Rudely awakened by the blaring of their new Infinity Legion comm-badges early one weekend morning, the new recruits to the New York team – sweet and wholesome Idaho hometown girl and part-time paladin Oathkeeper, Japanese exchange student and ninja Emi Surikabe, and ten-year-old in a superman’s body Winged Victory – are unceremoniously summoned to nearby private airfields, where they find sleek, humming LearJets waiting for them, piloted by taciturn uniformed figures.
Inside, as the jets take off, Michael Cheney appears on their viewscreens, explaining that the Irish township of Meenyanly has recently disappeared off the grid, and that the situation might be connected to an archaeological dig that recently got underway nearby. The problem is complicated by the political situation: the Irish republic has long forbidden super-powered heroes from operating on their soil, classing them as outlaws and vigilantes. Winged Victory and Oathkeeper have reservations about breaking the law, but eventually decide to err on the side of potentially saving lives.
The Learjets land in the nearby Northern Irish metropolis of Londonderry, and a hired car conveys the three heroes – in disguise as civilian contractors – across the national border into Ireland proper and the wilderness of County Donegal. They get their first hint of the true scope of the problem when their chatty driver abruptly slams on the brakes and, in a completely different voice, eyes rolling back up into his head, warns them to turn back at peril of their lives. It seems like some form of possession, and indeed the driver is back to his genial old self within seconds, but by that point the heroes have elected to cover the rest of the distance under their own power.
With Emi and Oathkeeper on each arm, Winged Victory streaks across the gray-green countryside under a lowering sky toward Meenyanly, a tiny hamlet two hours from anywhere. Arriving in the town at nightfall, the Legionnaires find it utterly deserted, as if the population had either abruptly left or had vanished into thin air. While investigating the run-down local garage, Winged Victory is suddenly and viciously set upon by the tools and machines in the garage, hurling themselves through the air like poltergeists (although doing no damage to his nigh-invulnerable skin). A groan and crash of metal outside announces a deeper threat, though, and the heroes race into the town square to find the village cars telekinetically melding together, taking on a hostile, tank-like shape that resembles a giant mechanical scorpion.
The heroes trade blows with it inconclusively, taking out much of the village buildings in the process, until Oathkeeper, with a triumphant cry, strikes a weak point in its construction, shattering its cohesion and causing it to fall apart in a harmless rain of old VW Bus parts.
Suddenly, a voice speaks up from the shadows, and a middle-aged black man steps out into the square in simple rustic clothing. He greets the heroes and identifies himself as Archdruid Mitchell Lewis of The Samhain Conclave, the ancient mystical order that has guarded Eire for centuries. The Conclave jealously guard their responsibilities, which is part of the reason superheroes have never been welcome on the isle, but Lewis admits that this new threat, which seems to be technological in nature, is beyond the Conclave’s knowledge and powers. He accompanies the team to the archaeological dig site, where by hacking the research team’s computers – which seem to carry a surprisingly sophisticated level of encryption and make mention of a “Hallbane, Inc.” backing the expedition – they learn the location of a shaft leading underground to a strange metallic artifact. Suddenly, though, the shaft opens and disgorges several humans, their bodies now infected with cybernetic technology!
While Archdruid Lewis, having decided that the situation has become a clear and present danger, calls for emergency help from the military forces stationed to the south, the heroes, handily avoiding the lumbering, cyberized townsfolk, follow the dig shaft under the ancient dolmen (or gravestone) site several dozen feet underground; there, a metallic door leads into the wondrous interior of some sort of incredible building, constructed with the most advanced technology and operated to an unknown purpose by the transformed villagers of Meenyanly!
Using stealth and trickery, the Legionnaires explore the structure, eventually arriving at a central control chamber, where Oathkeeper’s gift of tongues allows her to make contact with the machine intelligence presiding over the artifact. She discovers it is not a structure as such, but the long-buried spaceship of an alien species known as the Technosomes, a race of living machines. The ship was damaged in a conflict high above Earth and crashed in Ireland in antiquity, where its efforts to repair itself with the help of local “organic resources” were resisted by an ancient Irish hero, giving rise to local legends of vampires and warlocks.
Communicating with difficulty with the alien intelligence, the Legionnaires convince it to let them fix the ship. Able to resist energies that would kill a normal man, Winged Victory is soon able to cap the ship’s leaking reactor core, and as promised, the Technosome frees its cybernetic thralls, reverting them near-instantaneously to their untouched state and none the worse for wear. From the safety of a nearby hill, hero and villager alike are joined by soldiers, emergency services, and news crews from the big city, all watching in awe as the huge, ancient, and impossibly sophisticated sentient spacecraft shakes off the dirt and gravel of ages and rises into the sky, its hull lights coruscating thanks in a dozen cosmic languages. Standing nearby, the Archdruid conveys the gratitude of the Samhains and privately expresses his hope that Ireland’s era of isolation from the heroes may be about to come to an end.
And three thousand miles away, as these events play out on a small monitor in a darkened boardroom, Mike Cheney nods in satisfaction. The plan has worked.