The narrator says that there are heroes in the world and AEGIS marches in lockstep to watch over all citizens and prevent evil.
Arthur and Tick finish watching the AEGIS introduction and Arthur is thrilled that AEGIS invited them in. Tick points out that they have a new super-villain who the press have dubbed "Lobstercules", and has trouble pronouncing it. Neither one of them understand the name. Arthur says that they'll deal with Lobstercules once they get licensed. Doctor Agent Hobbes pops up behind them and introduces himself as the acting branch director of science. Rathbone has asked him to give them a tour, and Arthur says that they've love to go with him.
Hobbes shows Arthur and Tick around the newly-opened AEGIS HQ. Rathbone goes by them with his men, notices them, and stops to greet them. He tells Hobbes to bring them up to ops and Hobbes reminds him that he has a meet-and-greet with the Mole Man. The AEGIS anthem plays and everyone except Tick salutes as a bagpipe player comes down the stairs. Tick assumes the bagpipes are an alien creature and attacks them.
Dot is sleeping of herself as a young child looking at shoes, and remembers wanting combat boots. Joan refuses and ends up with an uncomfortable pair of shoes. She sees her father crushed by the ship and Joan lectures her about what happens when she's late. Dot wakes up and Overkill removes his arm from around her shoulders. He admits that he could have chewed his arm off, and insists that they passed out. Dot says she's taking another day off, stretches her legs over Overkill's lap, and goes back to sleep. Overkill is unaware that Dangerboat is trying to contact him over his mask radio.
At AEGIS HQ, Hobbes shows Tick and Arthur to the heroes' lounge that is available to registered heroes. They can access the AEGIS database and enjoy the world-class snack bar, and Tick and Arthur enjoy the croissants. Hobbes gives them forms to fill out and leaves. There's a video of jets like Dangerboat playing, and Tick wonders if Dangerboat can fly. Tick suggests that they shouldn't talk about Overkill or Dangerboat at AEGIS since they went rogue from AEGIS. Arthur insists that Tick should sign the forms.
At a hotel room in the Netherlands, Superian is watching E. Moran Pearl's shows Pearl Before Swine. Peale points out that Superian isn't perfect and claimed that Terror was dead. Disgusted, Superian turns off the TV. His agent Larry comes in and asks how long Superian wants the room. Superian notes that his social media rating is down and complains that people actively dislike him everywhere. He tells Larry that he's not above it and refuses to let Larry take his computer.
Ms. Lint and her henchman Frank check into a cheap Hawaiian-themed motel, the Lei-Lo, and he warns that the police are watching the old headquarters since Terror went down. Lint refuses to let Ramses old henchman take over "her" city, and Frank warns that with AEGIS in town then there will be superheroes everywhere. Lint notes that she still has access to Ramses' old accounts and could use the money to access some super-tech. She tells Frank to get a guy he knows who knows a guy.
Arthur finishes the forms, and Tick is still confused by the paperwork because his lack of past. He apologizes for putting Arthur's dream of government service at risk, and Arthur suggests that they check the box for "mysterious memory loss". Hobbes comes in and says that they can begin the testing.
When she wakes up, Dot tells Overkill that she had strange dreams about shopping for shoes and seeing her father die. She admits that she's never dreamed about it before, and her mother talked like Dot was supposed to fix it. Overkill tells Dot to bury her past in mind-ice, and takes the call from Dangerboat. It says that it's tracking AEGIS drones all over the city and confirmed that Rathbone is in town. Overkill orders radio silence and peers out the window, then tells Dot to come with her to an audio-secure location.
Hobbes gives Arthur some barium to drink, and explains that their tests will determine how Arthur is super. Arthur reluctantly does so and lays under the high-radiation scanner. Hobbes and the assistant Todd assure Arthur that the scanning won't hurt, and it only lasts a few seconds. The agent says that Arthur could fail registration.
Hobbes takes Tick and a nervous Arthur to a chamber to test their abilities. He tells Arthur to go first and stand in the yellow square marked "Danger". A giant arm-wrestling machine, the Strongarm 6000, comes down and Hobbes says that Arthur won't win and the machine will test how much resistance Arthur puts up. It easily sends Arthur flying and Hobbes says that it's the quickest loss they've ever seen. Tick goes next and overloads the Strongarm 6000, finally destroying it.
Overkill takes Dot to Dangerboat and has it go into scrambled video mode. The hero then tells Dot that they're wanted and they need to leave now that AEGIS is in town. Dot accuses Overkill of running away, and Overkill insists that it's a strategic retreat. When Dot demands an explanation, Overkill says that Rathbone trained him as part of Perseus Squadron. They were sent in to neutralize the Duke, and he knew they were coming. Overkill lost his entire team, and he fought his way to Duke and decapitated him. Then a hurricane hit and he was pushed to shore by a pod of helpful dolphins. Overkill lost his "family" again and Rathbone blames him. Dot realizes that Overkill never talked to Rathbone, and Overkill tells her goodbye forever. She says that Overkill was framed and he should talk to Rathbone and convince him that he's not a traitor. Dot tells him that he's a coward if he doesn't and walks out, and Overkill tells Dangerboat that they're staying in the city rather than heading to Havana.
In the lounge, Arthur looks at a memorial to the Flag Five. Tick comes in and Arthur says that he promised his father that he would join the Flag Five. Now he doesn't believe that it's going to happen, and Tick says that they should make it happen. Arthur figures that he's a zero, but Tick says that he's passed the real test. Hobbes comes in and says that Rathbone wants to talk to Arthur.
Frank returns with his tech connection, Edgelord. Edgelord dismisses her concerns and shows her a schematic of her combat boots. He figures that they can put together a suit that will enhance Lint's look and her power level.
Arthur meets with Rathbone in his office. The commander has Arthur's record and notes that he has no powers, and wonders why Arthur is applying to AEGIS. Arthur insists that being a superhero is what he's supposed to do and he's already doing the job with Tick. Rathbone says that they don't know anything about Tick except that he's formed a bond with Arthur. If AEGIS grants Arthur his superhero license, he has to keep tabs on Tick and tell them if anything new develops. Rathbone says that it's not spying, and when Arthur admits that he's not comfortable, Rathbone says that it's brain-and-brawn and he wants the brain to keep an eye on the brawn for the sake of the nation. When Arthur agrees, Rathbone tells him that he's officially approved.
Pearle says that they're humans and Superian isn't, and demands that Superian go home. Superian flies over the planet and watches, and then unleashes bursts of heat vision in a rage.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 6, 2019