Only the Good Die Young
A day after a big prison break at the Fortress, DeathGrip began kidnapping relatives of people involved with his trial. While trying to keep possible targets safe, the Squad had to contend with the escaped villains DeathGrip was using as distractions. After several kidnappings, the team got a message on their communicators from DeathGrip telling them to go to Times Square. Once there, they saw DeathGrip on the big screen holding Dianne Armstrong Kennedy (Challenger’s wife, Fast Track’s mother, and the team’s administrative assistant) by the throat. As they watched helplessly, he slowly tightened his grip and then dropped a lifeless Dianne to the ground.
Horrified by what they had just seen, the Squad used clues from the broadcast to track DeathGrip to an old subway station that had been modified in the 1960s to serve as America’s first super-prison. While Mr. Z. used his sense-tricking powers to appear as David Kennedy and walk through the main entrance of the former prison and confront DeathGrip, the rest of the team busted through the subway wall and rescued the other kidnap victims who were rushed to safety by Fast Track. They also found Dianne’s dead body. By then, DeathGrip had seen through Mr. Z’s deception and attacked. The rest of the team joined the battle and DeathGrip began to taunt Challenger, daring the hero to kill him, but Challenger refused. DeathGrip begged Challenger to kill him, revealing that he was dying of cancer and preferred to die in battle rather than wither away. Challenger refused again, saying he preferred to see the villain waste away in prison. Fast Track returned and joined the battle. DeathGrip was soon down and unconscious.
As the rest of the team watched unable to act, Fast Track used his amazing speed to strip the villain of his armor and was about to deliver what a fatal blow when he suddenly stopped himself and broken down crying. When his teammates moved to comfort him, he began to laugh maniacally, tore the crest on his arm so the “FT” now resembled “TT” and raced off screaming that time travel was the only answer.
Leaving a bound DeathGrip for EAGLES to pick up, the rest of the Squad returned to HQ with Dianne’s body. After much discussion, it was decided that there wasn’t anything they could do. Even if Fast Track returned and could access the Time Room, it was not worth the risk. Who knew what a little change in history could effect. They had been lucky that their rescue of Silver Bow’s parents had not changed history. And while they could try to reach the Realms of the Dead as they had with Crimson Fist, it had been made clear that the Guardians were not happy with them interfering in the natural order of things.
On the day before Dianne’s funeral, David Kennedy publicly announced that he was retiring as Challenger. Despite hopes that Fast Track might show up at the funeral, he never did.
DeathGrip died of cancer five months later in a prison hospital.
Originally Run: KublaCon 2006, Origins 2006, Gen Con Indy 2006, Gen Con So Cal 2006