While at the Pinyin site getting her armor repaired, the shop workers ask Iron Wind if it is critical that her armor be repaired quickly. They offer an alternative solution and bring out another copy of her armor (stamped 0001 on the elbow guard) and offer to loan her the copy while they work on the original. She accepts the offer.
The following morning, the heroes get a call for help from an independent hero known as Surge. He is based in the Mendocino area and this morning saw what looked like a meteor fall into the state park. Upon investigation, he discovered what looked like a spaceship in the cult compound and a battle going on between two forces. Now a fire is raging out of control in the area and it is too much for him to deal with alone.
The heroes quickly go north to meet Surge. The group meets with the local head of the National Guard, and they are given official status to take whatever means are necessary to stop the fire – including entering the cult compound.
Iron Wind refuses to enter the cult property. Instead, she is flown up high at the property line by the Messenger so that she has a good vantage point to control the weather. She stops the wind and creates a tremendous rainstorm to battle the fire.
The rest of the heroes enter the compound and discover evidence of a huge battle. At the center of the compound, they find the spot where a ship of some kind had landed – but they do not find evidence of any combatants. They do find (and take samples of) piles of goop with electronic components mixed in. They are able to save one of the buildings in the central compound by depriving it of oxygen and allowing the fire to burn out.
The heroes fan out from the center in the search for survivors of the fire. As they move farther out, they find further evidence of a running battle. They also begin finding dead bodies – lots of them. The dead appear to be cultists ranging in age from infant to aged. They do find 13 survivors of various ages. A mental scan of the survivors reveals that the ship(s) were manned by humans in silver combat suits accompanied by a large black man in an African tribal costume complete with an axe and shrunken human skulls attached to his belt.
After the survivors are evacuated and the fire departments and National Guard arrive to help contain the fire, the heroes search the main compound area. In the ruins of the main building, they discover a sealed steel door in the floor. Once opened, it reveals a spiral staircase going down that leads to a reception area. After taking a further trip down an elevator shaft, they discover an underground medical facility containing human sized tube-containers similar (but not identical) to the ones that they were imprisoned in on Doctor Apocalypse’s island.
Following a noise, the heroes open a door to find Longhorn Tex! He expresses annoyance that it has taken them so long to catch up with him. Not fooled by the illusion, the heroes are prepared when the façade drops and they are attacked by a group of metahumans in the room. They find themselves facing Monsoon, Headliner, Wildcat, the Beholder, Longarm, and Morningstar. A titanic battle erupts with tremendous damage being dished out on both sides. During the fight, the heroes also discover another invisible opponent: the Wild Boar.
Once the Morningstar is defeated by a concentrated attack by the heroes, the Beholder runs to his prone body and teleports away. The remainder of the villains flee, leaving the unconscious forms of Monsoon and Wildcat to be taken into custody.
A further search of the facility reveals the following information:
- There were two obvious groups ransacking the facility – the inhabiting group that evacuated while grabbing everything that they could and destrying what they cound not; and the attacking group that ransacked what was left.
- The group behind the cult refers to itself as FORCE
- FORCE has another base in Washington State
- A damaged tube is discovered with a partially grown bio-android – the android looks like Flower Power.