It’s the five year anniversary of the Stand at Stirling, where thousands died including the nation’s premier super team. Ed Waterson, mayor of Stirling gave a passionless speech about remembering the sacrifice. Many who lost loved ones or simply wish to remember those who fell, including Katrina Winters and Zoe Sawyer, find their way to ground zero.
-------Walter Beauregard was celebrating. After months of work and moving halfway across the country, the Aegis Project had finally proven itself a success. The revelry is cut short; good news travels quickly and one of the project’s investors is asking for a demonstration.
-------Maxwell Hammer’s relationship with his son is strained. The divorce has been hard on everyone, and the boy obviously still feels some resentment. Max burns dinner and is forced to take his son to a restaurant.
-------Justin Silcott is short on cash. Finding most of his gambling buddies reluctant to lose their money to him, he sets off into the sprawl of “Hero Heights”, Stirling’s former Meta-human district. After several minutes, Justin finds a man standing behind a building and looking nervous. He approaches the man, who pulls a pistol out of his jacket.
-------Walter is suited up and waiting. Finally, the primary investor, Leopold Bastion, arrives and is treated to a demonstration of what Aegis can do. Impressed, Bastion takes the pilot (Walter) and lead developer on the project to dinner to discuss mass capitalizing off of the suit. Because of the occasion and the purpose of the project, they find a Greek restaurant overlooking where the Stand at Stirling was fought.
-------More people show up to the bonfire vigil at Hero Heights. While many stick to themselves and the people who came with them, Zoe and Katrina begin speaking with one another and the son of Firebug about how bad the city has gotten in the past five years and the responsibilities that come with their powers. The somber occasion becomes tense when men arrive demanding that everyone leave.
-------The thug and Justin have words, but neither is willing to back down. The gun is pointed toward Justin and fired. Nothing happens. Seeing an opening, Justin grabs his attacker’s arms and they stumble into the street.
-------While enjoying their dinner, Walter and Bastion see three black sedans pull up to the abandoned amusement park. People exit two of the vehicles, and the passengers each grab something from the trunks before heading toward the entrance. Expecting trouble, Bastion suggests they go investigate and get an opportunity to “field test” Aegis.
-------Max sees to men wrestling across the street from the burger joint where he and his son are eating. Looking closer, he notices the pistol that they are fighting for and that meant that they were in danger if that gun went off. Justin saw the man walking toward them from White Castle, but after a single strike to the thug, this stranger was in possession of the firearm. Undeterred, the thug pulled out a knife and lunged at Justin as two more criminals emerged from the back entrance with stolen goods.
-------When Bastion arrives, he tells the armed men that they are in violation of the law, who respond by firing their weapons in the air. The ruins of the amusement park empty as civilians flee in panic. Katrina takes the large wrench from hands of the men’s leader, Walter makes a quick cell phone call, and battle is joined. Bullets from the enemies can’t seem to find Katrina and bounce harmlessly off of Zoe, both of whom respond with decisive blows. A helicopter flies overhead, dropping a large metallic object nearby. Walter runs toward it, hoping that he can get to Aegis before the bullets get to him.
-------The thug springs forward and his blade strikes directly at Justin. He’s rewarded for his trouble by a fist to his face. Seeing his friend in trouble, one of the other felons strikes Justin from behind. Maxwell points the pistol at the new attacker and fires. The bullet strikes a DVD player held to his chest, and though he isn’t hurt, he falls to the ground.
-------A hail of gunfire opens around Walter. He pulls the chest of the suit up and notices that it will not seal shut. A bullet was caught, inches from Walter’s face. Fixing this, Aegis punches one of the men ineffectually showering him with bullets. There’s one less enemy on the field. Bastion places a hand on Aegis and feels himself grow stronger. Katrina trades blows with the leader while Zoe grabs the arm of a man trying to level a pistol at her.
-------The three thugs are in shock. One of them has been shot. He desperately checks himself for holes that weren’t there five minutes ago, but finds none. They turn and run as fast as they can, dropping some of their stolen goods. Max tosses the pistol to the side and, without another word, heads back to his son. Justin pockets the firearm and finds a $10 bill before calling the police.
-------Katrina parries aside a punch from her opponent before bringing the large wrench into the side of his head. The man stumbles, but remains on his feet until seconds later when he finds Bastion’s patent leather shoe planted squarely beneath his ribs. Seeing an opening, Bastion punches wildly at the man attacking Zoe. She swings her armored fist upward, catching her opponent in the chest. He falls to his knees, gasping for air. Two more have fallen.
Meanwhile, Aegis is facing the remaining three aggressors. He grabs one of the cars behind him and swings it into his enemy, pinning him into the ground. Instantly, Katrina is beside him and brings the over-sized wrench into the face of one of the others. The last villain standing runs into one of the two remaining cars, and both drive away.
Bastion extends an offer of employment to his two new comrades as they load their unconscious foes into the wrecked vehicle to await the police.