Smoke and Mirrors
- Editor's Note: Story and dialog by City of Heroes' favorite comic book author Troy Hickman. Originally published in issues #4 - #6 of the City of Heroes comic book.
- Twilight's Son (Ouroboros)
- Smoke and Mirrors
- 25 - 34
Agree to form a task force
Hello, Red Tomax. I knew the time was right for you to seek me out. We have much work to do if we are to save this plane of existence. It is only with your help that we have a chance of setting things right, in this time and others. Steel yourself, hero, as what is to come will test every bit of your strength and resolve. For this task, you will be required to travel into the recent past and restore the natural order of the Chronoverse. Your quest is to stop the Circle of Thorns from opening a portal to the netherworld and bringing their demonic master here to Earth. If not, all is lost. You must seek out three individuals who serve as the 'cosmic key', and keep them out of the Circle's evil hands. If they succeed... well, I can't bring myself to think of it...
Are you familiar with the story of Cyrus Thompson, the hero once known as Breakneck? He and two others are the only means of bringing the demon to earth. Go through the portal and find Cyrus and bring him back here, that I might keep him safe.
If you can keep Cyrus out of their clutches, their master will forever be confined to his own nightmarish realm.
Instanced Outdoor [Skyway City] @ Ouroboros (Circle of Thorns)
Cyrus Thompson should be waiting outside of the Skyway City train station.
Objective: You've defeated the Agony Mage, yet Cryus Thompson was taken before you arrived.
Mission Complete: The Circle of Thorns have escaped with Cyrus Thompson, but all is not yet lost. You must return to Twilight's Son for further instructions.
You did not find Cyrus Thompson in that time? Odd, perhaps there is more going on here than I first anticipated.
Though you were unable to thwart the kidnapping of Cyrus Thompson, you did strike a formidable blow against their evil. We must stop them from abducting the other two innocents, however, or soon I fear the causality field will ripple forward and all will be lost, now and through eternity.
Your assistance shows your appreciation of me and my lost people. Thanks is given.
Rescue Jimmy Preston from the Cirlce of Thorns
You can still save the child, Jimmy Preston. Shortly after Cyrus was taken from the train station, Jimmy was abducted from his tenement in Kings Row. I've found a report from that time filed by operatives from MAGI saying they "sensed" a child being held in a nearby warehouse. I believe this is Jimmy Preston. It's imperative that we rescue young Jimmy, as he is even more important that the matter at hand, but... I cannot tell you any more about the "coming storm" without putting it all at risk. just know that with the advent of their master's arrival, the Circle of Thorns grows ever stronger.
Are you up to this task?
Go back and find Jimmy, you must bring him forward so that he can be removed from the events of his time.
Abandoned warehouse @ Ouroboros (Circle of Thorns)
The Circle of Thorns are here and looking for Jimmy.
Objective: You've defeated the Circle of Thorns boss.
Mission Complete: You've defeated Juikon, but the Circle of Thorns managed to get away with Jimmy Preston.
This is most unforunate. The Thorns were able to escape with young Jimmy, taking him to who knows where. I wonder how this will affect his future as---well, let's not get sidetracked. There's still a chance if we can get to the last cosmic key before the Circle of Thorns do.
Perhaps, if more of your kind are like you, there is hope for humanity and Kheldian alike.
Go to the Atlas Park fashion show and keep Candy Lebeaux from being abducted
There was a beautiful woman, a model, named Candy Lebeaux. She was last seen at a fashion shoot in Atlas Park some time ago. She must be the third key to the Circle of Thorns plan. If you can go back there and keep her from being abducted, the Circle of Thorns can never complete their plan.
The safety of Candy Lebeaux is our last hope! Save her, Red Tomax!
Instanced Outdoor [Altas Park Fashion Show] @ Ouroboros (Circle of Thorns)
Mission Complete: You have defeated Sitrix and saved all of the hostages, but Candy was not among them.
