Issue 7 Review

Rising Stars 7 Synopsis

"Things Fall Apart, Part Two of Three"

Jason Miller, who now carries the name Patriot, stands proudly on top of an armored van.

The authorities have fallen for Jason's story that some of the Specials are conspiring to overthrow the government. They have come to Pederson, where most of the Specials still live, to round them up, beginning with the low-powered ones. Dozens of armed and armored men have come to take the Specials away from their spouses and children. Jason is there in case some of them don't come willingly.

One man flys out the back window of his home when the troops come for him. He is fast, but Jason is faster. The man pleads with Jason that he didn't do anything. Jason admits that he knows the man is innocent before pummeling him and leaving him to plummet to his death.

John Simon (Poet) knows that the Specials will lose whether they surrender, flee, or fight. He figures they may as well fight.

The authorities bring Jerry Montrose (Pyre) with them to arrest Randy Fisk. Since Randy is known to be Ravenshadow, the press is there in force also. Jerry melts his way in to the Shadow Cave and is followed by the troops. They discover that the cave is deserted and all of Randy's equipment has been removed. Jerry finds a bomb with a countdown timer. He warns the troops and quickly flees. As the troops escape, Randy's home explodes.

Randy had always wanted an impenetrable fortress like in the comic books, but he knew that this day would come. He has prepared several secret bases, and now he operates from one of them. Randy records a message for the other Specials and simultaneously telephones it to them. He warns them to leave home quickly and not tell anyone where they are going. When they are safe, they should call a certain phone number and then hang up. This will let Randy know where they are so he can update them later.

John Simon has gone to California to warn Chandra personally. He knows that she is very insecure and will become frightened. She wants to reason with the Normals, but John maintains that the Normals are more scared than the Specials. They must hide and protect themselves until they can work out a solution. Chandra plans to flee to a ranch that a rich friend lets her use. It will be empty for the next month since he is out of the country. John is interested in using this ranch to shelter other Specials as well.

Randy's computers warn him that Matthew Bright is heading John's way. He calls John to warn him.

John tells Chandra that she must go immediately. She says that she would like to talk to him when the trouble is over. John says that he would like that before sending her on her way.

John remembers what Clarence Mack told him about Chandra. She loves John, and he never knew it. Now it may be too late, but John refuses to allow himself to think that way. He is prepared for this battle. Dr. Welles trained him for it. He doesn't want to kill Matthew, and he doesn't think Matthew wants to kill him.

Matthew Bright arrives at Chandra's estate and tells John that he is under arrest. John questions Matthew's jurisdiction. Matthew says that he can now operate beyond New York. He has a warrant for John's arrest and begins listing the charges, including suspicion in the murders of several Specials. John says that Jason committed the murders and that Jason is using Matthew. Jason had warned Matthew that John would say this. The only proof John has to offer is what Clarence Mack saw in Jason's dreams, and he only learned that because Lionel Zerb contacted Clarence after he died.

Matthew questions Clarence's accuracy since he was a psychic voyeur. He also points out that no court will accept testimony given after death. John admits that he can't prove the truth, but that doesn't make it untrue. He says Matthew should be fighting with him instead of against him. Matthew says that the truth is up to the court to decide. His only job is to arrest John. He warns John that controlling electronics and TV waves is no match for Matthew's powers. He doesn't want to hurt John.

As they talk, John holds his hands behind his back. Crackling electricity begins to build up around them.

John says that he won't give up peacefully. Matthew says he is sorry to hear that and lunges at John. John unleashes a powerful blast that knocks Matthew through the wall. "How?" Matthew asks.

John flashes back to his teenage years when he first asked Dr. Welles the same question after destroying a tree. Dr. Welles said the other Specials control powers in themselves that were created by the force that struck Pederson. John is different because he controls the force itself. The force is inside him. He may not be faster or stronger than the others, but he is deadlier. Dr. Welles predicted that John could kill any other Special in combat, even Jason or Matthew. Dr. Welles didn't tell anyone else about John because they would try to use him. The other children could somehow sense it because they were always distant from him. Dr. Welles wondered if the force is somehow conscious, if it created John as a fail safe against the other Specials, but he admitted that the idea is absurd. He warned John that he will have a lonely life with violence at the end. He can never be close to the other Specials, care about them, love them, or be loved by them, because one day he may have to kill them. Dr. Welles told John that he would know when that day comes.

John tells Matthew that he doesn't want to know how John defended himself. He warns Matthew to leave, but he won't. They continue to fight, and the television crews capture it on video. John batters Matthew and doesn't even seem to break a sweat. He tells Matthew that he doesn't want to kill him, but he will if he has to. The television crews broadcast his words.

Paulson is watching the televised battle in his office. He contacts the Army on his phone.

Again John says that he is speaking the truth and warns Matthew to leave while he can. Matthew fights back. The television crews scatter as the energy surges begin to pulverize Chandra's mansion.

John carries Matthew's limp form high into the air. He makes his point clear to Matthew. They both know that John could kill him if he wants to, but he doesn't kill him. That is why Matthew should believe that Jason is the culprit. John drops Matthew to the ground in front of the camera crew. He flies away, hoping that Matthew will investigate Jason and hoping that everyone has watched him long enough that the rest of the Specials have had time to get away.

Paulson is furious. He always knew that he hadn't learned the full truth about the Specials' abilities. He orders a full mobilization. He also wants someone to call Dr. Welles and bring him in for questioning.

Dr. Welles watches the end of the news report about John and Matthew's battle. As his telephone rings, he takes a pistol from a drawer and drives off in his car.