Public announcement of new prison being built for non-SPBs on what was Castle Air Force Base in Merced. Supermax Industries has decided to broaden its business portfolio by building this new facility. Once the new facility is completed, inmates from Atwater will be moved to the new prison.
As of 2008, local government plans to convert the dormant facility to civilian commercial use has become an active political issue. It has been identified as the preferred location for the central maintenance facility of the proposed California High-Speed Rail system.
United States Penitentiary, Atwater stands on a portion of the grounds of the former Air Force Base. The death of an inmate in 2006 sparked controversy, when the attorney of the accused argued the Federal Bureau of Prisons was partially at fault because it was not properly equipped to handle prisoners with mental health issues, among other things.
In 2011, Google leased 60 acres in order to test the development of their new project, the self-driving car. Google is also leasing a hangar at the base in order to continue testing a new project, Project Loon. Project Loon is a state of the art, balloon-powered Internet program that creates an aerial Wi-Fi Network. The Base is expecting Google to pay approximately $456,000 in rental fees for both of these projects over the course of one year. Base officials are excited for the attention the projects will bring not only to the base, but to Merced County as well.
Alvin Karpis, CEO of Supermax Industries is there to give the speech regarding the new prison, along with Alan Walker (local politician and hydrokineticist) and several other high-profile figures. Karpis and the others are being guarded by Salus Security (3 experts, plus VP Bast and CEO Zorya to cover Alvin and others); Walker always declines security for himself. LA Vanguard is there to provide an obvious presence and crowd control at the request of Alvin Karpis.
Kinetic, Skyrocket, and Rebecca arrive at the site 30 minutes prior to it’s scheduled start time. Kinetic and Coulson position themselves where they can observe the speakers on the stage and the crowd of reports and a few protesters. Skyrocket flies around the event perimeter. The protesters hold up signs (e.g., “Build schools not prisons”) but don’t start a scene. A few minutes into Alvin’s speech, explosions and gunfire are heard coming from the prison, about 1/2 mile from where the crowd is. Skyrocket happens to notice that Alan Walker doesn’t jump when the commotion starts and appears to activate one of his powers at the same time or even a moment before. Patrick contacts the team and tells them to head over to the prison.
Skyrocket speeds over and, using his enhanced vision, spots an SPB (using light-based attacks) and 8 men in body armor with assault rifles attacking the prison guards in one secured area. Rebecca and Kinetic head over as quickly as possible. None of the attackers spots Skyrocket and a few moments later a man dressed in coveralls and goggles disappears into a hole in the ground, which just as quickly fills itself in. Skyrocket engages the armed men, slowing 3 of them to a crawl. The Quantum and Skyrocket continue to engage from a distance until the others arrive. Kinetic knocks out the Quantum with a few well-placed shots to the head, while Rebecca teleports behind the wall of stone created by the second Quantum who emerged from underground with two men in orange jumpsuits. After taking the tunneling Quantum out the fight, the remaining armed men surrender their weapons and (unused!) grenades.
Patrick comes in over the team headsets and says that Alvin Karpis and the rest of the people from the event are heading over. Supermax’s people will take custody of the Quantums, but they should stay there and talk to the press and Karpis. Several minutes later, a line of vehicles arrives and Karpis takes the time to thank Rebecca, who was healing the wounded prison guards, and Skyrocket personally while the cameras are rolling. Kinetic hangs back and Karpis has the presence of mind not to make this into an awkward spectacle. Several minutes later, Supermax transport vehicles arrive and pack up the two Quantums as well as the 8 armed men and the two high-ranking members of the cartel, Vientos de Cambio (Winds of Change) who were being held at the prison. The two prisoners were scheduled to be transferred to another facility tomorrow morning, but no one was supposed to know this says Patrick. Reporters are eager to talk to Skyrocket – who’s equally willing to talk to them – as well as Rebecca. Photos and quotes from the interviews are posted online almost immediately.
After the Supermax vehicles and reporters are gone, a lone figure is spotted walking across the flat terrain toward everyone. Alan Walker casually walks up to Rebecca and informs her that Supermax had no jurisdiction over the non-SPBs apprehended here. Local law enforcement individuals should have taken them into custody, processes them, at which time the court would have decided which detention facility they would be sent to. Without another word, Walker turns into water, seeps into the ground and vanishes from sight.
The team confers with Patrick (who checks with their in-house counsel) and confirms Walker’s analysis. While they may have ended up at a Supermax facility, they skipped several steps in between. Skyrocket decides to follow the Supermax vehicles from the air. After following them for a while, he seems satisfied they are headed in the direction of Santa Cruz Island – location of Supermax’s SPB detention facility – rather than some secret facility.
The team members arrange for transportation home – separately – so as not to be associated with with one another publicly.