Junpei was ready to take the fight to the A. Zetas with his newfound power as Akutatsu, but still was lacking in knowing where the heart of the enemy was. Conscripting the help of Montana and Phil, an investigation was launched to uncover some sort of lead on the whereabouts of Acero and the kidnapped Chen; a trail to be found starting at the Far East club.
Doctor Montana was recruited to help investigate the kidnapping and went to the Far East Club to look around and ask questions. A man across the street remembered a man in a cowboy hat observing the club from from across the street in a taxi and leaving moments before the kidnapping. They got a partial on the taxi’s plate and managed to interview the cab driver. They traced him to an apartment complex in the residential part of Astro City, in District Hill, an area over which the Astro Zetas had gained control.
Akutatsu lurked on the rooftop, awaiting a sign of his quarry. Phil and Montana had also come to be the eyes on the ground, along with Mr. Johnson. Akutatsu’s fearsome size and stature soon betrayed his own presence, and there was commotion among the residents of the tower.
Soon there was enough of a fuss that a strange figure clad in a wrestler’s mask arrived on the scene, and began taunting Akutatsu. Assuming by his costume that he may be associated to Acero and the the A. Zetas, Akutatsu dove immediately to directly confront the wrestler. An explosive fight broke out but the mysterious man was surprisingly resilient and obviously himself enhanced by some kind of unnatural power. The two traded savage blows as the brawl was taken to the sky, then plunged into the depths of the river, but neither was able to get the better of the other’s incredible fortitude.
Seeing that this would be an endless battle, the two disengaged and traded words. The man called himself “Super Lucha” and fancied himself a newly-arrived old-school hero that “protects the people,” but more importantly asserted that he had already dealt with Acero and triumphed, and rescued Daniel Chen, who was now was safe. Surprised at this, Akutatsu left the scene before more undue attention was drawn, and corroborated the story with his contacts.
Where Super Lucha came from and how he fits into the complexities of the conflict between the gangs is of great interest to Akutatsu, who now conspires to uncover more information on this outspoken hero.
The upperclansmen of the Kazuma-guntai insisted that Junpei return to discuss important matters, and he had to decide that he would reveal himself to them. He set up a discreet meeting on a hotel balcony and ambushed Makoyama and Sato, hoisting them to the roof out of sight. Before this new terrible form, the two men responded with terror at first, emptying handgun magazines into Akutatsu uselessly, and then disbelief. Junpei spoke to them firmly of his belief that the Kazuma-guntai needed “fangs” if they were to survive in the current situation and that despite taking matters into his own hands, this was ultimately for the benefit of the clan’s interests. The two men recovered their nerves and hesitantly agreed that this could be a new means by which the Kazuma-guntai could secure their power.
Phil and Akutatsu (Montana wasn’t there) never spotted the cowboy hat wearing man. Mr. Johnson, who was helping himself to leftovers in the dumpster behind the apartment, spotted him coming out the back door and leaving in a car or SUV.
Sato cautiously approved, but declared that discretion should be used with super powers. He was uncharacteristically opinionated and forceful, saying that many who gain powers become overconfident and may gain victories, but that eventually, someone stronger comes by and defeats them. The older man said that he had seen this over and over, and that it was a dangerous pattern and that in the long run, gaining powers could even be more dangerous for the Kazuma-guntai than if they had not done so.
The fight between Super Lucha and Akutatsu received much media attention. The apartment residents on the balconies took much video and it ended up online and on the news shows. This was the first public battle between supers in over a year, so there was much speculation. Who were these supers? Why were they fighting? What were their goals?
Super Lucha released a video that proclaimed he was the protector of the people and that monsters and villains should keep away from the people. He would be there to stop them, he said.
Meanwhile, Yves “Montana” Couturier discovered that the illustrations in the Royston Bestiary were camouflaging a code. He enlisted the help of Alan Patel, a computer science grad student, to help scan and catalog the images for easier study. The panel recovered from the drone, and the drawings on the graph paper found in the “Dungeon Master’s” office continue to hold their secrets, but may require technical skills outside the wheelhouse of our friends. This dedication to his extracurricular activities continues to distract him from his work.