While at a casual social night organized for current and past Watch members by Sovereign, Polestar’s Cosmic Awareness detected another cosmic event. Accompanied by Outsider, Polestar traced the event to the small city of Blackwater, approximately 80 miles north west of Federation City in the Great Dividing range. As the rest of the Watch arrived, the event died away, leaving Polestar unable to detect the exact location of the disturbance.
Mindblaze ran a computer search looking for any specifically strange events that may have been reported about the town, and discovered a series of articles detailing a number of alien abductions and strange noises heard about town. The reports indicated a small wooded area outside of town know as Swagman’s Grove as the point of origin. Alarmingly, it seemed that Blackwater also has a history of disliking both superpowered humans and aliens, as most of the reports found had a very negative anti-super vibe.
Although the hour was very late, Polestar wanted to initiate a door knock, though the rest of the Watch felt that the disruption at such an hour would produce no real results. Retreating to the Gladius, the Watch agreed to sleep until morning when they would take up the investigation again.
Not needing to sleep, Outsider was out early to purchase a local newspaper when he found a copy of the last day’s Blackwater Tribunal. There, he discovered an article detailing the increased reports of alien abductions in the town. A recent event involving a local having been committed to hospital after shooting a police officer was also noted in the article. The local alleges that he was kidnapped by aliens.
Once the the Watch awoke, and after breakfasting on Italian coffee and French pastries delivered by Kid Rush, they decided to visit St Trillium’s Hospital where the local was being kept, to speak to his psychiatrist, Dr Aliesha Harding. After a brief discussion, Sovereign, Mindblaze, and Polestar where given permission to interrogate the committed local, James Natch. With the patient’s approval, Mindblaze telepathically reviewed his memory, where the events of the previous night was shown to involve indistinct aliens, a black robed and cowled alien, and a human/alien hybrid that was connected to a strange machine.
With all the information they could gather from James collected, the heroes continued to question the doctor in her office regarding alien abduction. The doctor felt that he majority of reports where the result of mass hysteria, but admitted that there had, to her knowledge, been only one definite example of an abduction, and that was another local doctor, Evania Jordan, who was working on an experimental technique to use soundwaves to help patients suffering from chemical imbalancesin the brain. The doctor had disappeared 2 month previously, and the police had been unable to find any clues to her abductors. After seeing a photograph of the missing doctor, the heroes recognized her as the human/alien hybrid in James’ memories. Examining the missing doctor’s lab revealed a much smaller copy of the machine the hybrid was manipulating in James’ memories.
Having exhausted all avenues at the hospital, the heroes returned to the Gladius to discuss their options. Sovereign contacted the local police chief, Senior Sergeant O’Reilly, to speak try to spead with the officer that was shot at by James Natch. The officer, Constable Murphy, advised Sovereign that the shooting occurred on the road running beside Swagman’s Grove, and he would be happy to show Sovereign exactly where it happned.
Meanwhile, Outsider performed his own investigations in his secret ID. After talking to locals, he discovered that the stories of alien abduction are not taken seriously, and many view them as nothing more than an attempt to draw tourists to the area. Outsider also heard of locals that would act strangely, almost disassociated, for a short period of time, but would rapidly return to normal.
Further discussions ensued, with possible explanations of what was occurring in Blackwater explored. Sovereign believed that Dr Harding is performing human experiments with her machine, and then planting false memories of alien abduction into the minds of her victims. Polestar suggested there may be Skreel involved bcause the appearance of Dr Harding’s limbs in James’ memories reminded him of the purple-skinned shapeshifting alien race. Neither of these events though, would trigger Polestar’s Cosmic Awareness. With still many holes left in their theories, the Watch concluded