Some content in this article is derived from information featured in The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
|"Well, is there anything else?"
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The search for the Orb of Power took place in 2041, and continued in 2042. It occurred when the Gladiator began searching for the Orb of Power, hoping to use it to successfully take over the universe upon destroying North America.
The search begins Edit
Sebastian Lestange, one of the Gladiator’s spies at the government, placed governor Fredrick Powell under mind control to force him to attempt the theft of the Orb of Power. Sebastian Lestange noted that Fredrick showed unusual resistance to his mind techniques, which Augustus Salt suggested may have been because the official knew what would happen if he tried to remove one of the artifacts. He mentioned that this was more difficult than he had expected and made him very nearly late for an important Knight of Plague meeting at Transylvania Quarters (as Fredrick’s nature allowed him to resist).
Meeting at Transylvania Quarters Edit
- Rudolph: "I heard differently, my Lord. A trap lies in the Hall to kill us all should we try to enter. I heavily advise against this."
- Becca: "This is a false statement. No doubt you have fell for their ploy. Rudolph, you are no longer part of this. I suggest you remain silent."
- — Excerpt from the meeting at Transylvania Quarters[src]
During the meeting at Transylvania Quarters, many of the other Knights of Plague were impressed with Sebastian’s work, Caberra clapping him on the back in congratulations, but the Gladiator pointed out that Fredrick was only one man, as well as that he needed Evans' successor surrounded by his agents before he acted. He then asked Fredrick if he had anything to say, and Fredrick said he was ready for the theft in a strangled monotone.
About a month before the Battle of Transylvania, Becca Smith entered Transylvania Quarters and found the Gladiator sitting at a table with gathered Knights of Plague. Becca then informed the Gladiator that the Orb of Power was in the Hall of Domination. Becca reported that the information comes, “from the source [they] discussed.” This contradicted the information that Rudolph Lestange obtained from Molly, a police officer, but that is determined to be unreliable; Becca suspected the government was feeding them false information.
Sebastian Lestange reported that Fredrick Powell, the head of the government’s military forces, had been possessed by his own hand, a major step in taking the Orb of Power. However, the Gladiator said that Fredrick is only one man, but the right one for the job.
Death of Fredrick Powell Edit
About a month later, Fredrick was forced into the Hall of Domination, as he was still under mind control. The moment he touched the orb, the defenses around it were triggered, as Fredrick had left his position. Fredrick suffered Taboo damage that affected his mind, causing him to believe he was laughing uncontrollably. However, the shock of it lifted the mind control.
Believing Fredrick had simply been injured in a workplace accident, he was taken to NYC Hospital for treatment, but his injuries seemed irreparable, and as such was moved to the Taboo Damage ward, left lying in his hospital bed, comatose most of the time, and those times he was awake, he was mumbling and staring at the ceiling.
Eventually, Fredrick Powell’s condition took an upturn, and his health began to steadily improve. Upon learning of this, the Knights of Plague, unable to risk Fredrick getting better and exposing their plan, sent him an anonymous “get-well-soon present” — a potted plant and a calendar. The Healer in charge of the ward at the time, Martha Strout, was busy over the Thanksgiving period, putting up decorations, looking after patients, seeing to visitations from family and friends etc. and as such overlooked the plant’s dangers, in direct contradiction of NYC Hospital’s strict guidelines on decorations permitted in wards, and left it on Fredrick’s bedside cabinet table. Over the next few weeks, Healer Martha, noticing Fredrick’s improving speech and mobility, encouraged Fredrick to look after the plant himself, unaware that that it was a disguised cutting of animate vines. One night, the plant, touched by the convalescent Fredrick, throttled him instantly. Powell was discovered dead in his bed the next morning.
After Fredrick died, the Gladiator severely punished Eve Higgins for her bad advice, especially after hearing a true account of what would have happened from fellow Knight of Plague and spy Wallace Blanks.
Russell Stewart's capture Edit
- "Russell Stewart, 38, of number two, North Pearl Street, Albany, has appeared in front of the courts charged with trespass and attempted robbery at the Hall of Domination on 31st November. Stewart was arrested by public official Phillip Murch, who found him attempting to force his way through a top-security door at one o’clock in the morning. Russell, who refused to speak in his own defense, was convicted on both charges and sentenced to six months in Beta Prison."
- ―The newspaper, 1 December 2041[src]
On 12 November, 2041, Russell Stewart was on Government Defense Army duty standing guard beside the entrance to the Hall of Domination, to prevent Knights of Plague from stealing the Orb of Power. Sebastian Lestange was at the government that day, and he possessed Russell.
Still under the influence of Sebastian’s mind control, Russell was back on guard duty at the government on 31 November, 2041. Under the control of the Knights of Plague, Russell broke into the Hall of Domination, a highly classified area, and attempted to steal the Orb of Power. However, he was discovered during the attempt and was arrested by Phillip Murch, a public official, and was sentenced to six months in Beta Prison, after refusing to speak in his defense.
Nagatha's mission Edit
While Percy was guarding the door to the Hall of Domination for the government, as the government had anticipated that the Gladiator would attempt to retrieve the Orb of Power and use it for himself, Percy fell asleep, and was attacked by the Gladiator's snake, Nagatha, which briefly woke him. After biting and lunging at Percy several times, Nagatha finally digressed, but found herself unable to access the orb.
Andromeda was able to view the events in her sleep, and upon awaking, insisted that the vision had not been just been a dream. Master Intelligence allowed Andromeda to contact the government. Mayor Evans promised to rescue Percy, and he had his assistant do the deed. He also promised to report to Master Intelligence when Percy was admitted.
Battle of Transylvania Edit
After Nagatha's failure to retrieve the Orb of Power, the Gladiator tried a different tactic. After Lindsay got a vision of the Grand Bomb planning to destroy North America, she, Master Intelligence, and their friends decided to go to Transylvania Quarters to stop the Knights of Plague from using the superweapon. However, the Gladiator had meant for Lindsay to see this, as he needed Lindsay to retrieve the Orb of Power from the department.
Meanwhile, Becca Smith and George returned to Transylvania Quarters to communicate with the Gladiator via hologram. George proposed using the base’s superweapon to destroy the old police station, which would give the police nowhere to go once their station’s shields were breached. The Gladiator authorized his proposal. He then spoke with Becca privately, asking if she had felt an awakening in the light side. He ordered Becca to kill her daughter to overcome her temptation by the light.
The S.M.S.B. headed for Transylvania Quarters, where they found the Gladiator and his Knights of Plague waiting for them. A battle ensued, during which Master Intelligence's friends destroyed the Grand Bomb. The Orb was destroyed by Master Intelligence in the middle of a duel with the Gladiator, ultimately putting the search to an end.
After he was released from Beta Prison, in March of 2042, Russell Stewart rejoined the Government Defense Army. At this point, the Knights of Plague had been destroyed and the Gladiator was already imprisoned.
- The X-Adults: Endgame: The Latest Threat (first appearance)