Psilence of Conscience (FG)
"Psilence of Conscience" is the first formal storyline in the "Future's Guardian" series.
At the end of the issue, The Nationalist confronts Candace and threatens to punish her for being a lawyer. As she cowers in fear and begs for her life, her eyes suddenly glow and she say "Just LEAVE ME ALONE!" The Nationalist's eyes also glow and he silently flies away.
Candace suddenly realizes that she did that and she begins to cry in fear.
Candace turns to Galatea for help after her confrontation with The Nationalist. Unfortunately, Galatea was in a remote meeting with Major Cross in her secure room. While waiting, Candace begins to ponder what happened to her and the consequences of people knowing she has powers. In a fit of panic, she wishes she never knew she had powers.
Shortly afterward, Galatea emerges from the secure room to see Candace simply standing in her dining area. Candace has no idea why she is there or what she wanted to talk to Galatea about. She rushes off.
In the climactic battle against The Nationalist, the extremsist is knocked to the dome of City Hall. An unseen person then incapacitates The Nationalist and renders him unconscious.
Later that evening, a strange woman is seen in the Renaissance Center. Mental narration shows she is not from the world of the Champions, and says she will find out who is responsible for bringing her here... "And then PSYCHE will make them pay!"
A woman named "Psyche" begins taking down criminals just outside the Renaissance Center. She is clearly distressed by an internal argument with someone named "Malizia". A bystander says that Psyche resembles the main character in Athena Rose Fairmore's book series. This surprises Psyche. She asks for assistance with transporting the criminals to jail, but the officer brushes her off since she doesn't have the proper hero identification. She says that "Galatea" would vouch for her, but appears surprised that the officer recognized her as "Galatea Future". He says he would hold the criminals in jail for a few hours until Galatea can vouch for Psyche's credentials and then points her to a nearby SOCRATES terminal to find Galatea.
Psyche's experience with SOCRATES is frustrating for her, since SOCRATES does not recognize her as a hero. SOCRATES suggests she registers at Champions HQ. Once there, she is rebuffed by the PRIMUS soldier working at the desk, who does not accept her orgin story as being legitimate. "Malizia" takes over Psyche's body, and then takes over the solider's mind, forcing him to create a hero ID for her and give her full access to the SOCRATES system before wiping his memory of the act.
Psyche later helps Galatea by stopping a woman who suddenly developed telepathic powers from going into a homicidal-suicidal spree, but is dumbfounded to learn that even Galatea refuses to admit she is who she claims to be. "Malizia" again takes over, holding Galatea in her place and letting her know they will be in touch again soon, but not before making reference to someone from Galatea's past.
Elsewhere in the Renaissance Center, Candace Sinclair wakes up on a park bench, not knowing how long she's been asleep.
Days later, Galatea - in her guise as Athena - is visited by Agent Wednesday of the FBI's Extra-Perception Investigation Division, who then accuses Candace of being a telepath.
Continuing directly after the previous issue, Agent Wednesday meets with Athena Rose Fairmore (aka Galatea Future), who tries desperately to keep the agent from reading her mind by thinking about coffee. Unfortunately it has the opposite effect and Agent Wedensday is made even more suspicious of her. She discovers that lawyers cannot be telepaths, and that any lawyer that is discovered to have telepathic powers is not only disbarred, but all of Candace Sinclair's cases could also be in jeopardy, including the case that Candace represented Galatea Future in against Markman Gold.
Meanwhile, Gold is meeting with his people via a cyber-conference. Gold tells them that they must find and sign "Psyche" to the Gold Standard Agency as soon as possible. He mentions that the movie rights to the "Sentinels of Love" book series are still being negotiated, and that having a real-life version of Psyche in the Agency will give them a piece of the predicted ten billion-dollar payout the movies would bring in.
Candace Sinclair awakes in a park outside the Rensaissance Center. Now she is concerned that she's been waking up in strange places with no memory of how she got there or what happened during those times. She worries that she is going crazy.
Agent Wednesday calls her supervisor, expressing her suspicions about Fairmore and says she is looking to get a psychic search warrant for her. She also mentions that they have been swamped by other cases of attorneys with telepathic powers.
At the same time, Galatea Future meets with Major Cross about the sudden rash of people getting telepathic powers with no connection between them. They then discuss the woman that Galatea and "Psyche" recently defeated, and Cross reveals that she is like Foreclosure, a former registered hero who was in the Gold Standard Agency and then mysteriously "dismissed". Galatea also mentions that "Psyche" could not be the same woman that she remembered from the "other world", but she will get in touch with Agent Sidestep just to make sure.
