company where they develop cures for diseases. The company became very successful until World War 1 broke. They began to develop weapons not to fight against the Allies and the Central Powers but to defend themselves from the impending invasion from the outside world. For several years, Roger’s Company defended the country from outside invaders and when the Great War ended, the company continued on developing and making weapons to make the country safe. And when the Second World War broke, this time, New Centralland was ready to go to war. They then joined and fought against the Axis. In the end, the Allies won but that didn’t stop Roger’s Company to develop and make weapons. And not just that, they even continued in helping the citizens in protecting them.
For several years, the company helped the city and the country when it comes to economics. And when Superiors, individuals who has special and extraordinary abilities, they instantly expanded their company and developed the Superiors division and began their research in mutants and individuals with powers.
Right now, Duke is in the Superior Division where Dr. Eddie is constantly monitoring his condition. For eight months, Duke is in a coma and still he is not waking up any time soon. Sara has already left for Galumph City as an exchange student and hasn’t heard from Duke ever since. Duke’s foster parents were devastated on what happened to him. As soon as Chris broke the message to the Williams, they instantly went to Cyber City from Lumber City with his best friend Peter Williams. Chris then moved Duke from the Dungeon to the Cyber General Hospital where his surrogate family found him still unconscious. But when he was moved in CGH, Duke’s condition worsened. His vitals dropped, he has constant seizures and the doctors doesn’t know how to deal with his conditions.
Dr. Eddie then asked the permission from the Williams to move him in the Superiors Division of Roger’s Company. He explains that in there, they can monitor Duke in a high-tech and world class facility wherein they can make sure his vitals are stable and his condition would not go haywire. The family agreed and since the Duke was moved to a more secure and more high class facility.
But little do they know that the prophecy is slowly falling into place. The Fiery Champion will rise and save the country from the Dictator’s hold and bring forth justice, peace, and honor back to its former glory.
Eight Months Later
Rogers’ Company, Superior Division
November 9, 2016; Saturday, 0315 Hours
Dr. Eddie just finished checking on Duke’s condition. He opened his door and placed his clip board on his desk. He sat on his cushioned seat and leaned on its back. He held his hands on his eyes as he sighs. As he removes his hands on his eyes, he slowly grabbed his recorder and placed it in front of his lips and clicked the recording button.
“This is Edwin Edwards,” Dr Eddie began, “and it has been 245 days since Richard Charles Lewis Artisan or better known to his friends as Duke, has been in coma. He is good condition. Heart rate and blood pressure are okay. No seizures as of two weeks already.”
Dr. Eddie then paused. He places his palm on his face and gave a deep sigh. His eyes then stared at his office blankly. He never felt so hopeless. He then places the recorder in front of him again and continued.
“But still, we can see his body deteriorating from lack of sustenance. Tests had shown that if he continues to be on this state, he’ll be like a vegetable for the rest his life then die.”
Again, Dr. Eddie gave another pause and looked at his dark room blankly. He smudges his face with his left hand. But suddenly his facial expression changed. The eyes that was containing hopelessness lit up. He directed his mouth to the recorder and continued his audio journal.
“But there is hope,” Dr. Eddie continued and this time, his voice seems light, “there is hope for us. Duke can be saved and I know just how to do it.”
The Dungeon, Conference Room
November 9, 2016; Saturday, 0815 Hours
Almost everyone is in the conference room. Crusher called a meeting for the members who were present from the Infiltration that happened eight months ago. Crusher was seated on the end of the table. On his right was Dr. Eddie and Rubber-boy and on his left are Spike, Crusader and Ace. The room was quiet, only the clock’s ticking is being heard. The door opened and Eugene entered. Behind him are the twins Bryan and Ryan Rogers and with them is General Christi who’s carrying a rifle on her shoulders. The three the settled down on their respected seats. Crusher stood up and began their meeting.
“Thank you everyone for coming on a short notice,” Crusher said, “as you all know, you are the people present eight months ago when the villains had their prison outbreak and escape. Although we neutralized it, we still had some casualties.”
Crusher clicked his remote and Duke’s picture came on the screen.
