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North Detroit Vindicators

White Rhino

We arrived at Lloyd Semple’s home. It was raining, and we were parked in Slipstick’s car on the street. Gumbunny and Onkyo went to check the back and roof of the house. They heard someone breaking in, and peered inside to see. It was the White Rhino creature, seven feet tall, as wide if not wider, with a foot-long ivory horn protruding from its brow, and just plain massive.

It was demanding that Mrs. Semple give up her husband’s research papers. As Mrs. Semple started upstairs, Gumbunny called Slipstick with her cell, and explained what was happening. Slipstick rushed to join them, but not before Onkyo and Gumbunny engaged the creature. Onkyo took a head-on blow from the thing, knocking her clear through a picture window on the front of the house, and clear out of consciousness.

Gumbunny ran to hide, and started exploring her gumball options. Slipstick arrived through the front door that had fortuitously opened, and immediately sprayed a 4m radius beneath the White Rhino with a frictionless coating. The Rhino fell almost instantly, and couldn’t manage to stand back up. Meanwhile, Gumbunny threw some balls that seemed to make it even harder for the Rhino to get his bearings.

Slipstick reprogrammed his suit, and started shooting a burning acid at the Rhino, with what seemed to be little effect at first. Onkyo then took all the sound out of the room, deafening the Rhino and heroes alike. She then went after Mrs. Semple, while Slipstick continued pounding on the creature. He pressed on with the acid, while Gumbunny managed to throw some more balls and the heroes seemed to start gaining the advantage.

Soon, the Rhino realized he couldn’t stand, and started feeling around for whatever he could find. He found some of Gumbunny’s balls that hadn’t exploded, and threw them at Slipstick. The first one hit, but Slipstick wasn’t seriously hurt. The rest of the balls missed, the Rhino’s poor aim due to his lack of footing.

Gumbunny had by this time gone outside, presumably to check on Onkyo. She saw that the Millenium City police had arrived, and impeded them from entering the house. They saw her as a child interfering with their job, and threatened to arrest her if she kept it up, which she did. She put one of them in a cage, but the other three officers eventually made it to the back door.

Just as they entered, Slipstick fired another shot that stunned the Rhino long enough for the police to restrain him, with help from some Primus cuffs.

Lt. Andersen agreed to contact McCullough regarding the forensics from the ivory tusk.

Mrs. Semple was very grateful for our help, and that we managed to do relatively little damage to the place, considering the enormity of the monster that threatened her. She told us that her husband was on an African Safari, and is set to arrive on Flight 832 at 2:35 p.m., tomorrow. She was unable to reach Lloyd since early September. The whole trip was paid for by an anonymous donor. He was in a real remote place in Africa.

We spoke to McCullough. She wants to see Semple’s research. We’ll head back to talk to the wife after the police leave, then we agreed to meet McCullough at Semple’s office. She’s sending a squad there to meet us.

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Mr. Bird

Old Man Whimbley

We headed to Old Man Whimbley’s place, and started toward the field. We were greeted by Old Man Whimbley himself, and his shotgun. After managing to avoid getting shot at, he took us out to the crash site. The plane records showed the maintenance was good. Whimbley had witnessed the crash. He thought he saw a gremlin climbing on and around the craft. Said it was human sized, had wings, and was going after the pilot. He saw it crawling on the wing and Skyburner tasseling with it. The creature disappeared before he got here, and Skyburner was gone too. It happened the afternoon of Sept. 15, around 4 pm.

Lloyd Semple

It’s 4 pm, Sept 25th.

We headed to the Land & Sea plant. Jennifer was working the front desk — she was related by marriage to the family that owned the plant. She said they had to stop giving tours, due to a problem with their equipment. Some non-chicken meat was found in the vats, only in one of the two lines. We left briefly, and returned just after closing time.

As we poked around, Slipstick saw a car getting loaded into a truck, and a suit (maybe the boss) closed the truck off, and crumpled and threw something away. Slipstick clumsily jumped onto the truck, and started going in the back. Inside the cargo box was a Cadillac DST, no license plate, made in Hamtramck. Lloyd Semple’s briefcase was in the trunk. In it was some letterhead for Gross Point Farms and National Audubon Society. He was apparently the vice chair of the Audit and Ethics Committee for the National Audubon Society. He was also the dean of the Univ. of N.D. Mercy Law School. There were also papers on birds — a glossy on the Detroit Zoological Society and Semple’s work. He was referred to as Mr. Conservatory, and Mr. Bird.

Slipstick ripped apart the car and didn’t find anything. As the truck was driving away, he climbed forward along the top of the cargo box. When he got to the front of the box, he sprayed some acid on the hood, and the driver immediately stopped the truck. He made a call to what seemed like his boss, demanded another truck, and said to the voice on the phone that he didn’t care if he was boss, he knew everything about him. Slipstick jumped down, and grabbed the driver’s cell phone. The driver didn’t want anything to do with this mess, and Slipstick let him go. Slipstick grabbed the VIN of the Cadillac, grabbed the briefcase, dialled 911 with the driver’s cell phone, left the phone in the Cadillac, and headed back to the plant. He found what the suit crumpled to be the license plate of the Cadillac. It was a special bird plate, with the National Audubon Society holder still on the plate. Slipstick wrote down the plate number.