Starlett interviews "Philly Buster", who is now in the security wing of Mercy Hospital and removed of all weapons. We discover that "Philly Buster" is bald and dying, and that she was hoping that Galatea would "kill" her like her friend, Foreclosure. Philly Buster refuses to provide any information about herself, but she does lead on that she knows that Starlett is working for the "same team" and she wants them to know she will not give anything away. After the inverview, Starlett makes a strange call.
Keira Fyre gets a call from her superior, telling her what she must do to get in Mister Van Cleef's good graces again.
Agent Sidestep meets with Candace atop the Millennium City airship. She confides in him about her strange blackouts, but before she could go any futher than that, Sidestep's PROPHET system alerts him to an emminent threat. He tells her that he really cares for her and she must leave. Once she does, Sidestep is attacked, and we discover that the attacker was "Psyche", under the control of "Malizia".
Someone meets with Philly Buster, who is relieved that person is there.
Ronin Omega returns to his loft, now thinner and balder than before. He mentally narrates that he is suffering from radiation sickness but that it is nothing he has not experienced before.
Agent Wednesday interviews the PRIMUS officer that worked at the Champions headquarters when "Psyche" got her hero identification. He says he would not have known about being compromised if not for his cybernetic eye. She asks for the data from his eye, but he says he already gave it to the "other agent", which, it turned out, was Starlett, who then gave the information to Major Cross.
Back at her condominium, Galatea (as Athena), finishes a conference call with her publisher when she is interrutped by Cross. Cross reveals that the PRIMUS officer's cybernetic eye had a psionic filter, which revealed that "Psyche" is really Candace Sinclair. Unfortunately, Candace was in the other room and heard the announcement. At first she didn't want to believe it, but then she accepts and embraces the truth. She wills herself to transform, which, in the process, also strips Galatea of her "Athena" outfit and wig.
Galatea is forced to watch as Candace becomes "Psyche" in front of her, but she uses "Malizia's" voice, showing that "Malizia" is in control. "Malizia" says that "Psyche" was just a creation in Candace's mind of the kind of hero she wishes she could be, the "noble heroine" in Galatea's books, which were based on Galatea's memories of that "other hero". But she says that "Psyche" wasn't the one that protected Candace from The Nationalist, nor was it the one that later neutralized The Nationalist. That was all her.
Galatea tries to reach Candace, but "Psyche" says it is too late for talking, and that Candace is gone. "Psyche" then transforms completely into Malizia and says that "Mother" has her work cut out for her.
Major Cross soon arrives at Athena's condo to find Galatea dressed in casual clothes. She fills him in on what happened with Candace becoming Malizia. She also mentions that twice she's been easily neutralized by Malizia, even though she has enough experience with telepaths in the past to be able to mount a proper defense against such an attack. Agent Wednesday then arrives and offers to help Galatea find out why Malizia is able to get inside her head so easily.
Out on the streets of Millennium City, Malizia relishes her freedom. Meanwhile, WCOC reports on several people suddenly developing telepathic powers, including actor/pitchman Willie Sovain, who has a mental meltdown while doing a commercial.
Agent Wednesday discovers that Galatea has an active mental link with Candace, which she traced back to the time after Candace was accosted by The Nationalist. Agent Wednesday speculated that Candace was trying to seek help from Galatea, who was busy talking with Cross in the secure room. While waiting, Agent Wednesday speculated that Candace willed herself to forget she ever had powers. She said this was a symptom of Ratner-Singer Syndrome, in which a powerful telepathic mind tries to lock itself out of knowing they have abilities. It was then that she speculated that Candace forged a link with Galatea, where Candace's subconscious pulled up Galatea's memories of her past adventures to create the persona known as "Psyche" and later as "Malizia".
Cross meets with Elite Ice regarding her friendship with Keira Fyre. He asks Elite if she knows that Fyre uses a "wind arrow" spell that allows someone to kill from a distance without using an actual projectile. While Elite defended her friend, Cross suggested she ask Keira why she is still in Millennium City.
Starlett returns from searching for Malizia to discover Ronin Omega completely emaciated and bald. He said that he was healing from radiation sickness and that he was already past the worst of it. When she tells Ronin that she was ordered to find both "Psyche" and "Malizia", the traveler recognized those names from another world and asks to be brought up to speed.
Over in Westside, Malizia encounters the myrmidons of Foxbat, whom she calls "Tick-tocks and Morons". She relishes the discovery as "gifts" and says "Come to mother!"