Mandy Lebeaux is Candy Lebeaux's twin sister. They were working together at the fashion shoot in Atlas Park. She wan't too happy to hear that you were there to rescue Candy, and failed.
While time traveling into the past, you visit Atlas Park and in a trashcan you find a hand written letter addressed to Red Tomax ...
Once again, it is rewarding to know that you are reading this antiquated form of communication. Have you rescued Candy's twin sister yet? Not to worry, you will find Candy, Jimmy and even Cyrus very soon. But the busy work of Twilight's Son holds no interest for me.
I write to you because I believe that you have the ability to see beyond the smoke and mirrors placed around you. Silos talks of a coming conflict, but with whom? Has he told you or is he protecting his precious causality curve? I would like you to believe that Mender Silos is sending you back in time to change events in his favour, no one else's, but, that is something you may have to learn for yourself. Think on this, who benefits from these 'mends' that you do? Is it the people who are deemed unworthy to know the truth of what will happen to their race or is it someone else?
Before I go, I wish to reveal to you an ugly truth regarding Twilight's Son. He is, in fact, the last of his race, but that is because he sold the rest of his kind into slavery. Whether for his own gain or to escape their wrath, I do not know. Unfortunately for him, when the slave masters burned through the Kheldians, they came after him once more and he fled into the past. Perhaps he made yet another bargain with the masters, trading all the Kheldians of the past for his own survival.
Again, be cautious of those you speak to about this; the Menders are aware of my existence, but not my time or location and they would not take kindly to you associating with me. All I ask of you now is to do your duty, pursue the truth and look for more of my letters.
No! They've managed to capture all three of them! We have little to no idea where they will perform their arcane ritual.
But... there might be a chance. Given the clues we've accumulated, I might be able to divine an area where the ceremony may take place. It's a slim chance, and even if you can find it, the odds of you going back to exactly the right time and of you defeating their assembled forces are practically nil. Still, I have faith in you, Red Tomax.
Find the Circle of Thorns and stop their heinous ceremony
With all three keys, Baron Zoria can start the ritual that brings his nearly-omnipotent master to earth. There is a very small window of time in which he can do so, however. If you can find that exact moment in time to interrupt the ceremony, even for a few seconds, he will lose that opportunity.
Can I count on you to stop this evil?
The world of today and tomorrow needs you! Go and stop this ceremony before it's too late.
Oranbega @ Ouroboros (Circle of Thorns)
The temporal energy crackles off of you as it collides with the mystic power around you.
Mission Complete: You have saved Jimmy Preston and Candy Lebeaux, thus, thwarting Baron Zoria's attempts to summon his demon. Regretfully, Cyrus died before you could arrive.
When Jimmy is thoroughly examined by Longbow medics later, it is found that he possesses a mutant gene that may well activate as he grows older.
Rarely have I seen such acts of heroism, in this time or any other. You have honored all those who come before you, and you have set a standard for all those that will follow. I salute you, Red Tomax. And grieve not for the noble Breakneck. As a man of the future, I can assure you that his legacy will never die.
Souvenir: Smoke and Mirrors
You hold an old tarnished belt buckle in the shape of the letter B...
As you look at it, you remember Cyrus Thompson and his sacrifice. He dedicated his life helping people and he gave his life saving them. There's no greater hero than that.
It was Twilight's Son who sent you back in time to rescue him, Jimmy Preston and Candy Lebeaux from the Circle of Thorns. The Thorns were attempting to bring forth their master from the nether realm and use those three as human sacrifices. Twilight's Son believed stopping this particular sacrifice was tied to the 'coming storm'. How? Twilight wouldn't say, 'it is the people of this time that can save your world'.
Saving people? You think back on this as you remember your last mission for him. You couldn't save them all. Just as you got there, you saw Cryus Thompson get struck down trying to save the others. You managed to save the other two, but you'll never forget that old guy throwing himself into harms way.
The city put a statue up in front of the Kings Row train station, hopefully others will see him there and remember that being a hero is not how you dress of what powers you have, but who you help along the way.