Dead Heroes Walking
On September 15, 1999, while SuperSquad America was gathered for the opening of the Challenger Museum (a project of Rick Davies and his Challenger foundation) and a live interview on Manhattan Morning with Keith Montieth, they were attacked by four members of the supervillain group Victory (Anita DuPuis aka Madame Morph was nowhere to be seen), the independent villain Porter, and Villainy International's London Fog. After defeating the villains and turning them over to EAGLES, the Squad was informed that the water-based hero Hydron from the Boston area had drowned. EAGLES informed them that this was the third such hero death in recent weeks. The fire-based hero Star Flare had died in a house fire and the ice-and-cold-based Winterhawk had frozen to death in mid-air. Rick Davies arranged for Hydron's body to be flown to New York for an autopsy.
While the Squad awaited the arrival of Hydron's body, they began to investigate the other deaths as well as the reasons behind the attack by Victory, Porter, and London Fog that morning. They discovered that the six villains had been hired and equipped with new costumes and equipment by a mysterious man known only as Mr. N. B. Tween to provide a distraction for an unknown operation elsewhere. On the other front, they learned that each of the dead heroes not long before their deaths had had an encounter with a villain or group of villains who later turned up dead themselves. Putting two and two together, the heroes surmised that someone was using villains to somehow infect heroes with something that was turning their powers against them. This prompted Rick to remember how when he was first created by Project Victory, his powers were unstable and somehow Dr. Johann Staebler had stabilized the programmable nanites bonded to his cell structure. He began to suspect that perhaps EUREKA had found a way to use the Project Victory technology they had stolen years before to create a set of destabilizing nanites that could turn a superbeing's powers against him. Hydron's autopsy confirmed Rick's theory and he revealed his true origin to his teammates in order to explain how he knew all about Project Victory.
Meanwhile at EAGLES headquarters, strange things were happening to Victory and Porter. Joule was burning up with her own energy. Reflex had lost all control of his body and was literally beating himself to death. His heart was also beating at an increasing rate and would eventually burn itself out.
Realizing that these villains had likely been hired to infect the Squad, Rick ordered everyone to be tested and it was discovered that all of SuperSquad America except Challenger (who had no powers) and Crimson Fist (whose energy field had protected him) had been infected with the destabilizing nanites and had less than 24 hours to live.
The heroes were placed in quarantine while OASIS scientists made sure that the destabilizing nanites were not communicative. While in quarantine, the team was visited by Anita Dupuis (Madame Morph) who informed that she had broken free of her brainwashing and had been working secretly against EUREKA for the past year while pretending to still work for them. She agreed to let Forethought verify her story, which indeed was true. Extremely upset over the fate of her Victory teammates, she informed the Squad that EUREKA was indeed behind the destabilizing nanites and pointed the heroes towards EUREKA member Cornelius Van Der Cleef headquartered in a small French town outside Paris.
After being released from quarantine, SuperSquad America flew to France and infiltrated Van Der Cleef's home as the EUREKA member slept. The Squad woke him up and made use of Silver Bow's interrogation skills to get him to talk. Van Der Cleef informed them that the culprit was really a splinter EUREKA group led by Mikos Vasiliou aka The Greek Buffoon. He gave the heroes directions to Vailiou's headquarters, a genetics firm in Scotland called GenStar.
With only hours left for most of them to live, the Squad flew to Scotland and began to approach GenStar. Obviously sensing them, Vasiliou activated his "mime field", robotic mimes that came up out of the ground and exploded on impact. Thanks to quick action by all team members, but especially due to the speed of Whiz Kid and the cyberkinetic abilities of Dynamo, SuperSquad America defeated and deactivated the nefarious mimes with only minor injuries. Having failed with his mime field, Vasiliou sent Villainy International after the heroes. After a hard fought battle against the villains, the heroes finally entered the GenStar facility. Making their way to the main laboratory, they discovered that Vasiliou planned to launch a missile that would spread the destabilizing nanites throughout the world, providing him with the opportunity to blackmail
The Squad defeated Vasiliou, but not before he destroyed the Project Victory equipment which was located in the main laboratory. Fortunately, Whiz Kid and Rick were able to recreate it from data in the computers and cure the team. However, as they finishd their task, Cornelius Van Der Cleef appeared on the lab's large TV screen and announced that he had kidnapped Dianne Armstrong and demanded the return of the Project Victory process in exchange for her life. After confirming that Dianne was indeed missing and not wanting to lose the love of his life, Challenger agreed, but had Rick plant a flaw in the process. Knowing that once EUREKA found the flaw, they wouldn't be safe, Challenger led SuperSquad America, Madame Morph, and other heroes in a war that effectively wiped out Van Der Cleef's branch of EUREKA.
Originally Run: Origins 1997, Gen Con 1997
Note: The date of the adventure was later changed from 1997 to 1999 when, for personal reasons, no SuperSquad America event was in either 1998 or 1999.