While agents of the Arthurian Foundation were able to minimize the damage of Hurricane Gaston, heavy rains still pummeled certain east coast cities. Flood waters swept through Mount Pleasant, South Carolina and several students from the New Vindicators Academy volunteered to join the faculty and the Vindicators in saving lives…
During this ordeal, Eric’s group discovered one of the Vindicators—Simulacrum—staring out at the devastation, muttering things like, “I wasn’t strong enough…” and “Her death was in vain…”
Before heading to bed, Josie approached John and asked him to break up with Kim. “Kim’s power is social cloaking,” she explained. “She reflexively mimics whatever the people close to her know. If that person happens to be particularly strong willed? Parts of their personality spill over and Kim begins to act like them…
“Do you get what I’m saying? Kim’s attraction to you isn’t based on who Kim is but on who you are. If she’s around you, she only likes the things you like and hates the things you hate. When she’s around you, she thinks just like you do… She doesn’t feel anything for you—her powers just sort of… simulate it.”
The next morning, Eric woke up to find his wallet missing. His hunt for it was cut short when he realized he needed to race to get to the weekly Wreck Room competition. As his team assembled, Cyndi and Aisha ran into Jim, who proceeded to try and flirt with Cyndi. When Miles arrived and put an arm around his girlfriend, jealousy began to encroach on Jim and the gears began to work…
Everyone showed up save two: John and Dirk awoke to find their bunk mysteriously transported to the top of Mount Everest. As they began to make their way down the mountain without gear and in their pajamas, Cyndi attempted to coerce Mister Cron into postponing the exercise—even going so far as to threaten to have him fired. With the Jolly Ranchers abstaining from the competition, the New Guys swept the exercise (competition (rescuing people from a burning building), and took first place.
- Vanguard (+10 points): 34 points
- Aegis Squadron (+9): 36 points
- The New Guys (+8 points): 37 points
- Team Loder (+7 points): 18 points
- The Edge (+6 points): 24 points
- The Sheroes (+5): 23 points
- The Number Four (+4): 18 points
- Iridescent Wombats (+3): 25 points
- Team Whatever (+2): 14 points
- The Jolly Ranchers (+1 points): 31 points
Eric moved to search Dirk and John’s room where he found his wallet. Suspecting it had been placed by Abe, the only other student capable of making John and Dirk disappear, Eric realized he was being set up. Lacking proof, Eric refrained from making any accusations.
Enlisting Aisha’s help, the headmaster and Cyndi were able to cobble together Dirk and John’s whereabouts. The headmaster next asked Abe and Eric to help transport a rescue team to the Himalayas—a feat Abe said he was not strong enough to pull off. Suspecting he was lying to shift the blame away from himself, Eric did was Abe claimed he could not and teleported the group to the base of Mount Everest. There, the headmaster led Mister Altair, Missus Loder and Mister Cron in finding the boys and bringing them home.
Unbeknownst to them, Eric began to plot against Jim and his friends: with Gene’s help, he successfully installed hidden cameras in Abe and Remington’s room and in Greg and Captain Billy’s room. When Gene failed to break into Jim’s room, the New Guys began to device a way around the youth’s security.
That night, Cyndi was awakened by Miles banging on her door. The inebriated young man on the other side desperately tried to get his girlfriend to sleep with him; when Cyndi moved to close the door on him, explosive anger swelled up in him. After talking with his roommate, Cyndi learned that Miles had produced two bottles of Jack Daniels from under the bed and offered to share them with Marlon. Once Marlon was asleep, Miles rose up and made his way to Cyndi’s room. Miles, however, claimed that he not only could not recall going to Cyndi’s room but even imbibing the spirits in the first place.
Before their weekend concluded, Eric took the New Guys, the Jolly Ranchers and some of the other students to a beach in California. Around a campfire, their scary stories devolved into tales of Jim’s exploits: Eric theorized that Greg was responsible for Miles’ intoxication and attempt to make love to Cyndi; he also explained how Abe had tried to frame him for taking out John and Dirk. Finally, Matt confessed to having witnessed Jim personally kill the men Ebb had hired to abduct Aisha. At Eric’s behest, Aisha proceeded to look through Jim’s eyes and witnessed him opening his trunk of souvenirs. Realizing Jim’s victims totaled close to forty, the young heroes wondered how best to handle their unstable upperclassman…