Let's Do the Time Twist Again
On March 23 2007, Time Twister (former teammate Bernie Armstrong aka Fast Track) lured the members of SuperSquad America and the retired David Kennedy (without his armor) to the team's Broadway headquarters. In an address delivered over the team's main screen, Bernie stated that no matter what he tried, his mother always died and he always became Time Twister. Thus, something more drastic was necessary. He then apologized for what was about to happen and the screen shut off.
Suddenly, Forethought collapsed in pain as six figures appeared in the room, introduced themselves as the Time Freaks (Prime Time, Hang Time, Small Time, Double Time, Hard Time, and Killing Time) and attacked. David and the Squad fought back and had them on the verge of defeat when Hang Time activated something on his costume and they found themselves thrown into the time stream. Grabbing hold of each other to keep from being too scattered, they ended up in two groups.
The first group (Silver Bow, Mr. Z, Forethought, and Diva) ended up in Earth's distant past where they that the planet was a Goraxian prison world for dangerous criminals of numerous races with various powers. The criminals were imprisoned under large power-dampening shields and a similar shield in space englobed the entire planet. They also found primitive humans who were practicing rudimentary magic. Most of their powers and enhanced abilities did not work, except for Forethought's magic and some of Silver Bow's arrows – although she herself was weakened and less dexterous. Knowing they needed some kind of time machine to get back home, they made contact with Dr. Hizzoxx, a Goraxian mad scientist who, while he could not build them a time machine, figured he could open a portal to the time stream if his super-intelligence, dampened by the shields, was restored.
Silver Bow and company captured the Goraxian command headquarters and dropped the shields, but not before creating a remote to turn them back on. Dr. Hizzoxx created a device to open a portal to the time stream and as the heroes entered, Hizzoxx attempted to join them. Diva knocked him out and Mr. Z remotely restored the shields. The heroes found themselves in the time stream, which for some reason, was collapsing around them.
The second group (David Kennedy, Crimson Fist, Nightingale, and Impact) ended up in the New York headquarters of SuperSquad Galactica in the year 2507. There, they met Warren Kennedy, the Challenger of that era, along with his teammates Stasis and Trace, who informed them that they did not have any time travel technology. However, he did suggest that he could create a device that would let Trace use her ability to locate anything to locate where in time the rest of SuperSquad America ended up. Warren built the device and Trace began to scan the time stream. Suddenly, a panicked look came across her face and she screamed, "He sees me! He's coming!" and began to convulse. The situation caused Crimson Fist to flash back to years before when Forethought gave her all to free the team from Jeffrey Knox's virtual reality and he ripped the girl from the device before permanent harm could be done. Nevertheless, they all knew what she had found. Time Twister was coming.
Borrowing a version of his armor from the future Squad's museum, David and the others prepared to face Time Twister when a report came in from SuperSquad Galactica members on a case near Alpha Centauri. They reported that a huge tornado-like creature was on course for Earth, destroying reality as it went. Warren Kennedy ordered them out of there immediately, but it was too late. They were gone.
As Time Twister spiraled in on New York, David and Nightingale headed out to confront him while Impact and Crimson Fist help SuperSquad Galactica deal with a panicked populace. Unfortunately, while there was still enough of Bernie left in the force of nature that Time Twister had become to recognize them, there was not enough left to respond to their pleas to stop. Realizing their best hope was to escape into the time stream, the heroes retreated to the SuperSquad Galatica HQ. Trace and Stasis fell to Time Twister as they bought Warren Kennedy time to create the portal. With a portal open, the 2007 Squad members entered the time stream as they saw Time Twister wipe Warren from existence. Around them, the time stream was collapsing and they found themselves reunited with their teammates.
Suddenly, the time stream stopped collapsing and began to repair itself. As the situation calmed, they discovered the unconscious body of a man in a costume that suggested an hourglass drifting nearby. Reviving him, he introduced him as the Guardian of Time and revealed that Time Twister had ambushed him and stolen most of his power. Brought up to date on the situation and sensing his power returning, the Guardian informed them that Bernie was now using the power he had stolen to rebuild the time stream. Using his restored partial power and the time energy stored in the time-tossed heroes, the Guardian returned them to their proper time and gave them a mystical hourglass to call for help if they needed it.
The Squad soon discovered that this was not their world. Except for David's Challenger armor, Forethought's magic, and some of Silver Bow's arrows (though she was not as good with them) none of their powers worked and there did not seem to be any superheroes at all. They also quickly learned that there was no space program at all and that launching anything into orbit, including satellites, was strictly forbidden. It seemed that on September 3, 1956, the US and the USSR signed a treaty banning such launches and within a short time, all major nations had also agreed to the ban. Additionally, Bernie Armstrong was working as an associate professor at Princeton University.
The Squad traveled to Princeton intending to confront him over what he had done, but the Bernie that they met there was clearly not Time Twister. He was a rather ordinary, even somewhat clumsy, scientist who had no idea at all who they were. He excused himself from their meeting because he was having lunch with his mother who was visiting from out of town. Dianne was alive here. David insisted that they follow Bernie because he wanted to see Dianne one last time. Following Bernie at a safe distance, they found themselves outside a restaurant watching him and his mother have a pleasant lunch. David wanted to go in and talk to Dianne but as he approached the restaurant's door, Time Twister appeared out of nowhere and told them that they were to leave this Bernie and his mother alone and not bring them the pain and horror they had in the original timeline.
