Iron Bow and The Midnight Wiz start their investigation with a visit to Castle Rock. They use the communications crystals in order to let the rest of the team listen in on their conversations at the prison. Meeting with Warden Frazier they ask who Purcell had contact with while an inmate of the facility. Purcell spent time talking with Ringmaster as well as the mercenary trio known as Cyber-corps. Two days before the escape, Purcell got into a fight with Javier Fox, aka Jaguar, in the day room. He seemed to attack Javier for no reason and was put into “the hole” as a result. The day after being placed in solitary he escaped, shorting out most of the electrical systems in the prison along the way.
Talking with Ringmaster revealed that Purcell had been bragging about being “in” with Dr. Glisan, Ringmaster wanted nothing to do with Purcell and told him so, blaming Glisan for all his troubles. He went on to talk about how Glisan had put him up to stealing the contents of a safe in the Intel/Mattel smart toy lab in downtown Portland but he was captured in the attempt. How Glisan coerced him to try the job and what exactly was inside the safe he did not know, he figured it was some sort of prototype, possibly an A.I. program. Talking with the three cyborgs revealed much of the same info about Purcell, he liked to brag about his connection with Glisan. He also told them that he would put in a good word for them with Glisan when he got out.
Taking a different tact, the heroes decide to have a talk with Doctor Twycross to see if they have any ideas how Purcell could have gotten his “upgrades”. The doctor is unsure but Midnight Wiz notices that he is going though equipment manifests instead of patient records. Iron Bow presses the doctor about the issue and he tells them that some of the cybernetic parts used to keep Cybercorps alive (after they get rough) are missing. The doctor was hoping that the parts had been misplaced but they have not turned up yet, he has not informed the Warden of this but must do so now.
With that done the heroes head off to search for Purcell and the others in the last direction they were seen heading.
Ion arrives at the prison under the alias of Caleb Deegan, a new hire guard who has spent the last two years working at the Oregon State Penitentiary. He is introduced to Marco Berkeley, a senior guard, and advised that Marco will be in charge of training him in his duties at Castle Rock. Ion spends the next few days learning the duties of a guard at the supermax.
Bronze Fist is brought into the prison several days later under the alias of “Red Rager”, a villain captured in the Seattle area. Without his protective breastplate he glows a sullen red with crackling energy, barely suppressed by the dampening backpack he is forced to wear. He is placed in a cell on the men’s level of the prison. He spends a week just acting lethargic, as if the dampener is draining every ounce of energy he has.
When Spirit arrives as Curt Phillip, efficiency expert for the DSA, he meets with Warden Frazier right off. Warden Frazier is in on the fact that Curt is, in truth, the superhero Spirit. He is not aware of Red Rager or Caleb Deegan’s true identities however. Spirit is given a run down of the events leading up to Purcell’s escape and given a brief tour of “the hole”. Using his spells to become immaterial he searches the area for any sign that Dr. Glisan has tapped into the security system….unfortunately the search turns up nothing out of the ordinary.
Bronze Fist decides to make his move, over the last week the energy field surrounding him has grown darker. Sitting in the day room he suddenly rips the dampening pack from his body and heads down the hallway towards the guard station. The guards activate the riot suppression alarm. The hallway is sealed and pumped full of knockout gas. Bronze Fist fakes going unconscious, his willpower keeping him awake however. When the guards open the hall door to try and recover him he jumps up and attacks them. Two of the guards manage to hit him with bean bag stun guns before he unleashes stunning bolts of energy. The third guard yells out to “Flood the compartment!”. The central hub section is sealed and more knockout gas is pumped in to the room, the guard falls unconscious but Bronze Fist just moves into the guard station. Power has been cut to the controls here and he uses his powers to access the equipment, unlocking the door leading to the cells of the members of cybercorps. Once inside their cellblock he again accesses the equipment to shut off the knockout gas in this area, purging it and bringing normal air back into the cellblock. Applying a mild shock, he rouses the three cyborgs, his energy bolts have become black as night.
“I owe Purcell something, where is he!” he shouts at the three.
“How the hell should we know?”, replies Hacker.“And who the hell are you?”
Upstairs in the Warden’s office/situation room, the warden eye’s Spirit suspiciously and asks him the same question. Nervously Spirit replies, “That’s really Bronze Fist, a hero. I wasn’t aware he was here.”
Bronze Fist hits Hacker with a more substantial charge, “How did he get those cybernetic upgrades, those were your spare parts!”
“I don’t know! Some of the guards must have smuggled them to him, I think some of them are on the take!”, he replies.
“Fine! Get back in your cells!”, he bellows at them. Bronze Fist seems barely in control of himself as the black energy arcs from his body. He walks back into the hallway and begins hammering his fists at the wall. The energy pours out of him, shorting out the cameras in the hallway. Other cameras in the hub and cell blocks show the amazing display of energy as Bronze Fist rages in the hallway. After 10 minutes he is drained and the warden sends in the guards. They subdue Bronze Fist, who puts up no resistance, and take him to “the hole” on the suggestion of Spirit, hoping to maintain his “cover”. As Bronze Fist begins to recover the energy arcing from his body returns, now tinged a slight violet in color.