“It has been 245 days since Duke was in coma,” Crusher continued, “since then, we are doing our best to keep him safe and healthy but according to Dr. Eddie’s reports for the past few months, Duke’s body has been deteriorating.”
Crusher flashed Duke’s pictures on the screen. He was not doing well. His physique is now more skin, he is skinny and needs nutrients. His eyes have sunken and his cheek bones can be seen. He is pale and needs sunlight. The sight of Duke was devastating.
“Also, according to Dr. Eddie’s report,” Crusher continued as he moves away from his chair, “that the plasma that was left on Duke’s heart is eating its host slowly.”
“How long does he have?” Crusader asked with concern.
“Two to three weeks,” Dr. Eddie replied.
The silence filled the room. It seems that all of them were guilty on what happened to Duke. If they didn’t brought him in The Dungeon in the first place, this would haven’t happened.
“But there may be a way to save him,” Dr. Eddie broke the silence.
Suddenly, all eyes were on the doctor. Dr. Eddie stood up and went to the front an on his hand is a folder of some sort of research. He cleared his throat and then straightened his coat.
“For the previous months,” Dr. Eddie began, “I’ve been doing some research on the Flare Plate.” Dr. Eddie clicked the remote control and on the screen came out a picture of a plate with an “F” insignia on the center. The outer part looks like it’s made out of cobalt for its bluish color and on the inside it gives a reddish color just like copper or gold. The insignia seems to be made out of rhodolite garnet or some rare gem. “this plate was originally in the possession of Duke. We don’t know how he found it and where.”
Ace raised then his hand and Dr. Eddie acknowledged him.
“What does that have to do with Duke?” Ace asked, more straightforward.
“I’m glad you asked,” Dr. Eddie smiled, “for the previous months, I’ve been doing some experiments on this plate and also some researches. It seems that this plate is similar that has been found by the late Dr. Dylan in the desert of near Stannic City back in 1990. The properties that it has are identical to the Defendrion Plate.” Dr. Eddie then clicked the remote again and flashed a picture of the Plate. The plate has a “D” insignia on the center just like the Flare Plate. The outer part has its blackish shade, just like a metal that has been burned. On the inner part, it has a greyish color. The insignia bears a purple shade or like a quartz.
“Back in 1990, when I was first just starting with Rogers’ Company, Chris’ father came to me and asked me to do a research on the plate and these are what I found. The plate is alien and contains almost similar elements we have here in Earth. It also have its own computer system inside, as if it’s thinking on its own. Inside the plate, it provides the one wearing it immense strength, durability, agility, stamina, and most especially to heal itself from wounds. Also, it provides the wearer powers. In this case the Defendrion Plate can with stand any attack and absorb energies from anything to makes contact with.”
“Again,” Crusher interrupted. “what does this have to do with the kid?”
“We’re getting there,” Dr. Eddie assured, “now, for the past four months since I started my own private research on the plate, I have found similar contents and elements on the two plates. I’m guessing that the Flare Plate is our answer in saving Duke’s life.”
“Wait, how can you be so sure that this plate is going to save Duke?” Rubber-boy asked, “give us some proof that this Defendrion Plate will work just as the Flare Plate will.”
Dr. Eddie then pushed a button on the remote control and showed them images of a familiar doctor and a familiar hero. It was Dr. Daniel Dylan, one of the most celebrated physicist and neurochemist of the early 90’s, and Defender, who wore a black fighting suit with dark purple linings on the side. He also wears a mask that covers his eyes and nose.
“Dr Dylan was the one who tested the plate and we are the ones who continued the research,” Dr. Eddie answered, “as you can see, Dr. Dylan became the Defender and I saw, first hand, the great developments in the human body. I am certain that the plate has the answers. Now, I’m giving the decision to you, do you want me to use the plate? This is our only chance in saving Duke.”
“What are the possibilities if we don’t use the plate to save him and what are the risks if we used the plate?” Crusader inquired.
“His body will completely deteriorate and in less than two weeks, he’ll just stop breathing and die,” Dr. Eddie replied, “and the risks when we use the plate will be that the plasma that is left in Duke’s body will have a chemical reaction with the plate. It maybe possible that when the plate made contact with the plasma, it will create an unstable nuclear fusion and may cause a great detonation in the middle of the city.”