Outside UNTIL HQ, Cross meets with Doctor Alison Wonderland of "The Mind, Incorporated", who takes a strange interest in the activities of "Philly Buster". Although the encounter is brief, Wonderland is convinced she has everything she needs.
Inside HQ, Cross realizes that Wonderland could be a telepath and he did not have his psionic jamming device with him.
Malizia enters the warehouse of Foxbat's minions, where the infamous villain communicates through a radio system and gloats about being her "first super-villain". He is taken back when he discovers that Malizia had taken over the minions and they now work for her. Foxbat pledges there will be "Heck to pay".
At the Powerhouse training facility, Elite meets with Keira, who is brushing up on her archery skills. Although Keira denies killing Philly Buster, she then says that she is surprised that Elite would question her trust.
At the Gold Standard Agency, Malizia meets with Markman Gold, who thinks she is Psyche. While he is overjoyed that he finally "found" her, Malizia says that pretty soon they will both get what they deserve.
With Markman Gold under her control, Malizia shows up at the WCOC studios. She hides the fact that she's talking with "someone" in her head.
Major Cross gets a recovering Ronin Omega up to speed about the epidemic of sudden telepaths. Ronin is able to piece together the connection between all of the people that suddenly acquired telepathic powers. The two of them discover that the common thread among them is a certain stimulant called "Wake-EZ".
Meanwhile, Galatea Future is invited to meet with Foxbat, who discusses things through one of his cosplay lookalikes. Foxbat tells her that Malizia is at the WCOC station. He knows this because one of his acolytes that she once subverted told him so, and also because taking over the station was one of his plans for the week.
Dressed to look like a federal agent, Elite Ice joins FBI Agent Wednesday in confronting Dr. Allison Wonderland, the person in charge of the Wake-EZ campaign. Wonderland runs, but the two find her dead in an alleyway. There is a wound on her back that Elite Ice says comes from a special kind of mystical arrow... the same one used by Keira Fyre.
Galatea arrives at the studio with Starlett in tow. The two of them confront Malizia as she's getting Markman Gold to admit to everything he's done on camera. With Starlett carrying a psionic jammer, she leads Gold to safety while Galatea confronts Malizia.
Maliza thinks she's succeeded when Galatea points out that the studio is actually empty. All the employees were evacuated an hour ago as part of their "Foxbat Contingency" plan, and the station has been airing nothing but sitcoms. Galatea says she's not facing Malizia alone. She has her friend Candace as well. She talks to Candace, pleading with her to reassert herself and take control of her body again. She knows that Candace is not Malizia, nor is she Psyche. She knows this because she knows that Psyche was never possessed by Malizia in her books. Galatea says that Candace is a survivor and she can survive this as well.
Candace Sinclair reasserts herself and Malizia goes away, but she says that Malizia wants to come back. She asks Galatea to knock her out. Galatea does reluctantly.
Later, Cross meets with Wednesday. The Wake-EZ produce is pulled from the shelves and "The Mind", the company behind it, claims it was a rogue operation that went on behind their backs, even though it netted them three million in profits. Wednesday said that the state's Bar Association will recommend a six month suspension for Candace Sinclair, since she did not know she was taking a drug that gave her psionic powers. She could go back to practicing law after six months and her record could be expunged in five years if there are no relapses.
At a secret base on the moon, Galatea takes Candace to a "hot sleep" tube chamber where she can sleep out the last effects of the drug. Before she goes under, Candace uses her powers one last time to give Galatea a gift from Agent Sidestep; a block on all future telepathic intrusions and to sever the mental link she still had with her friend. As Candace sleeps, Galatea is given some bad news from her publishing agent. The film deal for her book series has fallen through because of all of the negative publicity surrounding Malizia and Psyche.
Keira Fyre meets with her employer face-to-face, and he says that her plans have changed. He wants her to stay in Millennium City and work with the heroes of Project Mycroft, especially with Galatea Future, so that when the time is right, she can kill Galatea Future. Kiera asks why, and Alexander Van Cleef says that because, in another lifetime, Galatea Future killed him.
In Issue #13, we learn that Gold was subjected to numerous investigations and audits. He tries to blackmail Starlett to give him the camera footage, believing it would contain material that would clear him from his taped admission of his shady manipulations. However, she turns to Agent Wednesday for help in getting the blackmail material away from Gold and to wipe his mind of any knowledge of who Starlett really is.
Several months after being put in the hot sleep tube, Galatea frees Candace after verifying she is free of any trace of telepathic abilities. Candace then spends her time suspended from practicing law working for Major Cross. She also requests that she be trained in firearms use so she would never feel helpless again.