Episode 15: 72 Hours, Part 1
After a great deal of soul searching, Glitch decides that she does no belong on the Protectors team, and after a heartfelt farewell to Gargoyle, she leaves in secret and returns home to her parents in Chicago.
Later that morning, the remaining Protectors are summoned to the Machine Shop inside the Clubhouse. There Ron and Tech unveil new comm watches with an exciting new feature; the watches transform into the heroes’ new outfits. Tech explains that they used a modified sample of Glitch’s nanites to create the new suits, as well as including a locator feature, vitals monitoring, built in comms, and better physical protection.
Equipped with their new suits, the Protectors head out to observe the anti-mutant rally happening at city hall. When they arrive, the rally is thick with tension. In addition to the protesters gathered for the rally, a police line has separated a collection of counter-protesters nearby.
On a nearby roof, the Protectors watch the proceedings, and Sirocco looks particularly concerned. To help calm her, Proteus shows her the large syringe of sedative he acquired from the Med Room the previous afternoon.
Tensions rise suddenly as threats between the protesters and counter-protesters are exchanged, followed quickly by punches across the police line. An all out brawl erupts suddenly, and the police are quickly overwhelmed by both sides.
Sirocco jumps into the fray, trying to separate those engaged in the melee, when she finds herself overwhelmed by reminders of a similar incident in Cairo, where she lost her parents only months before.
This time, there is no one to calm her or knock her out and her own rage overcomes her. Leaping down to assist her, Proteus ends up watching as dirt and debris circle and swarm around Sirocco, solidifying into a thick layer of silica over her entire body. Enraged as she is, she begins knocking people aside, her sand form granting her immense strength.
Proteus manages to get Sirocco’s attention, but is unable to talk her down, instead becoming the focus of her rampage. His initial efforts to use the syringe are thwarted and he is knocked clear of her with a powerful sweep of her arms.
Meanwhile on the roof, Doppler and Tech have managed to pinpoint an epicenter of the rage, determining that one of the anti-mutant protesters seems to be the source. Doppler tries to use his sonic abilities to disable the instigator, however the wild and unpredictable movement of the mob makes the man difficult to target.
Finding himself deep in the thick of things, Proteus begins to feel a strange push on his own feelings, but manages to fight through the immense rage he feels building inside him. He pulls his focus back to Sirocco, and focuses the kinetic energy he absorbed from her attack into a punch. The energy knocks the protective sand layer away and with a quick jab from his off-hand to the exposed area, he injects the sedative into Sirocco.
More police show up, and begin arresting and gassing the mob, which quickly disperses. Doppler sticks around to assist EMS personnel with cleaning up, while Proteus takes Sirocco back to the Clubhouse.
Once there, Sirocco is treated by Mercy, who explains that Sirocco has been stabilized but the sedative will take quite a while to wear off. Proteus decides to take the time to check in with Glitch, hoping to thank her for her help building the new suits, but when he arrives at her room, he discovers it is cleaned out. As he heads back upstairs, he encounters Sukis, who informs Proteus that he has just learned of Glitch’s departure from the team.
Later, while Proteus and Doppler are going over the video of the riot from their suits, Tech races in seeming very excited. He explains that he reviewed all of the data from Sirocco’s and Proteus’ new suits and discovered something affecting their brainwaves and adrenaline responses. He also identifies the man that Doppler believes is responsible as being Jeffrey Carmichael, a known anti-mutant sympathizer and recluse.
Dubbing him Hatemonger, Tech also explains that he thinks he can make some modifications to the suits to provide some protection against Hatemonger’s anger-enhancing powers.
Later that evening, across town at a tenement building on Bowden Island, the Mysterious Man “Jack” enters into one of the appartment suites, dragging one duffle bag on the ground, with a second one hefted over his shoulder. He is bald now, with light blue eyes and no eyebrows, and dressed in a beat-up black tee-shirt and faded jeans. A cell phone is wedged between one shoulder and his chin as he chats with someone on the other end. He explains that he will have the “Bowden Island Problem” solved by the next night, as he opens the duffle bags to reveal boxes of bullets, handguns, and grenades.