Mr. Moray’s phone rings while he is waiting on the tarmac for the plane to refuel. It begins as a phone solicitation but cuts suddenly to a voice altered mechanically. It says that they want to make contact with him. Moray replies cautiously, worried that it is a Decagon loyalty test, that he will be in San Francisco and that he could potentially meet with them there. Captain Awesome is busy trying his best to deplete the stores of root beer in the bar.
Landing in San Francisco, they check into their rooms at the Embassy Suites and begin preparation for the public speaking event. They head to Sue Bierman Park near the water. Moray begins speaking, his voice oozing out over the loudspeakers and insinuating things into people’s minds. Meridian, on stage with the Asian delegation of manufacturers, looks down various timelines and sees a sniper shooting out from one of the windows of a nearby office building. Turning, he dives through one of the delegate’s mirrored sunglasses and appears into the hallway just outside where the sniper is poised and ready to fire. He sneaks up behind the man like a ghost and breaks the majority of his ribs. The rifle that he has appears to be some sort of rail gun.
Down below there is a Talent that can transform into living stone who begins running through the crowd. Captain Awesome assumes his Cyclops form and steps into the stone man’s way. The stone man lands a thunderous punch across Captain Awesome’s jaw. While it staggers him he keeps his feet. Awesome retaliThe stone mane sweeps Awesome’s legs and flings a woman as a distraction (her shoulder dislocates with the force she is thrown). Moray is ushering people off the stage and fails to notice someone slip something in his pocket. The stone man sweeps Awesome’s legs out from under him and launches at the stage. Moray’s eyes narrow and the stone man drops dead like a, well, stone.
The sniper is rushed to the hospital and is undergoing sugery for severe thoracic injury. The stone man melts back into flesh form. The sniper rifle appears to be black tech and is likely the work of The Fourth Wall, an underground tech group. Generally they don’t engage in terrorist activities, however!
Moray finds the address in his pocket. It is a night club, Silver and Lace. Moray notifies his superiors of the situation and heads over there with Awesome and Meridian in tow. Meridian watches from the upper floor while Captain Awesome tries to get his dance on. Meridian never sees anyone come up to the bar to speak with Moray but Moray has a whole conversation with the man. Rashad Al-Ansar makes contact with Moray and tells him that he has been employed to determine Moray’s loyalties. He requires that Moray grab a small child, Danny Whitehollow, who lives in Oakland, and deliver it to Rashad’s hotel room at the Steward’s Hotel.
Looking into Danny Whitehollow’s past shows one potential event with Talent involved. In 2005 Danny lived with his parents in Nebraska on a ranch. One day every animal in a half mile radius was found dead. The Decagon put the family on probationary status and followed them for 8 months. No additional possible Talent was observed.
The group contacts their Decagon superiors and relays all the information. The group consults their handler, Mr. Brolin, offering to give the child to Al-Ansar in the hopes it makes Moray more approachable by Resistance groups who will try to recruit him. Mr. Brolin returns in approximately an hour and says they have the go-ahead. He promises tactical support from the San Francisco Police Department who provide helicopters, weapons and SWAT backup to the group.
Moray snatches little Danny from the playground with a thought. As he listens to Danny’s surface thoughts as they drive toward the Steward’s Hotel, he catches thoughts that lead him to conclude that Danny isn’t really Danny. Piercing the illusion, he sees Al-Ansar with an explosive belt on. Without hesitation, Moray drops Al-Ansar with his mental bolt before running up to the hotel room. The room is empty.
At that point Captain Awesome sees the heads of the police officers in the helicopter on top of the Hotel explode. Cars begin crashing down below and people begin dropping in the sidewalks as if hit by an invisible wave, their heads exploding. Strangely, the group (all Talents) are not affected. The phone rings in the Hotel room and it is Rashad’s second in command, Mudhir Rhanesh, saying that he has the boy. Rhanesh was thought to be deceased based upon the Decagon’s covert Registry that tracks Talents across the globe. Beginning to question Mudhir Rhanesh (a man rumored to be able to make people explode like bombs), Moray finds that the Prophets of Annihilation’s goal was to foment anti-Talent sentiment and cause humanity to rise up and throw off the yoke of the Decagon. Captain Awesome, in Cyclops form, crashes down upon the man turning him into a thick red paste. Danny Whitehollow is found in the vehicle that Mudhir Rhanesh drove to the hotel. He appears scared out of his mind.
The crime scene is bustling with Oakland police officers gathering evidence. There is a strange hush over the cops. Many of them had friends or family living in San Francisco when the event happened. No one knew what it was, exactly, but the rumor was some sort of Talent. Maybe a kid. Detective Jacobs surveyed the crime scene. He had always hated Talents. Looking around the desolation that was once San Francisco he wondered why the he’ll they were focusing on this one set of bodies when there were so many other bodies to deal with. “Because the fucking eye in the sky tells us we have to,” he answered himself with a mutter. As if on cue three people dressed as if they had all gone to the same store parted the crowd and headed toward his crime scene. Two men and a woman but it was hard to tell with these Decagon types sometimes. Whoever these three were they made his skin crawl. “Detective Jacobs,” the tall man stated while flipping out a badge that didn’t mean shut but he had to mind anyway. “We are Decagon agents and we need access to your crime scene.” Without waiting for an answer they moved over to where the body of Al-Ansar rested. The smaller man bent down while putting gloves on and opened a small pack. He expertly cut a slice of tissue out of the man’s forearm and deposited it in a glass dish. They all stood up and, without even a nod, walked back to their car and drove off through the maze of headless bodies.