The duel in the Acquisition District of the Shadow Wars took place in the city New York City four months after the Attack on Palmyra. Notable as the return of the S.M.S.B. to North America, the battle was initially intended as the Knights of Meyer raiding on the MBH, based on intelligence gathered by Captain Photon, who led the attack. However, the S.M.S.B. had already returned from Asia and they were waiting for the assault.
As the S.M.S.B. members prepared to hold off the Dark Flame, the Knights of Meyer launched attacks on the MBH but could not enter it. Master Intelligence activated the shield generator before everyone came outside. Realizing he had them where he needed them, the Dark Flame called off his forces. The Dark Flame entered the wreckage himself and engaged the S.M.S.B. members, killing Retrowoman and Telekinibabe and besting Lindsay Kellerman, Sebiscuits and Baby Strength. As the General prepared to finish the last S.M.S.B. member standing, Master Intelligence, a squad of Advanced Recon Commandos sent by the President in Maryland burst in on the duel. Their superior firepower forced the lone Dark mutant to retreat, and all the survivors were extracted, save Baby Strength, who was thought dead. The Dark Flame was ultimately unconcerned by their escape, feeling that it was little more than prolonging the inevitable.
After that battle, the S.M.S.B. officially became involved in the Shadow Wars.
- "This will be a day long remembered. It will soon see the destruction of the S.M.S.B., as well as the capture of Master Intelligence."
- ―The Dark Flame[src]
The duel in the Aspiration District was the result of intelligence gathered by Flame Order Captain Photon, which indicated the location of the MBH. The battle was initially intended as the Knights of Meyer raiding on the MBH, based on Captain Photon’s revelation, who led the attack until the Dark Flame Apparated into the front of the pack and took over. However, the S.M.S.B. had already returned from Asia and they were waiting for the assault. The Dark Flame sensed this, but he was ultimately unconcerned; he believed this would be a day long remembered.
From within the MBH, Retrowoman immediately sent a distress call to the Mayor. She revealed that the S.M.S.B. had returned to New York before imploring for reinforcements to help contend with the Knights of Meyer.
The Dark Flame’s Ultranium Edit
- "Master Intelligence, you are surrounded. Make peace with the Light side now, for this is your final hour. But know that I, the Dark Flame, am not completely without mercy. I will grant you a warrior’s death. Prepare!"
- ―The Dark Flame[src]
Suddenly, the Dark Flame’s magically amplified voice rang through the hall and heard throughout all of the MBH and Aspiration District. The Dark Flame informed the mansion that if they surrendered Master Intelligence to him by midnight, nobody in the mansion would be hurt. Master Intelligence announced that everyone would have the chance to fight if they wished, and everyone agreed. The Dark Flame announced that in that case, they would receive a “warrior’s death.”
As the members of the S.M.S.B. prepared to hold off the Dark Flame, the Knights of Meyer launched attacks on the MBH but were kept from entering. Master Intelligence activated the shield generator before everyone came outside. The Dark Flame called off the attack now that he had everyone where he needed them.
S.M.S.B. Members versus the Dark Flame Edit
The S.M.S.B. members fled into a wrecked cruiser, where they waited as the Dark Flame approached. As the Dark Flame drew near, his footsteps became consistently louder until Retrowoman was overwhelmed with fear and charged into the open. The Dark Flame quickly crushed her with his body before leaping back out of sight.
As the S.M.S.B. members retreated into the wreckage, the Dark Flame suddenly attacked, dropping from the wreckage above and brandishing two swords. After a few moments of fencing, the Dark Flame began to focus his efforts on Intelligence. The leader of the S.M.S.B. promptly leaped onto a ledge above and launched a powerful telekinetic shove at the Dark Flame. The criminal quickly dodged, leaping onto one of the larger pieces of wreckage and using it as a springboard to launch himself back at the mutant.
