For a week following their success at the Zoo, the heroes of the Eclipse were wined and dined by Pacifico’s elite. All of the heroes enjoyed the attention (the Messenger participated in the festivities more so than the rest.)
Mid-week, Lee Zhu Pinyin sent the Eclipse the gift of a small fleet of vehicles in gratitude for saving his life and the lives of his family. They received 2 small but speedy sports cars and 1 armored van. The heroes humbly accepted the businessman’s gift.
Dr. Eric Daniels also sent the heroes a gift of sorts. Seeing the sheer volume of calls that the heroes were receiving, he sent his administrative assistant Amber Poniard to work for the Eclipse as a receptionist and secretary.
At the end of the week, all of the inhabitants of Pacifico were startled to see the image of the evil supervillain Doctor Apocalypse in the sky. In horror, they heard him utter the following threat:
Greetings Humans. I am Doctor Apocalypse and I have returned from Beyond Death. All will remember my power. In the Intervening years, I have grown even more powerful. Do NOT expect your puny heroes to defeat me again.
My Demands are Thus: In 14 days, the California cities of San Francisco, Oakland, Pacifico, Monterrey, and all of the land encompassing shall be evacuated of all citizens and ceded to me as a sovereign nation. Within 30 days following, the government of the United States will formally cede all of California to my new nation. Within 30 days following, all US citizens will be evacuated from California. Anyone left behind will be executed.
Unless the acceptance of my offer is broadcast within 24 hours, the city of Monterrey will serve as the demonstration of my wrath. Failure to comply would be unwise.
The heroes discovered that every individual across the four mentioned cities saw the phenomenon. Even more amazing, every individual saw the image as if they were looking at it straight on – no matter what direction they were facing.
Within hours of Apocalypse’s demands, California Governor Browne broadcasted a defiant rejection of the extortion attempt and called out the National Guard.
The heroes learned about Apocalypse’s history and his previous attempt to ‘liberate’ the island of Manhattan (an attempt that was foiled by the Sentinals. They also learn about the existence of Apocalypse’s son, Benjamin Apocalos.
The members of the Eclipse divided their efforts.
Photon Wave researches how Apocalypse could have pulled off that amazing exhibition.
The Valkyrie and Iron Wind went to Monterrey to search for Apocalypse’s threat.
The Messenger went to the New Jersey State Penitentiary to interview Benjamin.
Photon Wave was unable to locate any technological way to duplicate the ‘mass hallucination’
The ladies began patrolling the city of Monterrey – helping to keep the peace especially with a large number of people attempting to leave the city as a result of the warning.
Benjamin Apocolos was decidedly unhelpful – not necessarily through an unwillingness to help, but having been in prison for years, he claimed to be totally unaware of any activities of his father.
A quick call was placed to Masterini to ‘consult’ on the potential use of magic by Apocalypse. Masterini was able to confirm the presence of a large magical ‘residue’ dissipating over the cities. It was definitely a magical event.
24 hours to the second following the completion of Apocalypse’s warning, a monstrous Earthquake hit the city of Monterrey – and ONLY the city of Monterrey. Although tremors were felt far away, the devastation effects of the earthquake were confined solely within the city limits.
The Heroes promptly dove into action assisting police, fire, and National Guardsmen maintain order and rescue civilians.During rescue work, the Valkyrie found a previously undiscovered cavern underneath a collapsed factory. In the cavern, she found a 25 foot simian creature curled up as if hibernating and covered in a layer of calcified rock. The press prompty dubbed the discovery the ‘Monterrangutan’.
Meanwhile, Photon Wave studied the effects of the earthquake in an attempt to figure out how Apocalypse caused it. He discovered scientific anomalies… namely that there is no logical explanation for how this quake could have happened. The data appeared as if some huge unknown entity reached into the ground, grabbed two big handfuls of bedrock, and began shaking violently. His logical, scientific mind was flustered by his findings.
Rescue, Cleanup and Crowd Control efforts continued for the heroes the following day until they all received alerts that the Monterrangutan had been accidentally freed from the stone by excavators—- and that it was very angry… and hungry.
An Epic battle ensued with the monstrous beast as it attempted to pummel the heroes with both fists and huge chunks of rubble. Punishing damage was dealt by both sides of the combat until finally the beast lay slain at the feet of the heroes.