Sensing they could not defeat Time Twister in a straight fight without most of their powers, Silver Bow took hold of the mystical hourglass and silently asked for help. Suddenly, the Squad found themselves not confronting Time Twister but rather in a large council chamber with a few beings they recognized. The beings introduced themselves as the Council of Cosmic Guardians. Individually, there were the Guardian Supreme, the Guardian of Knowledge, the Guardian of Elsewhere, the Guardian of Time, the Guardian of the Afterlife (the Morty Scheinbaum version), the Guardian of Balance (who had called herself the Guardian of Truth and Justice when they had met years before), the Template (their former teammate, Dynamo), and the Black Sword, who when introduced, turned to face them revealing his identity as the late villain DeathGrip. There was also an empty chair for the White Shield who had not yet been replaced since Michael Shannon gave his life during the battle for control of the Seventh Cycle in 2000.
In general, the Guardians were not happy. There were many accusations of the Squad interfering too much in the affairs of the Guardians. Examples included causing the White Shield to expend the last of his cosmic life force, selecting a Template who threw off the balance of magic and technology, traveling through time to steal two souls from the Guardian of the Afterlife (Silver Bow's parents), convincing the former Guardian of the Afterlife to give them Crimson Fist back and to be reborn as a human, and creating Time Twister who had managed to do the unthinkable, steal the power of a Guardian, albeit temporarily. Moreover, here they were again, asking for the help of the Guardians.
The Squad argued valiantly in their own defense: the White Shield had given his life force willingly; they had no idea that Dynamo would throw off the magic/technology balance and had been told that any of them were suitable candidates for the job and when they learned of the imbalance, corrected it; why didn't the Guardian of Time stop them from traveling back to save Silver Bow's parents?; their deal with the Guardian of the Afterlife was a fair one – something he desired for something they desired; and the creation of Time Twister was as much the fault of their new Black Sword, DeathGrip, as it was theirs. In the end, the council decided to put it to a vote as to whether or not they would help the Squad defeat Time Twister and restore their timeline. Sensing that Time Twister could yet prove to be a threat to all of them, they voted 5-4 in favor of helping.
As they thought about how and when to defeat Time Twister, a few things fell into place. The shield that dampened powers in Earth's days as a Goraxian prison planet must still be in place and in fact, it must have remained in place in the original timeline until space launches of the late fifties and early sixties brought it down, allowing superpowers to exist on Earth. The Guardian of Knowledge confirmed this fact and the fact that the variety of superpowers on Earth was a result of interbreeding between the imprisoned aliens and the primitive human. Therefore, the question was what had happened on September 3, 1956 to bring the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. together in an anti-space treaty. Where was Time Twister at that time? The Guardians of Time and Knowledge conversed quietly and revealed that Time Twister had been on board a Goraxian warship just outside Earth's orbit at that time. The Guardians would send the Squad there but not before the Guardian of Time enchanted the mystical hourglass with the ability to drive Time Twister back into the time steam unable to return to that point in history.
Bidding adieu to the Guardians, the Squad arrived just outside the bridge of the Goraxian warship on September 3, 1956. They could hear Time Twister gloating that once they used Goraxian sense-tricking technology to show Earth's leaders the threat they would face, they would gladly agree to stay out of space. Thus, the planet would never develop superpowers and would be ripe for Goraxian plucking when the time was right. With that, he left the bridge. Seizing the opportunity, the Squad stormed the bridge and, with their full powers, easily defeated the crew. When Time Twister returned to the bridge, Crimson Fist pulled the hourglass planning to banish the villain to the time stream, but suddenly had a better idea. Focusing his crimson energy through the hourglass, he was able to sever Time Twister's connection to the time stream stranding him in the present time where the Squad was able to defeat him.
Returning to Guardians' council chamber, a debate ensued over what should be done to Bernie Armstrong, now stripped of his Time Twister armor. Eventually, the Squad and the Guardians decided that Bernie should be stripped of his superpowers including his super-intelligence, leaving him just a very smart normal who would be unable to recreate his time travel work, and returned to Earth of 2007. However, the Squad was still concerned about Bernie's sanity and thought that he might be better able to deal with the situation if he knew his mother was watching over him. To that end, they suggested that the council make Dianne Armstrong Kennedy the new White Shield. After consultation among themselves, the council agreed and the Guardian of Afterlife retrieved Dianne from her afterlife. The council offered her the position. She agreed and, after a tearful good-bye to David and Bernie, took the White Shield's seat at the council table. After a strict warning from the Guardian Supreme that he did not want to see them meddling in the Guardians' business again, SuperSquad America was returned to Earth as they had left it on March 23, 2007.
In the aftermath of this adventure, David Kennedy again hung up the suit and returned to retirement; Bernie Armstrong decided it was too painful to remain in the New York area and moved to Seattle where he took a job with that city's branch of OASIS; and the rest of SuperSquad America felt that closure had been achieved in the situation and were able to move on with their self-appointed task of keeping America and the world safe.
Originally Run: KublaCon 2007, Origins 2007, Gen Con 2007