Milton Varney

We continued looking through the plant. Gumbunny and Onkyo followed the suit, who turned out to be Milton Varney, the president of Land & Sea. Another office nearby was that of Jason Torvock, the vice president of Land & Sea. In Varney’s office was a picture with Varney shaking hands with the mayor of North Detroit, and Vandam and Michael Jackson were also in the photo. Also in the office was Varney, stacking cash into a Goldie’s Gym duffle bag.

We found the security system, and saw Varney leaving with the duffle bag in a Buick Le Sarne, license plate YTA-438. Slipstick sprayed acid all over the security system, destroying it, and the North Detroit Vindicators left the plant to return to the truck that carried the Cadillac.

The truck was on fire. Someone had thrown a flame inside. Gumbunny threw a little ball and suffocated the fire in a matter of seconds. The Cadillac was still there. The police had arrived, and the officer on the scene thought it was strange to be in a refrigeration truck.

Gross Point Farms

Looking back through the briefcase, we found Lloyd Semple’s address at Gross Point Farms. He’s also a retired partner from Dykema Gosset Law Firm. We went to Semple’s house, and someone was breaking in. Inside was a giant white creature, seven feet tall, with a single ivory colored horn.

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North Detroit Needs a Hero

Two weeks have passed since the arrest of Matt Vandam. We all had gone to our homes after the incident at the hotel, and gave each other our cell phone numbers. There had been an inquiry into Vanguard by the State of Michigan, especially with Vandam being so high profile. The police stats show a steady increase in crime in North Detroit with the Vanguard being effectively shut down. Millenium City is still doing well though, seeing how the Champions operate there.

Sgt. Cathleen McCullough called Slipstick, asking to set up a discreet meeting with the other heroes in our group at City Hall with the Mayor at 1:00 pm. Slipstick called Gumbunny, and joined her and Onkyo at the studio (Slipstick showed up in costume).

Later, at City Hall (we showed up in Slipstick’s car), officer Wirly was waiting for us. He took us to a dusty, apparently unused, meeting room. McCullough was sorry for the mess, and went to get the cleaning staff when the Mayor entered.

The Mayor informed us the crime rate is worse than reported. Kidnappings are especially high. He is concerned about October 30th, “Devil’s Night,” and would like our help with dealing with the crimes. The reason for the secrecy of the meeting is because of the age of Onkyo and Gumbunny (Onkyo and Gumbunny both stated in the meeting they were minors) — he can’t officially offer work, but he is able to provide money, a place for us to meet, and equipment. Sgt. McCullough will serve as our liaison to the police department. The Mayor would also like to arrange for us to train with Primus.

McCullough returned with a manila folder.

The Mayor specifically wants help with the kidnappings. There haven’t typically been any ransoms. The first crime was against Angelika & Victoria Resnic. Both were well known rhythmic gymnasts, identical twins, and trained by Anita Anderson. The coach was the last to see them as they were going into the locker room. He heard a crash, ran in to see, and there was a huge pointed dent in the lockers, and the girls were gone. That happened Monday, Sept. 13, 2010. Four coaches were outside, chatting, and none of them saw anything. An entire row of lockers was knocked down. Forensics revealed there were microscopic flakes of ivory in the dented area. There should have been a security guard on duty at the time, but he apparently wasn’t in the building when the girls went missing. The gym has soccer, a new pool, gymnastics area, full workout gym, and they take private memberships.

The second victim was John “Skyburner” Bambenoli, a famous stunt pilot in North Detroit. He would perform at all the festivals and the homecoming of Univ. of N.D. Mercy (Skyburner’s alma mater). On Sept. 15, he was crop dusting, and crash-landed in a small cow pond in a field. Some farmers witnessed it. The police have take-off details from the airport. They fished and dredged the plane, and Skyburner was gone.

The third major kidnapping was Wade Fitzroy of the Millenium City Red Wings, and occurred on Sept. 19, as he was visiting friends at Frothy’s in North Detroit (not the friendliest establishment). He was last seen at 2:00 am, going back to his condo in Millenium City. The police are keeping it quiet for now. He was found two days later in a ravine just at the edge of North Detroit. We later found out that Wade used to go to the same facility as the gymnasts.

All victims were athletic and famous, and there were no ransoms.

Sgt. McCullough suggested we might want Marcia Barnstable to help us get some publicity.

We agreed to help the Mayor, and headed out to the impound lot. On our way there, we decided we needed a name. The criminals in North Detroit needed to know they couldn’t keep running rampant, and there is a force that will stop them if they try. So, from here on out, we are:

The North Detroit Vindicators

At the impount lot, we found the seat belt in Wade Fitzroy’s car wasn’t buckled. There were no obvious signs of tampering. We found a feather in the hatch. The car is about one month old.

We called Marcia Barnstable, and told her Wade Fitzroy’s car was in the impound, who we were, and asked her to look into Wade and mention us. She agreed.

Then we went to Skyburner’s hangar. An insurance agent, Jason, was doing inventory for an estate auction. Skyburner had no family. We left for a little while, then went back. The agent had left by now, so we broke in, and found regular gym appointments, including Sept. 15th. Skyburner was in the Air Force for a few years before crop dusting. The plane crashed at Old Man Whimbley’s place. There was going to be a jet coming in later, but it wasn’t as busy as before. While we poked around, a security guard came in, so we all scrambled to hide. Turns out he just wanted to grab a soda pop (in a glass bottle). Onkyo decided to follow him, and she overheard a news story about the Land & Sea poultry processing plant, in Hamtramck, MI. The chicken nuggets apparently had vulture DNA mixed in with the chicken DNA. The plant is not far from the hangar.

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