S1E14: In Times Gone By

The episode picks up several days before, with David Weaver dawning his Blackjack persona after getting off shift with the Protectors.  We follow him through several encounters with various street scum and criminal mooks, as he searches out the identity and location of the Minute Men, and their mysterious recruiter known as James Drucker, or sometimes more ominously as Ghoul.  For all the beatings he dishes out, he learns very little, save to hear that Ghoul and his men have gone underground, preparing something big.  Finally, Blackjack gets a break, and a member of the homeless that provides information to him informs him that Ghoul and his men showed up at a warehouse in the Northshore Industrial District, just across the river from Bowden Island. He tells Blackjack of the large crates that Ghoul and his men were shipping, and how Ghoul himself seemed to answer to “a kid in a fancy brown suit” who drove off before the whole thing was done.

Looking for more answers, Blackjack heads off to the warehouse, where he discovers two men dressed as hobos, who are actually disguised guards for the Minute Men.  While they deny knowing or having met Drucker, they explained they worked for a guy named Donnie, who ran drugs on Bowden Island.  After leaving the guards for the police to find, Blackjack returns to Bowden Island.  At the address he was given, he crashes dramatically into a cocaine den, throwing around the men inside like rag dolls, while they struggle in vain to stop him with a mix of small firearms, shotguns, and automatics.  Although one of the men escaped, Blackjack manages to catch the leader of the crew, Donnie.

Nearby, Azra, just fresh from her failure to blend in at the video game arcade,  reforges a fresh set of glass armour, donning what the media has dubbed her “Glass Cannon” disguise.  Projecting herself with her powers through the thin brick wall of the apartment where Blackjack is holding up Donnie’s crew, she rises to her feet to find herself faced with the notorious Blackjack.  Meanwhile, the escaped member manages to run screaming into the Arcade, alerting Doppler and Mouse of the incident outside.  Rushing to the scene of the incident, they arrive to find Azra swooning at meeting the mighty Blackjack, and Blackjack himself escaping through a window after getting the info he needs from Donnie. After some brief threats from Doppler, Donnie gives up the information he shared with Blackjack, before walking free to meet with his contact, as he has been instructed to.

The next morning at the debriefing, the others fill Proteus in on the night’s events, and Doppler grows suspicious as he begins to hear similarities between Blackjack’s voice and Proteus’. Doppler suggests having the team stake out the meet in several days, hoping to catch both Blackjack and the mysterious Ghoul. Proteus agrees, and the team parts ways.  Almost right away, Sirocco and Proteus get called in to help with a hostage situation, where the perpetrator requested to deal with the Protectors.  Arriving on scene, they learn that he has taken some 27 people hostage on one of the subway trains from that morning, and cuffed them all inside the train at the end of an abandoned tunnel.  After a brief discussion, Proteus decides to head down the tunnel alone, with Sirocco near by in case he needs her help.  After heading down the tunnel, he finds the hostage taker, dressed as the train driver, with a laptop and data cord connected to an electrical box in the tunnel.  The driver reveals suspiciously detailed information about Proteus, and reveals himself to be the mysterious man who the Protectors were earlier investigating.  The Mysterious Man explains that Proteus and his companion have enough time to rescue all 27 people before the bombs go off, but at the cost of having to let The Mysterious Man get away. The man also warns them that he has a special detonator attached to his chest, and that any physical violence that comes his way would activate the bombs, and bombs on three buses. Reluctantly, Proteus lets the man leave, as Sirocco and he move quickly to release the hostages.  Proteus uses his powers to absorb energy to reduce the effect of the blast, and giving the hostages and Sirocco more time to escape.  After everyone is safe, Sirocco and Proteus realize the man ditched the driver’s uniform, and the “bomb vest” he was wearing and escaped disguised as one of the escaping passengers.  Taking the bomb vest back to The Clubhouse for analysis, Glitch and Ron inform them that the vest is an elaborately designed piece of flashy equipment that does nothing, heightening Proteus’ frustration and outrage over this man, whom he and Sirocco have now dubbed Jack, due to his penchant for calling everyone he deals with “Jack”.

Back on patrol, Sukis touches base with Proteus about contacting the Transit Authority in the city about what might have been in the abandoned tunnel, and to check in with Proteus about his plans to deal with the protest the next day, decrying the Protectors and rise in mutant-related violence in the city.

This leads to an intense conversation with Sirocco about the protest, where she reveals to Proteus her fears of both attending and not attending the protest.  Afraid innocent people, and quite possibly her friends, may die if either of those scenarios play out, Sirocco has a virtual panic attack.  Taking his role as leader as seriously as he does, Proteus talked her though, and agreed that the Protectors would find a way to have an unobtrusive presence at the event, to ensure that everything ran smoothly.