For Whom the Belle Toils
While stopping a rumble between two street gangs, the Squad discovered that a member of each gang had the powers of a dead superbeing. Through investigation and interrogation, the team learned the gang members had chips in their head to receive powers being transmitted, apparently placed there by a supervillain supplier named The Source who turned out to simply be a middle man.
With Swift Kick posing as a potential client, they were led to a closed military base in Montana. When they arrived, six people attacked. Like the gang members, the attackers had the powers of dead superbeings. Deducing that the satellite dish on the roof of the communications building was probably the source for the powers, the Squad destroyed it, turning their attackers back to normal people who quickly surrendered.
Under the communications building was a large room with one entire end filled with strange machinery. In a nook in the machinery stood a grizzled man, with one hand attached to the machine and the other reaching into some kind of portal. It appeared the machine was storing whatever he was drawing out of the portal in a series of transparent built-in containers. One container held a very familiar looking crimson energy.
When the grizzled man ignored the Squad's presence, continuing to concentrate on his task, the Squad attacked. As he was knocked back, the portal around his hand began to grow. He removed his other hand and struck back with a large crimson fist. As he did so, Forethought began to sense the presence of Jerry (as well as a feeling of great regret) emanating from the portal. Identifying himself as DeathTap, the grizzled man continued to battle. He was soon overpowered and knocked unconscious. But the still growing portal remained. Knowing this may be her chance to get Jerry back, Forethought entered the portal. The rest of the team had no choice but to follow.
Inside the blackness of the portal, the team could only sense death, except for Forethought who still felt Jerry off in the distance. Suddenly, a strange little man appeared, welcomed them to the Realm of the Dead, and introduced himself as Morty Scheinbaum, assistant to the Guardian of the Afterlife. When the Squad told him why they were there, Morty muttered something about the boss not going to like this, closed the still growing portal, and told the team to follow him to the personal afterlife Jerry Curtis had built for himself.
As they walked, Morty disappeared, and the darkness swirled about them and formed into New York. But this was not their New York, as a quick glance over the newspapers and magazines at a nearby newsstand revealed. Everyone here was dead, at least in the real world and Jerry Curtis was not only the famous Crimson Fist, leader of SuperSquad America, but a big time Tony-nominated Broadway producer.
Eventually, with the help of a little boy who seemed to represent the small part of Jerry's subconscious that still recalled his life among the living, and after avoiding a fight with Jerry's SuperSquad America, the real Squad was able to restore Jerry's memory. Once he remembered what he had done, Jerry was overcome with regret, apologized profusely for the pain he had caused, and asked to return with the team.
As the team tried to leave Jerry's New York, they found themselves face to face with the Guardian of the Afterlife. The Guardian was annoyed. He didn't like losing souls and the Squad had already stolen two from him when they saved Kelly's parents. As they tried to convince him that Jerry had made a mistake and deserved a second chance, it became clear that the Guardian understand human emotions and the need for challenges, but seemed to want to. Eventually, the idea of him becoming human was suggested and the Guardian was interested. But he wanted the whole experience and the only way he could get that would be to be reborn as a human. Both Forethought and Nightingale offered to give birth to him and plead their cases. After some discussion, it was decided that the Guardian would turn over his job to Morty and be reborn as one of a pair of twins to Forethought and Crimson Fist, who would be allowed to rejoin the living.
Originally Run: Origins 2004, Gen Con Indy 2004, Gen Con So Cal 2004