“So your saying that there will be a nuke explosion if we’d be doing this little science project of yours?” Spike clarified.
“On my estimates, yes,” Dr. Eddie said, “and according to my calculations, there will be a fifteen percent of possibility that a nuclear explosion will happen. But we need to decide right now, its Duke’s life that is at stake here.”
Then there was silence once again. Everyone was deep in thought, contemplating on the decision they should make. Dr. Eddie was staring at everyone and it seems that they are all thinking hard, trying to decide on what their next move was. Then Crusher stood up from his seat.
“We proceed to voting,” Crusher said in a low but firm voice, “those in favor raise your hands.
Rogers’ Company, Superior Division
November 10, 2016; Sunday, 2003 Hours
Dr. Eddie was preparing the Flare Plate for the fusion. Everyone agreed. It was a risk that they are willing to make for the group know that they are responsible in Duke’s predicament. Dr. Eddie was sure that this will work.
While Dr. Eddie was busy preparing his equipment, the elevator door opened and Crusher came out. At this moment, he was not in his Crusher persona but as Chris Rogers, the CEO of Rogers’ Company. He loosened his tie as he approaches the busy doctor.
“Are you ready?” Dr. Eddie asked as he unbuttons his white polo.
Dr. Eddie nodded, still not breaking his concentration in finishing the breastplate he was working on.
“Ronald and Christi can’t make it, they’d be in stakeout tonight,” Chris answered, “but Francis is on his way.”
“Is he bringing his Redemption?” Eddie joked as he places his final touches.
“Probably,” Chris smirked, “he doesn’t leave his sword behind.”
Just after that, the elevator opened and Francis Taylor or as he is known in as the Crusader. On his right was his sword named Redemption. He was wearing a tux with a navy blue bow tie and a red handkerchief on his coat pocket. It seems that he just finished attending a ball or a conference. He goes where Chris and Dr. Eddie were and greeted them.
“Sorry,” he apologized, “I was needed to attend this gala in Whedon Hall.”
“That’s fine,” Dr. Eddie said as he places the Flare Plate on the center of the breastplate. He then presses a button right above the plate and the breastplate was now active, “let’s start.”
The three then went where Duke was confined. There, Chris and Francis saw for the first time in their very own eyes the condition of Duke. He was lying on his bed and he was so skinny. It was horrifying seeing him in this shape.
“So, what’s the plan doc?” Chris asked, “And how is that going to help?”
Chris pointed on the breastplate the doctor was holding and he seems puzzled on what the device was.
“This breastplate is like an amplifier,” Dr. Eddie began explaining as he places it on Duke’s chest, “the Flare Plate can’t spread its energy that evenly in the body. If the energy will not be distributed evenly in his body, there will be a huge possibility that his body will overload and go off.”
As the doctor finishes placing the plate on Duke’s chest, he then activates the plate. The “F” insignia began to glow red. At first it was blinking slowly. Then after a few seconds the blinking stopped and the insignia glowed intensively. Dr. Eddie checked his vitals and was all the same. Suddenly, Duke’s heart beat began to rise. It was moving fast and the monitor was beeping wildly.
“What’s happening?” Francis asks.
“I don’t know,” Dr. Eddie replies as he goes to Duke who was now having a cardiac arrest, “it seems that his body is rejecting the fusion. I need to remove the plate, it’s unsafe.”
But before he could remove the plate, it immediately vanished and was absorbed in Duke’s chest. His heart beat was not slowing down and it seems that the fusion was working. His whole body was regenerating but before the three could see the transformation, the breastplate exploded from energy overload. The three flew across the room from the explosion. Glasses shattered, walls breaks and the laboratory was completely trashed. Everything was in flames. Chris slowly recovers from the explosion and stands on his feet. He quickly grabs the fire extinguisher and starts putting out the fire. But as he was doing that, Chris saw a silhouette in the flames. It was a man on his feet. The man has his back turned against him and his body was surrounded with fire. He turned his head and looked at Chris. He squinted his eyes from to get a better look at him and to his surprise, it was Duke and his eyes were fiery. Chris quickly put off the fire to get to Duke and as soon as he fainted, Chris caught him mid-air.