Landing in a crouch, the Dark Flame was promptly engaged by Baby Strength. Despite the latter’s tenacity, the Dark Flame defeated him with a quick slash across the belly and a rapid overhand blow. Leaving Baby Strength for dead, the Dark Flame turned to the other members of the S.M.S.B. Defending himself against a telekinetic assault by Sebiscuits, the Dark Flame grabbed Telekinibabe with his clawed foot and crushed the elderly man’s head against the ground. As Lindsay Kellerman charged, the Dark Flame grabbed her with his other foot and performed a backflip, throwing her into the ceiling along with Telekinibabe’s corpse.
Left with only Master Intelligence and Sebiscuits to battle, the Dark Flame fended them off by spinning his sword hand, rotating his sword in a buzzsaw-like fashion. As the two were temporarily taken aback by this, the Dark Flame used the distraction to kick Master Intelligence into a nearby pillar before unleashing a frenzy of blows against Sebiscuits. As Master Intelligence rushed to his aid, the Dark Flame disarmed him and sent a massive finishing blow his way.
While Sebiscuits was able to protect himself from the slash with telekinesis, the kinetic energy it imparted was enough to throw him off his feet and hurl her into a wall of wreckage. As the Dark Flame turned on Master Intelligence, the superhero attempted to retrieve his dropped sword, but the Dark Flame pounced on it. In response, Intelligence telekinetically knocked him to his feet and summoned his weapon. As Master Intelligence lifted the weapon into a guard, the two, masters of the S.M.S.B. and the Knights of Meyer, eyed each other.
The Dark Flame broke the stare and leaped at Master Intelligence.
ANOC Rescue Team Edit
- Unidentified ANOC pilot: "Approaching the district. We are undetected."
- Captain Forcier: "Gun it!"
- — An ANOC pilot and Forcier[src]
While the S.M.S.B. had been engaging the Dark Flame, a group of ten Advanced Recon Commando lieutenants led by Captain Forcier had been rushing to the Acquisition District via gunship. As the ship approached the battlefield and wreckage — flying so low that the ship knocked over several Knights of Meyer — it dropped a series of command detonation explosives, which the Knights ignored as they fired at the gunship. Blowing a hole in the side of the wreckage and swooping in, the gunship dropped off Forcier and his team before hovering up to a large hole in the wreckage to fend off the Knights.
Forcier and his team charged into the wreckage, coming upon the final bout between the Dark Flame and Master Intelligence. Before either could gain the advantage, the Dark Flame noticed the ANOCs, who promptly began firing. As Master Intelligence looked on gratefully, the Dark Flame quickly retreated into the wreckage. Dodging fire, the Dark Flame ran up the wall of the wreckage before leaping down at the ANOCs.
Landing in their midst, the Dark Flame viciously cut down four of the ANOCs before Forcier called in for backup. Backup took the form of the gunship, which began firing on the Dark Flame. Again retreating into the wreckage, the Dark Flame dodged the gunfire and missiles with a number of dazzling leaps and flips, cutting his way through the half-burned durasteel.
With the Dark Flame thus occupied, the surviving ANOCs and S.M.S.B. members retreated. The ANOC troopers, covering their withdrawal, activated the command detonation explosives that their gunship had dropped earlier, destroying many of the Knights surrounding the crashed ship to clear an escape path.
- "Run, cowards, run. You have only prolonged the inevitable."
- ―The Dark Flame[src]
To Master Intelligence’s relief, he realized that most of his apprentices had survived, with the unfortunate exception of Retrowoman and Telekinibabe. Baby Strength was thought dead but had in fact gone into a deep healing trance, during which his heartbeat and breathing had decreased to barely noticeable levels. Despite this, he was later found by Master Intelligence, who gladly brought him home.
While they retreated, the Dark Flame quietly claimed his trophies from the slain and defeated superheroes, notably the sword of the fallen Baby Strength. As he watched their gunship vanish into the distance, the Dark Lord mused that they were only prolonging the inevitable.
After the battle, the S.M.S.B. officially joined the war effort against the Knights of Meyer.