Dr. William Montgrieve stooped and placed the flowers on the grave.
He looked at the inscription.
"Jake Bannister. He gave of himself so that others could live."
He looked down at the grave and wiped a tear from his eye.
"Jake, we will make Brimwell pay for this. Guardian Factor shall arise again. You have my word on it."
He turned and walked to where his limousine waited, and got inside.
"Leonard, take me the Essex Foundation."
"Very good, sir."
As the car pulled up in front of the innocent looking building, William looked up at it. He wished he could stay, wished he could help work with this new incarnation of Guardian Factor.
But his work in Washington was too important, and too high profile for Juno to once again don his costume.
"We're here, Dr. Montgrieve."
"Thank you, Leonard. I will be a while and then we will be returning to Washington."
"Very good, sir."
William rang the front doorbell.
The front door opened.
"Hello, Doctor. Welcome back to the House."
Montgrieve was always amazed that Mole, blind as he was, could identify anyone before they spoke.
"Hello, Mole. It's good to be back, even for a short time. I just wanted to be sure that everything was set up."
"Of course it is, Doctor. The invitations were all sent. None of them have arrived yet. And that includes Mr. Jameson as well."
"I see. Well, Mr. Jameson said he would be here later this afternoon. I think I shall await him in the library."
"I assumed as much, Doctor. Tea is waiting."
"Thank you, Mole."
Montgrieve entered the library and sat down in a waiting armchair.
"Are you back full time, Doctor? I was not instructed if that is the case."
"No, House. I will be here only for a short time."
"Very good, Doctor."
Montgrieve took a cup of tea and a scone and prepared himself for a long wait.
Luckily, he did not have to wait all that long.
"A motorcycle has pulled up in front of the building. A gentleman has gotten off, and is approaching the building. Sensors indicate that the individual possesses super powers. Should I activate the security systems?"
"No, House. This will be Mr. Jameson, who will be moving in."
"I see. Thank you, Doctor."
A few minutes later, Mole ushered Jameson into the library.
"Mr. Jameson? My name is Dr. William Montgrieve. You may have seen my name in the papers. I head the William J. Clinton Memorial Laboratories for the Investigation of the Supernatural."
"Yeah, I recognize you. You're the president's expert on mutants and superheroes and things."
Jameson's eyes narrowed. "And what did you invite me here for?"
"Mr. Jameson ... or may I call you Thomas?"
"Thank you. Tom, I am aware that you are also the hero known as Fireball."
"Don't worry. Your secret is safe with me. Now, if you'll sit back down, I'll continue. Have you ever heard of the Guardian Factor?"
"Sure, who hasn't? Bunch of superheroes, led by some guy named Eclipse. Disappearred a while ago."
"Right. Well, the truth is that this building, the Essex Foundation, was home to the Guardian Factor. And Eclipse, Jake Bannister, died."
"Well, Tom," Montgrieve smiled. "i would like you to take up the reins. I would like Guardian Factor to come back to life, and I would like you to lead it. You have lead other superhero teams before, and I know you are capable of doing so again."
Jameson sat back and thought.
"Are you serious? I mean, this isn't some kind of trap or something."
"Mr. Jameson, I assure you that it isn't. I am 100% serious. I would like you to head Guardian Factor."
"Assuming that this is all on the up and up, what is in it for me?"
"First of all, you will have all the facilities of Guardian Factor. That means this building and it's contents. I will get to that in a minute. You will also get the unofficial assistance of my office."
"I still don't see why I should agree to this, even if it is true."
"Because I can provide you information that will lead you to Doctor Michael Brimwell."
Jameson started at the name.
"Brimwell? He's dead. Everybody knows that."
"He's not. He wanted us to believe that. He has set up shop again, on a small island in the Caribbean, and has assembled a cadre of super powered bodyguards to protect him. And yes, I know that you have good reason to hate him. He killed three of your friends, did he not?"
"Moonshine, Red Dawn and Crusher. So, yes, I have my reasons to hate him."
"Well, if you are willing, you will have Guardian Factor behind you when you go after him this time."
"Okay, Doc, sounds like you've got me. So tell me what I've got to work with."
"Excellent. First of all, you have the facilities of the Essex Foundation building."
"What, this place?"
"Yes." Montgrieve smiled. "House?"
Jameson looked around to see who was speaking.
"You won't find him, Tom. This is House. The AI that controls the building and everything in it."
House responded "Yes, Mr. Jameson. I have arranged a bedroom for you, and now that I have a voice sample, I have appended your information to my security files."
Jameson looked back at Montgrieve. "You are kidding me, right? It's some kind of voice thing, done by that guy who let me in."
"No, sir. That, by the way, was Mole. He is your butler. Although, I wouldn't make any comments about how he seems to be blind. He may not be able to see with his eyes, but he has some kind of sixth, if not seventh, sense that more than compensates for his lasck of eyesight."
"Okay, I'll take your word for it. And what about the team itself?"
"Well, we have sent out invitations to several of the old members of the team, as well as to some new heroes. They will be arriving here tomorrow, assuming they decide to arrive at all. Any and all information on them and House can be found on the computer system. Just ask House for help."
"Ask House for help? And what about asking you for help?"
"Well, as much as I'd like to be here and help, I do have to return to Washington. You should have ample time to go through the files before they begin arriving tomorrow."
Montgrieve stood up and extended his hand for Jameson to shake.
"Thank you, Tom. I am glad to know that there is someone I can rely on who will be here, leading Guardian Factor. If you need me, House knows how to contact me."
"You're welcome, Doctor. I hope to not let you down. just get me that information on Brimwell when I need it, okay?"
Montgrieve left, and Jameson settled down in front of the computer. He had a lot to go through.
Guardian Factor is a super hero game that has been running (on and off) for over ten years. We've had starts and stops, and want to start again. However, most of our players have disappeared, and we are looking for new players. It is freestyle, and is not based in any given universe, so you can invent your own heroes if you wish.
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